Advertiser Disclosure: ValuePenguin is an advertising-supported comparison service which receives compensation from some of the financial providers whose offers appear on our site. This compensation from our advertising partners may impact how and where products appear on our site (including for example, the order in which they appear). To provide more complete comparisons, the site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

Download our debt reduction worksheet to put together a strategy that’s right for you. To use the worksheet, you’ll need copies of your bills and interest payment information. If you’re motivated by saving the most money while still paying off your debts, the highest interest rate method might be the right choice for you. However, if you’re motivated by seeing progress quickly, then you may want to consider the snowball method. Choose the strategy that’s best for your situation and put it into action. 
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
This approach focuses on your debts like credit card and student loan debts with the highest rate of interest. The goal is to pay off the highest interest rate debt as quickly as possible, because it’s costing you the most. While it may not feel like you’re making progress, this method will help you eliminate your costliest debts first—which can save you money in the long run. 
Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party advertisers from which Credit Karma receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). It is this compensation that enables Credit Karma to provide you with services like free access to your credit scores and free monitoring of your credit and financial accounts at no charge. Credit Karma strives to provide a wide array of offers for our members, but our offers do not represent all financial services companies or products.
There are only two ways (three, if you combine the two): either earn more or spend less. If a person has a debt, then it must be paid. If payments are not made, interest is accrued and in the end, all the person's assets will be repossessed until the debt is satisfied. The first step is to obtain a source of income; beyond this, you can work with your creditor to make payments toward the debt - even if you can only afford $50 per month, it shows that you're making an effort to pay down the debt.
If you have good credit or better, you may be able to qualify for a balance transfer credit card. These cards typically offer low or even 0% APR promotions, ranging from six to 18 months. You transfer your existing card balances to your new card, and then pay off the balance interest-free. After the 0% introductory period, though, the rate will jump to the card's regular APR, which can be high.
Coming up with a plan for paying off debt may sound difficult, especially if you don’t have a financial background. But spreadsheets simplify the task, making it easy for anyone who can use a spreadsheet to make a plan to pay off debt. The snowball method is a popular strategy, and downloading one of these debt snowball spreadsheets can help you reduce your debt.
A debt management program is a repayment plan that you can set up through a credit counseling agency. It basically rolls multiple debts into a single consolidated repayment schedule. The credit counselor helps you find a payment that works for your budget. Then they negotiate with your creditors to reduce or eliminate your interest rate, as well as stop any future penalties.
Consolidate your debts. Debt relief consolidation is an important part of debt management. By consolidating all of your unsecured debts – including money you owe on credit cards, department store cards and other unsecured personal loans – you can make one payment each month to ACCC and we will make disbursements to your creditors on your behalf. That means you'll spend a lot less time making payments to multiple creditors and worrying about keeping up with your bills.
The site shares over 455 reviews - all with a five-star rating. What's more impressive is the site provides a list of "Proven Results" where any consumer can see how their plans have helped other clients, sometimes saving people over $10,000 in debt. It is clear this company knows what they are doing and we recommend requesting a free consultation or speaking to one of their certified debt counselors if you need guidance concerning reducing debt through credit card consolidation.
A credit counseling service works with creditors to get you better terms on your loan, including reduced interest rates and lower monthly payments. You make one monthly payment to the counseling service, which distributes those funds to your creditors. Consolidating your debt payments with a debt management plan requires you to give up all but one of your credit cards, live on a budget and pay off your debt in 3-5 years.
We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines, and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet's official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
A debt consolidation program is a service designed to help borrowers pay off their outstanding debt. In these programs, consumers receive the tools to develop a loan repayment strategy with which to manage their existing debts. These programs allow the borrower to make one monthly payment, which goes toward all outstanding debts, usually on a timeline to get the borrower completely out of debt in 3-5 years. A credit-counseling agency or debt settlement company usually manages these debt consolidation programs, and the mission is to help consumers get out of debt and become financially independent.

Unfortunately, not all debt relief companies offering this service really help. But that is because they fail to address the source of the problem – the bad spending behaviour. While it is important to pay off what you owe, it is equally important to learn how to curb your spending. Some people tend to backslide to their overspending ways after a debt or two are paid for. This is a big no-no and could get you back in the same situation you started from. Any extra cash should be saved and if you can, stop using your credit cards!
Unfortunately, not all debt relief companies offering this service really help. But that is because they fail to address the source of the problem – the bad spending behaviour. While it is important to pay off what you owe, it is equally important to learn how to curb your spending. Some people tend to backslide to their overspending ways after a debt or two are paid for. This is a big no-no and could get you back in the same situation you started from. Any extra cash should be saved and if you can, stop using your credit cards!
Your debt would be unaffordable, even after consolidation. When you’re struggling to keep up with payments and your debt has become a crisis, you might need a different solution. This is when you might want to consider a debt relief program that will help you get your debt under control. For some people, filing for bankruptcy might also be worth considering as a way to get relief.
Debt Management Plans (DMP) Our DMP program can provide you a repayment plan that you can afford for your credit cards, medical debts, collection accounts and other unsecured debts. It is designed to eliminate or reduce high interest rates, consolidate your debt payments, eliminate over-limit charges and late fees, stop collection calls and payoff your accounts within 5 years or less. Payday Loan Assistance DMCC can get you an affordable repayment plan for your payday loans; PLUS, if you are a Florida resident, a 60 day deferment. Student Loan Assistance DMCC counselors will determine your available options and help you get a forbearance, consolidation or an affordable repayment plan for your federal student loans.
If you have a credit card with a high interest rate, you may be able to transfer the balance onto one of your other cards for a lower interest rate. There are also credit cards that specialize in balance transfers, waiving the fee for new applicants and giving you an 0% intro APR. Read the fine print on offers before you jump in to anything, though.
The above graph presents a single anomaly which occurred in 2005. During that time there was a severe drop in average credit card debt, despite total outstanding revolving debt continuing to rise. This outlier was likely due to the spike in bankruptcy filings in the United States around that time. A law went into effect at the end of 2005 which made it more difficult for individuals to declare bankruptcy. This resulted in a rush of filings before the law's deadline - over 2 million Americans had their debts forgiven that year due to these filings.
We filed for Bankruptcy with another attorney almost a year ago and it was a rocky experience with us having to leave mid-stream and them filing wrong papers on our behalf. However since that time, we’ve been working with a wonderful lady Ashleigh, who is very thorough, follow-through and friendly. All of which make a bad experience to deal with much better and able to deal with. If you are looking for a firm to assist you in this type of issue, they will do a great job and if you get the pleasure to deal with Ashleigh, you will have a good experience. Sincerely a current client

We are a nonprofit credit counseling organization committed to educating consumers on financial issues and providing personal assistance to consumers who have become overextended with debt. Our certified credit counselors provide personal assistance through free budget counseling, housing counseling and debt management plans to lower credit card interest rates and monthly payments.
Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.
With a home equity loan, you borrow against your home. So if you fail to pay back the loan — known as defaulting — the lender has the right to take your home and resell it. With a personal loan from Marcus, you never have to put up your home or personal possessions as collateral for the loan. So, you can pay down your debt and know your stuff is safe. Pretty neat, right? Learn more about home equity vs personal loans.
Thank you, Jill, for sharing your Freedom story! We are pleased to be able to assist you to a brighter financial future. Please reach out to our Client Services department at (800) 655-6303 or [email protected] if you have any questions or comments regarding your account. Thank you for choosing Freedom Debt Relief to assist you on your journey to financial freedom!
Their application is simple: you fill out your information and await approval. You are promised a fixed rate and one payment to make instead of multiple ones for numerous accounts. They do have an education page so clients can learn how to stay out of debt once their loan is paid. Unlike other companies, OMF encourages clients to visit their physical branches since they are also a bank. New customers may find speaking to a human being easier than dealing with a website.

In 2019, the Texas Legislature forgave an estimated $2.5 billion in debt when it abolished[13] its "Driver Responsibility Surcharge"[14] in all but DWI cases. This surcharge was an extra, 3-year civil penalty added onto certain criminal traffic infractions like DWI or driving without a license or insurance. Surcharges were created in 2003 to pay for a roadway network that was never built, and instead half the money was diverted to hospitals, who became reliant on the money, with the rest going into the state treasury. However, the majority of drivers who had surcharges assessed could not pay them. Many people who couldn't afford either surcharges or insurance continued to drive and racked up huge sums in debt they could never expect to pay. A little-advertised Amnesty program and an indigence program that still required partial payment helped some, and were criticized by some who felt it was unfair that they paid and others didn't.[15] But local Sheriffs began to complain that the law was causing the jails to fill up with people driving on suspended license and the judiciary insisted the law was unfair and counterproductive to public safety.[16] Finally, in 2019, the Legislature found different sources to fund hospitals and eliminated the surcharge, along with around $2.5 billion in debt owed by around 1.4 million people. The same year, the Legislature eliminated red-light cameras statewide and effectively canceled those debts, and re-defined "undue hardship" in the Code of Criminal Procedure to allow judges to waive traffic-fine debt for more people.[17]
Hi Sarah! We have been having a huge influx of traffic to the blog, and we’ve seen a few server crashes in the last couple of days. We are up and running again, so I encourage you to head up and check out the 9 crazy things included in the psot above. We didn’t sell anything of large value like that. Just a few little things that we didn’t need anymore. We also used most of the techniques in the 97 Easy Ways to Save Money post. Also increasing our earning through doing side jobs, which I list in my 60 Real Jobs for Stay at Home Moms. It’s hard to sum up all in one article, but I am more than happy to share more or answer any questions you might have. Thanks for stopping by!
Debt settlement may negatively affect your credit score, but not in all cases. In certain situations, there are ways to negotiate around the seven-year penalty you typically face for settling a debt. In normal circumstances, settling debt will create a negative item in your credit report that sticks around for seven years. When the clock starts depends on the status of the debt at the time of the settlement.

This does not constitute an actual commitment to lend or an offer to extend credit. Upon submitting a loan application, you may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income, assets, and financial condition. Your interest rate and terms for which you are approved will be shown to you as part of the online application process. Most applicants will receive a variety of loan offerings to choose from, with varying loan amounts and interest rates. Borrower subject to a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Refer to full borrower agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

A debt relief program has expert negotiators that know how to deal with creditors. At Freedom Debt Relief, we have been doing this since 2002 and have settled over $10 billion in debt. We use our size and experience to our consumers’ advantage by allowing us to bulk deals together to secure the best settlement percentages possible. This makes it more efficient for creditors, which saves both sides money and time. Our goal is to negotiate for you lower total balance, lower interest rates, and waive creditor’s fees.
If you find yourself unable to pay your credit card debts due to matters such as a loss of income or unemployment, you have options. You may even qualify for debt settlement. In debt settlement, you work with your creditors to settle your debt for less, and your monthly payments are often much lower than they would be if you continued to just pay your minimums. Another option could be bankruptcy. However, bankruptcy can have serious financial repercussions that could last for many years to come. If you're interested in getting out of debt, you should consult with a financial advisor to determine the best option for you.

Pros: A credit counseling organization may work with your creditors to set up a debt-management plan on your behalf, which requires you to make a single monthly payment to the credit counseling organization each month. The organization then uses the money you provide to pay your creditors. Your credit counselor may also work with your creditors to negotiate lower interest rates or waive certain fees.
It couldn’t hurt to talk to a credit counselor, particularly because this is affecting your health. Here’s how to find a counselor through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Depending on your amount of debt and income, it may or may not be the right answer for you. From your question, it’s hard to know whether you should be talking with a bankruptcy attorney, credit counselor or simply someone who can help you with a realistic budget you can stick to. But we hope a counselor, with more information about your specific situation, can offer guidance.
2. Ask your creditors for lower interest rates. Often a simple phone call to the issuer is all it takes to get a reduced rate—provided that you have good credit (a score of 730 or higher) and you are a long-term customer who makes payments on time. You could get a percentage point or two shaved off, which can add up to hundreds of dollars saved annually. One tip to try: “If you’ve been offered a lower rate by a competitor, tell the customer-service rep,” says Bill Hardekopf, the CEO of LowCards.com, a credit card comparison site. “There’s a chance they’ll match the offer.”
Although it’s not possible to settle or discharge balances on federal student loans without declaring bankruptcy, it may be possible to settle private student loan debt. Some student loan servicers may be willing to let you out of a student loan for less than you owe. However, you need to go into the settlement negotiation with realistic expectations and the right negotiating tactics.
5. If you’re really strapped, make two minimum payments each month. Card issuers typically charge interest on a daily basis, “so the sooner you make a payment, the faster your average daily balance is reduced, which translates into fewer dollars in interest that you ultimately pay,” says Gerri Detweiler, the director of consumer education for Credit.com, a personal finance website. If you’re on a tight budget, go ahead and pay the minimum due each month, then try to make the same payment again two weeks later. Keep making a payment of the initial minimum-due amount twice a month until your debt is paid off. (To keep track, put a reminder on your calendar.) Case in point: Say you charged $2,000 on a card with a 17 percent interest rate. If you make only the minimum monthly payment (which is about 2 percent of the balance), it will take more than 21 years to pay off the balance. But if you make an additional payment of the original amount two weeks later, you will be debt-free in less than three (!) years.
As you make payments on your credit card or other lines of credit, the liquidity risk is lower because you can quickly withdraw the money again if necessary (assuming your credit isn't frozen). That would increase your debt, of course, but it lowers the risk of being unable to keep the electricity running. On the other hand, if your extra cash is used to pay off an auto loan, you can't just get another loan in a couple of hours.
Upstart's reputation is very solid - you'll quickly see links to articles on prominent sites like Fox, Bloomberg, and other news agencies, along with testimonials from satisfied clients. Their underwriting model uses machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques to underwrite borrowers based on many variables, including but not limited to credit score, income, education, and employment. Such details helped us gain more confidence in the success of this company's services.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.

Over time, your small balances should disappear one by one, freeing up more dollars to throw at your larger debts and loans. This “snowball effect” allows you to pay down smaller balances first — logging a few “wins” for the psychological effect — while letting you save the largest loans for last. Ultimately, the goal is snowballing all of your extra dollars toward your debts until they’re demolished — and you’re finally debt-free.
I have 2 credit cards, 1 has a balance of $6K and has 0% until Nov. 2017. The other has $11.3K and has a 0% until July 2017. Both have APR after 0% of 11.25%. I have a tax return on it’s way and it’s just over $6K. My question is, do I pay off the $6K first or pay down the $11K due to the 0% ending sooner? In both cases after the $6K is paid, I would pay about $350/month in total.
At Freedom Debt Relief, we take a people-first approach to debt settlement. Clients who sign up for our program receive a personalized debt relief plan with monthly program payments that fit their budget. They also get our support throughout the program through an online Client Dashboard where they can track their progress as well as Customer Service Representatives who are available 7 days a week.

If you are one of the many millions of Americans that are facing student loan debt, ACCC can help you find the right student loan solution.  Our counselors will provide you with an in depth evaluation of your finances and assess your particular student loan circumstances. If you are looking for student loan relief ACCC’s student loan counseling will help.  ACCC will review and explain the various student loan relief options available as well as help you determine qualifications based on your financial situation.  The student loan counseling will successfully help you sift through the clutter no matter what stage you are in with your student loans.
Credit Counseling Agencies are available for customers that have multiple debts, including debts that are not related to Wells Fargo. We can make referrals to a qualified not-for-profit debt counseling agency that can provide a more holistic approach to debt reduction. Learn more about credit counseling services or contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC): 1-800-388-2227.
Orange County, Florida annual city consumer debt rankings are in. We have analyzed the average consumer spending behavior across 42 cities and towns in Orange County, FL. The average citizen in Oakland is spending approximately $129 more dollars than they earned annually, compared to the average of $371 across Florida. All statistics according to the latest data(2016).
Bill “No Pay” Fay has lived a meager financial existence his entire life. He started writing/bragging about it seven years ago, helping birth Debt.org into existence as the site’s original “Frugal Man.” Prior to that, he spent more than 30 years covering college and professional sports, which are the fantasy worlds of finance. His work has been published by the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News, among others. His interest in sports has waned some, but his interest in never reaching for his wallet is as passionate as ever. Bill can be reached at [email protected]

I know they stay on your report for 7 yrs……….but out of all of them while the others of course are on the report as not paid, they are not listed in a separate section that says “in collecions”……the ones that were on the report under the collecions status concern me because I ws sued on two of them……the small claims Calvary was very nice….after they obtained the judgment, I offered thme 300.00 and hey volantrly dismissed the judgment……….do you know how many points affect a credit score with a judgment? Portfollio will never get dime from me…..I offered them 1500 when a cousin offered me a loan and they scoffed………the only thing I have in the bank is my own money however I took out a collateral loan against its is secured……assuming if Portfolio tried to get it, then the bank has first dibs……….
Life Loans is not a lender or a credit card consolidation negotiator. Their service is free, but their primary focus is to offer personal loans. If you're looking to apply for a single loan to replace your existing loans, they may be a good choice; however those looking for help with credit card debt will not find specific information on this site for their situation.

Anxiety and uncertainty feel like the norm these days, but as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, we've also seen people and businesses coming together to assist one another in ways we've never seen before. This includes credit card companies, many of which are waiving fees and working with those affected by COVID-19 to ensure that this pandemic doesn't completely destroy their finances.
Some argue against debt as an instrument and institution, on a personal, family, social, corporate and governmental level. Some Islamic banking forbids lending with interest even today. In hard times, the cost of servicing debt can grow beyond the debtor's ability to pay, due to either external events (income loss) or internal difficulties (poor management of resources).
Increased credit utilization: As part of your DMP, you'll be required to close the credit card accounts you're paying off under the plan. When you close a credit card, the amount of credit available to you shrinks, which increases your credit utilization rate (the amount of available credit you're using). Credit utilization accounts for 30% of your FICO® Score☉ , so closing accounts can negatively impact your scores.
Consolidating debt can be a good option for dealing with high levels of outstanding debt. Combining all your debt into a new loan or debt consolidation program will usually leave you with a single monthly payment at a lower interest rate, which will help streamline your debts and accelerate debt repayment. Many people are able to use debt consolidation loans or other programs to become debt-free much faster than if they merely continued to make minimum payments.
He had them in the greatest order--his tapes and his files, his receipts, and his letters with lawyers and correspondents; the documents relative to the wine project (which failed from a most unaccountable accident, after commencing with the most splendid prospects), the coal project (which only a want of capital prevented from becoming the most successful scheme ever put before the public), the patent saw-mills and sawdust consolidation project, &c., &c.
With a home equity loan, you borrow against your home. So if you fail to pay back the loan — known as defaulting — the lender has the right to take your home and resell it. With a personal loan from Marcus, you never have to put up your home or personal possessions as collateral for the loan. So, you can pay down your debt and know your stuff is safe. Pretty neat, right? Learn more about home equity vs personal loans.
Cons: You need to meet the lender’s eligibility requirements to qualify for a personal loan. If you’ve had financial difficulties in the past, you may not be eligible, or you may only qualify for an interest rate that’s comparable to the current rate on your credit cards. In addition, some lenders charge an origination fee, which could add hundreds of dollars to the cost of your loan, which could eat into your loan funds before you even receive them.
You pay a percentage of your total debt usually between 18-25% of the total debt. So if you owe $50,000 and the company charges 20%; you pay them $10,000. These are typically included in your monthly payment. However, most won’t tell you exactly how much of your monthly payment is going towards your debts and how much is actually being deducted as their “fee.”

For example, let's assume that you have $10,000 of credit card debt at a 19% interest rate and make a $250 monthly payment. With a strong credit profile, if you can consolidate your credit card debt with a personal loan at a 7% interest rate and three-year repayment term, you will save $4,634 and pay off your credit card debt earlier. While your interest rate may be different, your goal is to receive an interest rate lower than your current interest rate. So, in this example, an interest rate lower than 19% would make a personal loan a potentially smart move.


Debt consolidation loans are used solely to combine all your debts. These loans may be offered by major banks or from so-called non-profit debt consolidation companies. Be careful about using debt consolidation companies to consolidate debt. These loans often include extra fees, making the cost of the loan much higher. Avoid borrowing money from one of these companies. Instead, seek out a low interest rate loan from your bank or credit union for better terms and to ensure you're not being scammed.
In debt restructuring, an existing debt is replaced with a new debt. This may result in reduction of the principal (debt relief), or may simply change the terms of repayment, for instance by extending the term (replacing a debt repaid over 5 years with one repaid over 10 years), which allows the same principal to be amortized over a longer period, thus allowing smaller payments.
Golden Financial Services was picked as the #1 rated debt relief company for 2020. This company has a 15-year-long proven track record of helping consumers cure their credit and debt problems. You'll find thousands' of positive reviews all across the internet about how Golden Financial Services helped consumers get out of debt and only one or two complaints. What's different about Golden Financial Services is that the company offers a variety of highly effective debt relief programs and can help with almost any type of unsecured debt, unlike most of the other companies on this list that only offer one debt relief option. And, Golden Financial's the only debt relief company that offers plans including credit restoration (where clients are given a credit card to help establish new payment history) and a money-back guarantee. To learn more about Golden Financial's debt relief programs visit the company online at GoldenFS.org or try its credit card payoff app.
  I would look for a company that has been around for at least 5 years and charges fees only upon settlement of each debt, as specified by the FTC ruling back in 2010. A good place to begin is http://www.americanfaircreditcounsel.org.  The members of this organization (which as formerly known as TASC) all charge fees only upon successful settlement of each debt.
Bankruptcy is generally considered your last option because of its long-term negative impact on your credit. Bankruptcy information (both the date of your filing and the later date of discharge) stays on your credit report for 10 years, and can make it difficult to get credit, buy a home, get life insurance, or get a job. Still, bankruptcy can offer a fresh start for someone who’s gotten into financial trouble.
×