Tackling your debt is a goal that can seem impossible to reach, but there are always options for getting debt-free. The first step you will have to take is to assess your debt by creating a list of debts, interest rates, and minimum required monthly payments. This will give you a clearer picture of what you have to pay each month while helping you determine if you really can pay down your debt gradually within a reasonable time period.

Try Credit Counseling

A credit counseling firm will help you consolidate your debts, and they may negotiate for better terms with your creditors. They will charge a fee for these services, so it’s important to determine if the fee is worth the services they offer. If you decide to try this option, you’ll make a single payment to your credit counselor each month. That fee will be dispersed among your creditors after the firm’s fee has been deducted.

Negotiate With Creditors

You can save on paying fees to other agencies by negotiating with your creditors directly. They may agree to defer your payments, lower your interest, or make further concessions to help you catch up on your debts. Many creditors are willing to negotiate less aggressive repayment plans rather than having an account go to collections. If you communicate with your creditors as soon as you know you will have a problem repaying the debt, you can avoid creating a worse situation for yourself.

Look Into Debt Forgiveness Plans

Some of your creditors may offer debt forgiveness if you meet certain criteria. This is more common with loans than with credit card companies, but it won’t hurt to look into the option for all of your debts. Many lenders will offer partial debt forgiveness if you’re voluntarily trying to adhere to a repayment plan. There are different debt forgiveness programs based on profession (military service, teachers, physicians, etc.), economic status, and loan types, so take the time to look for programs that apply to your situation.

If none of these options seem helpful for you, there’s still the option of filing bankruptcy. There are several types of bankruptcy for you to consider, and talking to a lawyer can help you determine which is the best one for your situation. While bankruptcy should be considered a last resort, it can help you get a fresh financial start.