So if you have multiple types of debt to eliminate, you may need several solutions to achieve total freedom.

If you need help making a plan to eliminate all of your debts so you can regain stability and save your credit, call us at to speak with a certified credit counselor at no charge.

The calculators range from assessing how much down payment you need for a house based on different home loan interest rates, to the amount of time it takes to pay off a credit card when paying only the minimum balance each month.

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The agency should be organized, send payments and statements on time and offer strong consumer education and support. The payment is usually around 2.5 percent of the total debt, though in hardship situations, there is some wiggle room. Why consolidate bills if you can't pay for basic expenses or if there are better alternatives?

You can stop the plan at any time, and you can also pay more -- and get out of debt faster -- when you have extra funds. You wouldn't, which is the reason consolidation begins with a counseling appointment where your entire financial situation is assessed.

When mounting debt from multiple credit cards becomes unmanageable, nonprofit debt consolidation companies make a difference.

Their counselors can help you develop a plan to pay the balances in a single monthly payment, and in some cases, reduce interest and eliminate extra fees.

Debt consolidation is a third-party payment system. Agencies range in quality so make sure you shop around. Most debt consolidation plans are structured the same way. They ensure member agencies pass rigorous standards set forth by the Council on Accreditation or another approved third party, and that their counselors pass a comprehensive certification program. Financial institutions don't give preferential treatment to any one organization, nonprofit or otherwise.

However, if you just happen to have accounts with creditors that don't offer any concessions, that benefit is reduced. Look for a nonprofit credit counseling organization that belongs to either the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) or the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA).Debt consolidation is nothing more than a con because you think you're starting with a clean slate.But the truth is the debt is still there, as are the habits that caused it—you just moved it!In many cases, the amount you pay every month will be less than if you paid to each bill separately.Often your counselor can even reduce your interest rates and eliminate extra fees, like over limit and late charges, through the debt consolidation plan. With a debt management plan, you make one payment to the credit counseling agency, which distributes the money to your creditors until they are paid in full.