If a lender will allow you to prequalify and get a rate quote with only a soft credit inquiry, it may be a good idea to take advantage of the opportunity. Prequalifying with multiple lenders can better equip you to make an apples-to-apples comparison about the overall cost of the loan. Tools like Bankrate’s debt consolidation calculator can also be helpful.
You can also start putting unnecessary expenses that you cut from your budget back in. This will help you avoid burning out on budgeting, which can lead to more overspending. Experts also recommend that once you pay off your credit cards, some of the funds you used on those bills should divert to savings. So, if you save $500 per month on credit card bills, set up a $250 recurring monthly transfer to savings. That way, you can generate a robust emergency fund, which prevents you from relying too heavily on credit cards.
Did you answer yes to any of the three questions above? If so, it might be worth doing some initial research to see if you can prequalify for any attractive loan offers. “If you currently have multiple debt obligations that you are juggling, a consolidation loan can be a way to simplify your life and possibly save on interest costs,” says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst. “A good candidate is a borrower who has steady income, decent credit, a discipline to refrain from running up more debt and a desire to pay off what is currently owed.”
Account holders who have been impacted by COVID-19 should contact Citi’s customer service for assistance, but keep in mind that wait times may be longer than usual. Effective March 9 for an initial 30 days, Citi is issuing fee waivers on monthly service fees and has waived penalties for early CD withdrawal for retail bank customers. The bank says it will also consider credit line increases and collection forbearance programs for “eligible credit card customers,” although it doesn’t explicitly state eligibility requirements. 

The best way is to be sure you are paying all your bills on time. And, if you have credit cards, try to keep your balance to less than 30% of your credit limit (less than 10% is even better). We suggest checking your credit score monthly (you can get two scores every 30 days from Credit.com), along with personalized advice for improving your credit. Here’s how to monitor your credit score for free.

If you have enough money to blow on pedicures and housekeepers, then of course you can get out of debt in three years. Unfortunately, not everyone has a disposable income for luxuries such as those mentioned…so, such sacrifices cannot be made. If I had enough money for a housekeeper, then I would have been tossing that money at the debt long before reading this article…because I think paying someone to clean your house is excessive spending.
If you are faced with a financial situation where you feel a debt relief program is your only option, try doing a DIY version first. Call each of your lenders, explain your situation and ask for your options. Some companies will lower your interest rates, give you a grace period or put you on a program to pay off your debt. That way you'll save your credit, money and sanity. If this doesn't provide the help you need, see my article on additional ways to manage debt: Swimming In The Deep End Of Debt? Here Are Your Best Options.
A short sale can also be a good option for a fast exit. You sell the home for less than the remaining balance owed on the mortgage. The mortgage lender takes a loss on the sale. If the lender approves a short sale before you do it, it’s called an approved short sale. But even if they approve the short sale, they still reserve the right to get a deficiency judgment.
The average credit card interest rate is 19.02 percent for new offers and 15.10 percent for existing accounts, according to WalletHub research. If you’re carrying high-interest credit card debt, moving it to a balance transfer credit card that offers a low or zero percent introductory rate can help you save money in interest payments while you pay off the debt. (One caveat, though: most balance transfer credit cards charge an upfront balance transfer fee of typically 3 percent to 5 percent of the transfer amount.)

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.
ascribe, attribute, assign, impute, credit mean to lay something to the account of a person or thing. ascribe suggests an inferring or conjecturing of cause, quality, authorship. forged paintings formerly ascribed to masters attribute suggests less tentativeness than ascribe, less definiteness than assign. attributed to Rembrandt but possibly done by an associate assign implies ascribing with certainty or after deliberation. assigned the bones to the Cretaceous period impute suggests ascribing something that brings discredit by way of accusation or blame. tried to impute sinister motives to my actions credit implies ascribing a thing or especially an action to a person or other thing as its agent, source, or explanation. credited his teammates for his success
Personal loans charge simple interest (as opposed to credit cards, which often have variable rates and sometimes have different rates for a credit card balance transfer and purchases on the same card) and they typically have a loan repayment term of three to five years. By consolidating your credit card debt into a personal loan, you’ll have a definite plan for paying off your old card debt.
Be careful while getting debt solutions from a company as scams are rampant in the country. Check the accreditations and affiliations of a company before signing a written agreement. In case of bankruptcy, make sure youre working with an attorney who is well acquainted with all the laws. If youre opting for a self repayment plan, then go through the FDCPA laws minutely.

Government help with credit card debt. There's good news and bad news about this approach. The bad news is that "government debt relief programs" don't technically exist. But the good news is that the federal government does take steps to protect you from scams, offers online advice at Dealing with Debt and provides services that help you pay your bills.
Unsecured debt such as credit cards and medical bills are, by far, the most common debts associated with debt management programs. Utilities, rent and cell phone services are other types of unsecured debt that could be part of a DMP. Some installment contracts, such as country club or gym memberships also could be eligible. There is no hard-and-fast rule for how far in debt you must be to get in a program, but most creditors and legitimate credit counseling agencies say your financial situation needs to be severe. In other words, you must owe more money than your income and savings can reasonably handle. Secured debts, such as a mortgage or auto loan, are not eligible for the program.

Align your spending with your values – The key to controlling spending is to not desire “stuff” in the first place. Will the latest smartphone, sports car, or flat-screen television really make a difference in your life? Probably not, but the debt from overspending will. When you learn to align your spending with your values you will naturally decrease your consumption by choosing experiences over stuff.
Sometimes getting started can be the hardest part. Jen Lee, a debt and credit strategy attorney and the owner of Jen Lee Law in Northern California, says she has clients make a list of their creditors, account balances, monthly payments and interest rates. "One of the biggest issues I see is that clients are not even sure what they owe and to whom," Lee says.
Many people find it hard to negotiate with their creditors. A debt relief program has expert, experienced negotiators that know how to deal with creditors. They take the hassle and heartache out of a fraught situation. Additionally, because debt relief companies deal with a lot of debt in different accounts, they have more leverage and can bulk their deals to get better settlements.
Before you consider applying for a loan, one option is to use a debt management plan to consolidate your monthly debt payments. With a plan like this, you must first find a credit counselor and work with them to formulate and stick to a repayment plan. Once you and your counselor agree on a plan, they will often try to negotiate with your creditors to see if they can get you a lower monthly payment and sometimes a lower interest rate.
I have too much credit card debt with high interest. I applied for a loan to consolidate all into one payment, I didn’t get it because of something on my credit report. My payments are always on time by using auto payments. Sears raised the interest to 16.24%, Chase raised theirs to 29.99% and there is no talking them down either. I plan not to use either of the cards again now or after they are paid off.
You can also start putting unnecessary expenses that you cut from your budget back in. This will help you avoid burning out on budgeting, which can lead to more overspending. Experts also recommend that once you pay off your credit cards, some of the funds you used on those bills should divert to savings. So, if you save $500 per month on credit card bills, set up a $250 recurring monthly transfer to savings. That way, you can generate a robust emergency fund, which prevents you from relying too heavily on credit cards.
One of America's leading nonprofit debt consolidation companies, American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) provides credit consulting services and debt management solutions to consumers who are struggling with credit card bills and other types of unsecured debt. Unlike some debt relief companies, we can help you consolidate your credit without having to take a credit consolidation loan. If you're wondering how to consolidate debt in the more prudent, effective way, contact us for a free consultation with one of ACCC's consolidation counselors. Be sure to check out our debt consolidation reviews to hear from our customers what makes ACCC such a trusted and effective debt consolidation company.

A personal loan is a good idea when the interest rate is lower than the average interest rate of your debts and the monthly payment is affordable. For example, if you owe $10,000 in credit card debt at 23.99% interest rate on a credit card, and you qualify for a personal loan at 10%, you will save $1,399 per year or more than $100 per month in interest by taking out a personal loan. If the payment with a personal loan is higher than you can afford, ask for a longer repayment period to bring it down.
A short sale can also be a good option for a fast exit. You sell the home for less than the remaining balance owed on the mortgage. The mortgage lender takes a loss on the sale. If the lender approves a short sale before you do it, it’s called an approved short sale. But even if they approve the short sale, they still reserve the right to get a deficiency judgment.
And if your credit isn’t good enough right now to get a new balance transfer credit card, it’s okay. You can still do this step by paying a few extra dollars each month toward your smallest current balance. Every little bit will help get rid of that debt, and you can always apply for a balance transfer credit card the line when your credit has improved from paying down your existing cards.
After the first month, we have almost closed the Macy’s account. While we have still been paying interest on other debts, we are doing so at a lower percentage than the Macy’s account, saving us money in the long-term. As you can see, next month we will pay off the Macy’s account in full. Once we account for interest, we will spend $66.23 on Macy’s and will have a $223.77 surplus to put toward the next account—our private student loan. Our private student loan will go from a balance of $809.21 to a $767.98 after interest and our minimum payment. But, since we closed the Macy’s account, we still have a surplus of $223.77, and our student loan will drop to $544.21!
Whether you are able to negotiate lower interest rates, an extended payment term, lowered fees, or some combination thereof, keeping to your new payment plan is the key to successfully improve your credit situation. Making your agreed-upon payments, on time, in full every month will show that you can reliably, and responsibly, make payments toward your debt. It will also help illustrate your determination to meet your credit obligation, helping to decrease your overall appearance of risk to future lenders.
In extreme cases, you may consider pulling money from your retirement account to pay off your debt. Beware, if you’re not at least 59½, you’ll face early withdrawal penalties and additional tax liability. The specific penalty you'll face depends on the retirement account you draw from and how you spend the money, but the standard early withdrawal penalty is a 10% tax. Plus, when retirement comes around, your savings will be short—not only from the money you withdrew but also from the interest, dividends, and capital gains you could have earned with that money.
Speak with the customer service representative about your credit card balance. Verify your account information and explain that you wish to enter into an agreement to pay a reduced balance because of your financial difficulties. Answer any questions about your financial situation and offer to send copies of your financial documents, if necessary. Specify the lump sum or the monthly payment you have determined you can pay for your debt reduction settlement.
It’s true that many people get into debt because they lose their jobs. But some people get into debt despite having well paying jobs. It’s good to share information so that people have a plan to save while they have a job so they can weather a job loss. And for those who accumulate debt beyond their means while employed, it’s good to give them a plan of action to “right the ship.” Hope you find something that helps you weather your storms.
In both cases, you need good credit in order to qualify for the lowest interest rate possible. Reducing the interest rate makes it easier to pay off your debt faster. So, even if you could qualify for a personal loan with bad credit, the rate you receive probably won’t help. That’s why these solutions really only work if you have a good credit score.
An important point to note is that debt consolidation loans don’t erase the original debt. Instead, they simply transfer a consumer's loans to a different lender or type of loan. For actual debt relief or for those who don't qualify for loans, it may be best to look into a debt settlement rather than, or in conjunction with, a debt consolidation loan. Debt settlement aims to reduce a consumer's obligations rather than the number of creditors. Consumers work with debt-relief organizations or credit counseling services. These organizations do not make actual loans but try to renegotiate the borrower’s current debts with creditors.
Customized programs They should be willing to walk through your situation with you, and figure out whether their program is right for you. Beware of companies that promise a one-size-fits-all solution: everyone’s financial situation is different, and each solution needs to be customized to fit. Our debt consultants walk you through the program and come up with a customized solution for your debt. We’ll talk to you about your debt options, even if you decide that Freedom Debt Relief isn’t right for you.
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Crisp and clean - all the makings of a fresh start. What else does one look for when hoping to consolidate their credit card debt and find financial solutions? Avant's page offers all of these and more. Doing business since 2012, Avant is accredited, boasting an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and has been featured in articles in reputable publications such as Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal. Though young, this company knows how to provide quality service.
There is no magic ratio that is “good” but generally if your balances on any of your cards start creeping above 20 – 25% of your available credit, you may see an impact on your scores. Have you checked your credit scores to see how this factor is impacting your credit? Here’s how to check and monitor your credit score for free. As for the new account, it may have an impact on your score but usually for most people that levels out once the bills are paid on time for a few months. If it will save you a good chunk of money it may be worth it!
Something doesn’t sound right. If they lowered or settled your balances – then that makes sense – and still not sure if something should be charged off if the creditor agreed to accept a lower amount. And, if the creditors agreed to lower interest rates – not sure why that would be considered a charge off. Debt consolidation 20 years ago is not done the same way as it is now, there is many new regulations in place to protect you.

Common types of debt owed by individuals and households include mortgage loans, car loans, credit card debt, and income taxes. For individuals, debt is a means of using anticipated income and future purchasing power in the present before it has actually been earned. Commonly, people in industrialized nations use consumer debt to purchase houses, cars and other things too expensive to buy with cash on hand.
Recent Examples on the Web Years later, with many systems running, war efforts caused the rails to go into government hands as a consolidation of the Express. — Brenda Yenke, cleveland, "Appreciating the services of past and present: Yenke Peddler antiques," 25 June 2020 Dixon says that with the wheels coming off at rival WeWork—the industry upstart that had once threatened to bury veterans like IWG, but may now count itself lucky to merely survive—the industry is ripe for consolidation. — Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "Why the Regus and Spaces CEO is doubling down on office space despite COVID-19," 24 June 2020 Many states pushed their elections back to manage an onslaught of poll worker cancellations and consolidation of polling places. — Time, "1 City, 1 Voting Place: Kentucky Braces for Long Lines in Tuesday's Primary Election," 22 June 2020 In many other industries, such a slump in sales might lead to consolidation. — The Economist, "Week in charts Britain’s bungling of the pandemic," 19 June 2020 The drastic shifts in business models set off a wave of consolidation in the industry, with Morgan Stanley agreeing to buy E*Trade and Charles Schwab taking over TD Ameritrade. — Matt Egan, CNN, "Apparent suicide by 20-year-old Robinhood trader who saw a negative $730,000 balance prompts app to make changes," 19 June 2020 But numerous studies have found that consolidation results in higher hospital prices —though not when health systems in two different states combine. — Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Advocate Aurora Health and Beaumont Health in Michigan discuss possible merger," 17 June 2020 One potential side effect of all that: consolidation. — Gregory Barber, Wired, "Universities Step Up the Fight for Open-Access Research," 16 June 2020 With the food delivery industry increasingly saturated with unprofitable players, investors are eyeing opportunities for more consolidation. — Michelle Cheng, Quartz, "Uber’s lost deal for Grubhub is still a huge step for the food delivery sector," 15 June 2020

A: This depends on your goals. If you have an excellent credit score and don’t want to hurt it, then settlement is extremely bad. But if your score has already taken hits from late payments and collections and bad credit is not a concern, then settlement can be good. Settling your debt can give you a fast exit where you control the discharge. It helps you avoid bankruptcy, where the court controls the discharge agreement (Chapter 13) or liquidate your assets (Chapter 7) to settle your debts.

Lower interest rates and monthly payments. A debt consolidation loan or debt management program should reduce the amount of interest you pay on your debt, plus get you a monthly payment that is more in line with your income. The stability of knowing that you have an affordable monthly payment that eventually will eliminate your debt can remove a lot of the anxiety associated with the problem.
While participating in the National Debt Relief program, you may face an initial impact on your credit score. However, many of our clients find that by the time they graduate, their score has returned to the same rate if not higher than when they started. The important thing to focus on is that by participating in our program, you'll be actively getting rid of your debt. Furthermore, by the time you graduate, you should be able to get your credit rating to a higher level than it was before the debt settlement process, providing you don't let your debt levels creep back up, and you practice good personal finance habits.

National Debt Relief is a legitimate, reputable company dedicated to helping clients address overwhelming debt. We're A+ rated by the BBB, and our team of debt arbitrators is certified through the IAPDA (International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators). Furthermore, we have over 50,000 five-star reviews of the National Debt Relief program. For us to work effectively with creditors on behalf of clients, trust and professionalism are paramount. Therefore, if you're looking for a trusted partner to help you address your outstanding debts, National Debt Relief could be the right choice for you.
Here’s another: Consumers’ non-housing debts accounted for nearly 30% of their overall debt load. Listen, it can happen to the best of us. One of the knocks on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is he ran up tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt buying Washington Nationals baseball tickets for himself and friends over the past decade.
One of the biggest pitfalls of debt consolidation is the risk of running up new debt before the consolidated debt is paid off. When you finish paying off credit cards with a consolidation loan, don’t be tempted to use the credit cards with their newly free credit limits. If you think you might, close the accounts. You may have heard that doing so could hurt your credit score, and it might. But you can recover from credit score damage much more easily and quickly than you can recover from crushing debt.

“We’re completely DEBT-FREE, y’all! This is something my husband and I have been working towards for a few years, and now we can say we have officially paid off all of our debt! We learned how to budget and also changed our perspective on money and our ability to work as a team to reach our financial goals. It has taken a lot of sacrifice and discipline. We’ve said no to many wants so we could save as much as possible, while still trying to enjoy the little things. We’ve done things a little different than the average person . . .” — Brandy S.


Consumer credit counseling is a program that lets you stay current on your credit card payments and get the interest rates reduced. Non-profit consumer credit counseling companies will offer you a free consultation with a certified credit counselor. We recommend you get that consultation to learn all of your options! Whether you live in New York or Alaska, we have statewide debt relief programs available in almost every state.
If you choose to transfer balances, make sure you know when the low rate will expire and what the eventual, regular interest rate will be after the promotional timeframe expires. If you want to use a credit card balance transfer as a debt consolidation loan, you'll need a credit card with a large enough credit limit to hold all your credit card debt.
"SunTrust Advisors" may be officers and/or associated persons of the following affiliates of Truist Financial Corporation: SunTrust Bank now Truist Bank, our commercial bank, which provides banking, trust and asset management services; SunTrust Investment Services, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, which is a member of FINRALink opens a new window and SIPCLink opens a new window, and a licensed insurance agency, and which provides securities, annuities and life insurance products; SunTrust Advisory Services, Inc., a SEC registered investment adviser which provides Investment Advisory services.

During the course of our study on average credit card debt, we observed some significant differences among different demographics and regions. The most prominent differences exist among peoples of different race, age, gender, and state of residence. In the following sections we explore these differences to see how average credit card debt varies among the population.
The debt settlement process involves hard-core, long term debt collection attempts by your creditors, and serious credit score damage that will last for many years. Debt consolidation companies like National Debt Relief and Freedom Debt Relief offer to help you through the process for a fee (eating into your savings). They will instruct you to stop paying your bills, which leaves you open to lawsuits by your creditors.
Accredited Debt Relief is a referral service that is partnered with a large network of debt relief companies. At the time of our review, they maintained an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and had an outstanding track record for customer satisfaction. We would have liked to see more information about the typical fees charged by their partners, as well as a list of states where Accredited Debt Relief is allowed to operate.
Debt consolidation should only be considered if the monthly debt payments get too burdensome. Also, if you are only able to pay for the minimum on your credit card bills, you will take a really long time to finish because of the financial charges and interest rates that will keep on piling up. This is the right time to go for a debt consolidation program. You need to get rid of the high interest rate debts so you can work on paying off the principal amount.
Possible late payments: The Federal Trade Commission recommends you keep paying your creditors until you receive written confirmation from them noting they have accepted your DMP. Then check with your credit counselor to make sure payments will be made by each account's due date every month, and follow up with creditors to confirm the agency is paying bills on time.
As noted above, debt consolidation is the process of using different forms of financing to pay off other debts and liabilities. So when a consumer is saddled with different kinds of debt, they can apply for a loan to consolidate those debts into a single liability and pay them off. Payments are then made to the new debt until it is paid off in full.
You may have had a very good reason for running up high-interest debt: Maybe you had to make some unexpected big-ticket purchases or lost a job or endured an illness. But regardless of the cause, ridding yourself of that balance should be your top financial priority. “You need an action plan to help you work at reducing and eventually eliminating what you owe,” says Gail Cunningham, a spokesperson for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a nonprofit organization. Here are several ways to create one for yourself.

Despite the somewhat difficult navigation of the site, CuraDebt is an accredited company maintaining good standings with the Online Business Bureau and The American Fair Credit Council. The site provides enough reviews and testimonials to instill confidence with their clients, with over 700 reviews verified by consumer agencies. They also utilize secret shoppers, which means clients can count on efficient customer service.
Three years ago, my husband and I found ourselves drowning in debt – $80,000.00 to be exact (and that’s not even counting the mortgage). Around that time, coincidentally, our church began offering a financial program called Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. We spent the last $100 from that pay period to sign up. And the rest, they say, is history (or at least, most of our debt is now history).
Something doesn’t sound right. If they lowered or settled your balances – then that makes sense – and still not sure if something should be charged off if the creditor agreed to accept a lower amount. And, if the creditors agreed to lower interest rates – not sure why that would be considered a charge off. Debt consolidation 20 years ago is not done the same way as it is now, there is many new regulations in place to protect you.
If you own your home, and if there is substantial equity in it, and if you could refinance and take out some cash to liquidate your high-interest credit card debt, and if that would free up extra money in your budget, and if you were absolutely certain you wouldn’t start charging beyond your means again, maybe a visit with your friendly mortgage lender, or a competitor, would make sense.
Balance transfer credit card: Another way to self-manage debt is to get a low or 0% annual percentage rate (APR) balance transfer credit card. To qualify, your credit scores usually need to be 670 or higher, but the savings can be tremendous. If the APR on a credit card with a balance of $8,000 is 26%, and you delete it in 15 months at zero interest, the accumulated interest you'd save would be $1,456. Use a balance transfer credit card, pay it off within the same time frame, and the only extra charge you'd pay would be a transfer fee (typically 3% of the transferred amount) of $240.
Is debt validation right for me? Credit cards that have gone to a third-party debt collection company can easily get disputed and may not need to get paid. Although your debt is not getting paid back through this route, debt validation is one of the most popular debt consolidation options for 2018. Why pay a debt, before forcing the debt collector to prove that they are legally attempting to collect on the debt? Especially, when statistically more than 90% of credit card lawsuits are either inaccurate, missing documentation or flawed in one way or another.  By disputing an alleged debt, there’s a chance it may not need to get paid and can come off a person’s credit report entirely.
I have a dilemma that I would like to get your advice on. I have three loans that comprise of a secured office mortgage loan (1) and two unsecured consumer loans (2 & 3). Loan 1 is approx. $80,000, loan 2 is approx. $35,000 and loan 3 approx. $24,000. Loans 2 and 3 have a higher interest rate than loan 1. The loans are being paid on a monthly basis normally. The question is the following: assuming that I receive a lump sum of money of approx. the total amount of the loans (=$139,000) would it be wise to apply all the money towards the loans and discharge them or play it safer and divide among the loans, or pay higher loan and then go to second loan etc.?
Home equity loans, Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) and cash-out refinancing use home equity to provide debt relief. You basically borrow against the equity in your home to pay off debt. This can seem like a good solution, especially if you have a lower credit score. It’s easier to get a low rate when a loan is secured using your home as collateral.

The National Debt Relief website is clean and customer-friendly. To start, you simply fill out their online form or call their dedicated debt help line at 1-888-919-1355. You'll discuss your financial situation with one of their certified debt counselors, who will walk you through a free debt analysis. Their staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and together you will create a plan to pay off your debts for less than you owe. Best of all, you can get started on your plan with no upfront fees.
It's not easy to get excited about debt repayment. Throwing large payments at your debt is even harder if you don’t see quick progress, and you could be prone to throw in the towel. “The math seems to lean more toward paying the highest interest debts first," says financial expert Dave Ramsey. "But what I have learned is that personal finance is 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior. You need some quick wins in order to stay pumped enough to get out of debt completely.”
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.

Standard payments are the best option. Standard means regular payments—at the same monthly amount—until the loan plus interest is paid off. With regular payments, satisfying the debt happens in the least amount of time. Also, as an added benefit, this method accrues the least amount of interest. For most federal student loans, this means a 10-year period of repayment.
You can settle the debts yourself or hire a debt settlement company. These companies negotiate with each creditor to reduce the amount owed. The settlement company will likely tell you not to pay your creditors but put that money in a trust account. When the funds reach the total needed to settle the debts, the creditors are paid. Until that happens, interest and late fees build up. While the debt settlement company may have attorneys on staff, they work for the company, not for you.
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