Question: I owe about $35,000 in credit card debit. I have been able to make minimum payments but am not left with enough money to live on so I keep using the cards. There are all kinds of companies wanted to help but I am leery of them. Where is the best place to go? Martha, Stockton Springs, ME
Answer: You’re right to be wary. Sad to say, there are a lot of fly-by-night outfits and worse taking advantage of people in debt trouble.
I would check out this segment of the Getting Personal archives. We’ve gathered together a number of posts on credit counseling.
For a DIY approach to getting out of debt I like Reduce Debt, Reduce Stress, by Gerri Detweiler, Nancy Castelman and Marc Eisenson. It offers a wealth of practical suggestions.
For credit counseling advice in person or on the Internet, I’d check out the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. It’s the largest and the oldest of the national nonprofit credit counseling services. You can find a branch nearest to you on their website. You could also work with a branch that offers Internet consulting around the country, such as the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco.
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