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What can I do to reduce the amount of money I owe?

Knowing who you owe and how much you owe is an important first step in reducing your debt. ConsumerFinance.gov has a helpful Debt Log to help you locate and log what you owe. From there you can craft a plan to attack your debt and map a plan to financial freedom. We recommend that your debt reduction plan include these four steps (and resources):  

  1. Pick a strategy;
  2. Document your plan;
  3. Organize your bills;
  4. Ask a caring financial professional for help with your plan.

Are there any shortcuts to repaying what I owe?

You may have heard companies who claim they can help you “settle your debt for pennies on the dollar.” Most of these debt relief or debt settlement companies offer to coordinate the settlement of your debt with your creditors or debt collectors for a fee. In contrast, credit counseling agencies provide free advice on how to lower your payments, eliminate late fees and ensure creditors will not pursue collection efforts.   Want to know more? Take a look at the differences between debt settlement companies and a credit counselor.