One way to get out of serious debt problems is to consider using a credit counseling service. Credit counseling agencies and companies are located in every major metropolitan center and many small communities as well. For a nominal fee, and a percentage of the proceeding of a debt consolidation, they can help lift the worry, stress and strain of debt from your shoulders. You will need to do a little research first because there are two types of credit counseling operations, one for profit and the other not for profit. You can find these through the phone book or on the Internet and they should specify whether they are for profit or not. If that is unclear in their ad you can certainly ask them for that information when you call them. You should also ask them what their fees or charges might be, both upfront and as part of any on-going proceedings. If any credit counseling service cannot provide that information readily or without any confusion you might wish to move to the next prospective agency on your list. Ask them as well if they have any brochures or materials about their services that you can pick up or order online.
Once you have selected your credit-counseling agency of choice then make an appointment to see a counselor. Bring all of your financial materials with you including the latest statements from your creditors and a copy of your most recent pay or income stub. Don’t leave out any information about your credit history or what you owe now, even if you feel that it is embarrassing. No matter how bad your story is they have heard worse before. They will not be able to completely help you unless you are completely cooperative. Once they have determined the extent of your debt problems and calculated your ability to repay then the credit counseling agency will help you develop a debt consolidation plan. They will contact all of your creditors and negotiate a repayment plan over a period of time. Your creditors will have to agree to stop harassing you with collection and court proceedings and you agree to pay so much a month into an account that will pay back all of your creditors. If everyone agrees then you end up with a low monthly rate, your creditors get back as much as possible of what is owed to them, and you are on the way to redeeming your good standing in the credit community and getting out of debt.