When you say “released” I assume that is when the dentist gave up attempting to collect and then sold the debt to a third-party. In other words, it sounds like they didn’t “hire” a collection agency but instead “sold” your debt to them. I could be wrong, but either way it sounds like there is some sort of contractual arrangement between them and the collector that prevents them from dealing with you until this is paid. I’m not sure why they haven’t tried to contact you, and that does seem very odd. If you’re in a position to repay the debt, I would strongly encourage you to get this all in writing from your dentist first and document your correspondence with the collectors as well.
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.
Your APR will be between 6.99% and 24.99% based on creditworthiness at time of application for loan terms of 36-84 months. For example, if you get approved for a $15,000 loan at 6.99% APR for a term of 72 months, you'll pay just $256 per month. Our lowest rates are available to consumers with the best credit. Many factors are used to determine your rate, such as your credit history, application information and the term you select.

If you have federal loans (government loans), the Department of Education has different programs that could help. Applying for these programs is free. You can find out more about your options at the U.S. Department of Education’s StudentAid.gov or by contacting your federal student loan servicer. You also can find out more about how to get out of default.


How fast can I get out of debt? How much can I save in interest payments? That is what our Debt Reduction Calculator can help you figure out. Getting out of debt is not easy, but with a good plan and firm determination, it is entirely possible. The debt snowball calculator is a simple spreadsheet available for Microsoft Excel® and Google Sheets that helps you come up with a plan. It uses the debt roll-up approach, also known as the debt snowball, to create a payment schedule that shows how you can most effectively pay off your debts.

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.
Debt resolution requires the services of an attorney. Debt settlement does not. Debt settlement companies prefer that the debtor has missed or will miss payments. Debt resolution does not require missed payments. The terms have become somewhat interchangeable. Debt resolution or settlement, is a serious step that will affect both you and your partner. While one of you may have a stellar score, the other person seeking debt settlement can be affected for the next seven years. If you're considering buying a home ointly, the credit scores of you and your mate or significant other will be considered.
In situations where a debt has both a higher interest rate and higher balance than another debt, the debt-snowball method will prioritize the smaller debt even though paying the larger debt would be more cost-effective. Several writers and researchers have considered this contradiction between the method and a strictly mathematical approach. Writing in Forbes, Rob Berger noted that "humans aren’t really rational creatures" and stresses that research tends to support the debt snowball method in real-world scenarios.[5] The primary benefit of the smallest-balance plan is the psychological benefit of seeing results sooner, in that the debtor sees reductions in both the number of creditors owed (and, thus, the number of bills received) and the amounts owed to each creditor. In a 2012 study by Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, researchers found that "consumers who tackle small balances first are likelier to eliminate their overall debt" than trying to pay off high interest rate balances first.[6] A 2016 study in Harvard Business Review came to a similar conclusion:
Consumer debt is debt that is owed as a result of purchasing goods that are consumable or do not appreciate. As of the third quarter of 2019, U.S. consumer debt reached a new high of just over $14 trillion, about $1.3 trillion more than the previous record, set during the 2008 financial crisis. The rise has been attributed to soaring student and auto loans, along with total credit card debt. Options for mitigating consumer debt include speaking with a creditor about debt-relief measures, such as restructuring loans, or loan forgiveness or declaring personal bankruptcy, which are both forms of debt settlement.

Disclose all program fees and costs before you sign up for a debt resolution program Have easy-to-understand written policies about its debt resolution program Give you an estimate of how many months or years it will wait before making an offer to each creditor Estimate its intended results, but never guarantee a specific settlement amount Tell you how much money you must save up before it will begin making offers to your creditors Send all resolution offers to you for your approval


The consequence of choosing to file for bankruptcy is extensive credit damage — but, it’s also a fresh start. Like many things in life, it’s a give-and-take situation. You can free yourself from the debt burden you were carrying, but it may limit your credit options in the future. A bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for seven years and may need to be disclosed on some government forms for up to 10 years. Bankruptcies can also make it difficult to qualify for many types of new credit, especially mortgages. And, if you do receive new credit, you will likely pay the highest interest rates and fees.

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.

Lenders report credit card debt level balances to credit bureaus each month along with a borrower’s relevant credit activity. Thus, credit cards can be an excellent way for borrowers to build out a favorable credit profile over time. However, negative activity such as delinquent payments, high balances, and a high number of hard inquiries in a short period of time can also lead to problems for credit card borrowers.

Debt snowball: Coined by personal finance expert Dave Ramsey, the debt snowball method focuses on paying off the smallest debt first, while maintaining minimum monthly payments on all other debts. As each debt is paid off, the money that was used for the previous debt is “snowballed” and used to pay the next smallest debt. This process is repeated until all debts are gone. Even though this strategy might not save you as much money on interest fees, some people find it motivating to pay off one account at a time.
When we entered some test information, they lumped in our mortgage payments and we were a little surprised to see that we wouldn't be debt free for another 18 years. However, with credit card debt being our biggest concern, we recalculated by removing our mortgage information to give us more of a feel of when we could anticipate being free of credit card payments.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information, however all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on an offer you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your offer.
*Our estimates are based on prior results, which will vary depending on your specific enrolled creditors and your individual program terms. Not all clients are able to complete their program for various reasons, including their ability to save sufficient funds. We do not guarantee that your debts will be resolved for a specific amount or percentage or within a specific period of time. We do not assume your debts, make monthly payments to creditors or provide tax, bankruptcy, accounting or legal advice or credit repair services. Our service is not available in all states, including New Jersey, and our fees may vary from state to state. Please contact a tax professional to discuss potential tax consequences of less than full balance debt resolution. Read and understand all program materials prior to enrollment. The use of debt settlement services will likely adversely affect your creditworthiness, may result in you being subject to collections or being sued by creditors or collectors and may increase the outstanding balances of your enrolled accounts due to the accrual of fees and interest. However, negotiated settlements we obtain on your behalf resolve the entire account, including all accrued fees and interest. C.P.D. Reg. No. T.S.12-03825.
Choose this option to enter a fixed amount that will be due in equal installments each month until the loan and interest are paid in full. For instance, this may be a set amount of disposable income determined by subtracting expenses from income that can be used to pay back a loan. The calculated results will display the loan term required to pay off the loan at this monthly installment.
Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third-party companies ("our partners") from which Experian Consumer Services receives compensation; however, the compensation does not impact how or where the products appear on this site. The offers on the site do not represent all available financial services, companies or products.
With this kind of guidance, it is easy to see why LendingTree has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Overall, this site is informative and user-friendly. New clients can feel confident in LendingTree's services and enjoy solving their financial problems through options and possibilities. For these reasons, this company receives high marks.
Professional in look, the site however does not hope to impress in graphics or photos of people enjoying newfound financial freedom. Instead, the site uses facts and figures to communicate a serious, all-business tone. The only downside to this setup is that if a customer is not familiar with loans or borrowing lingo, they might be lost until they scroll to the bottom of the Home page to click on "Contact Us". 

Brittney Mayer is a credit strategist and contributing editor for BadCredit.org, where she uses her extensive research background to write comprehensive consumer guides aimed at helping readers make educated financial decisions on the path to building better credit. Leveraging her vast knowledge of the financial industry, Brittney’s work can be found on a variety of websites, including the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, US News & World Report, NBC News,TheSimpleDollar.com, CreditRepair.com, Lexington Law, CardRates.com, and CreditCards.com, among others.

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.
A good list, very sensible, but asking your hairstylist for a discount is rude. Regardless of the relationship you have with that person, you are telling them that the training and experience they have is not worth the cost they have already determined. You are asking someone whose financial situation you don’t know to take a pay cut to benefit you and your debt repayment. That’s not classy or thrifty, but selfish. You are taking advantage of their goodwill and generosity, and you should be ashamed. You wouldn’t ask a restaurant or mechanic or plumber for a discount just because you don’t want to pay their prices, they’d laugh you out of the room, as your hairdresser should have. And I’m guessing you probably won’t make up the cut they took in tips going forward, either.

Debt settlement is a service offered by third-party companies that can try to reduce your debt by negotiating settlements with your creditors or debt collectors. Some debt settlement companies may be successful at reducing your debt, but their services and programs also come with risks that could leave you deeper in debt. Debt settlement could even end up damaging your credit.


For example, let's say you owe $10,000 in credit card debt with an average APR around 22%, and you're currently paying $400 every month to meet the minimum payments. It would take you a whopping 184 months to pay off this debt, and you'd end up paying $8,275.44 just in interest. Now suppose you got approved for a $10,000 consolidation loan with an interest rate of 11%. With a fixed monthly payment of about $217, you'd be able to pay off this loan in only 60 months and save over $5,200 in interest.
While there are a variety of methods countries have employed at various times and with various degrees of success, there is no magic formula for reducing debt that works equally well for every nation in every instance. Just as spending cuts and tax hikes have demonstrated success, default has worked for more than few nations (at least if the yardstick of success is debt reduction rather than good relations with the global banking community).
In theory, a credit counselor may recommend debt settlement if it’s the best option for your unique financial situation. A credit counselor should never try to push you into a debt management program, even though that’s the solution that a credit counseling agency provides. Just make sure that the credit counselor that you’re talking to works for a nonprofit agency. Otherwise, they may promote their own debt management program instead of giving on an unbiased opinion the best solution for you to use to get out of debt.

Golden Financial Services has been assisting consumers with paying off credit card debt since 2004 and maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. The company has multiple credit card debt solutions available, that have been tested and proven to work! For immediate debt consolidation help, give one of our IAPDA certified counselors a call at (866) 376-9846.
Remember, Clearpoint wants you to know how to pay off debt on your own if at all possible. And, of course, we want you to pay off debt fast so you can start planning for other financial goals. But, if you have a high debt-to-income ratio, you might need some extra help. Figure out your debt-to-income ratio, and if it’s over 15% get started with a free budget review and credit counseling session. We hope you now know more about how to pay off debt—thanks for reading!
Some people looking to settle turn to a debt settlement company, which negotiates on your behalf with your credit card companies and acts as an intermediary. Instead of dealing directly with credit card issuers, you pay the debt settlement company an agreed-upon amount every month, and the company disburses payment to your creditor after reaching a settlement agreement.
Holly Johnson is a frugality expert and award-winning writer who is obsessed with personal finance and getting the most out of life. A lifelong resident of Indiana, she enjoys gardening, reading, and traveling the world with her husband and two children. In addition to serving as Contributing Editor for The Simple Dollar, Holly writes for well-known publications such as U.S. News & World Report Travel, PolicyGenius, Travel Pulse, and Frugal Travel Guy. Holly also owns Club Thrifty.

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.

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