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Struggling with debt is a difficult challenge, but even more so if you’re doing it alone. Your main problem might be financial in nature but trying to pay it all by yourself can take an emotional toll on you, especially if you’re starting to get overwhelmed by debt collectors and steep monthly payments. Confusion, fear, and the lack of available options can make being in the red feel like it’s the end of the world.

But you need not go through the whole harrowing experience by yourself. It’s entirely possible to get help from debt counselors and financial experts who know the ins and outs of dealing with debt. There should be no shame in seeking help. In fact, you should start to look for advice at the first sign that your debt is starting to get out of control. However, many people still have a lot of misconceptions that prevent them from getting access to debt solutions. Here are the most common ones and the truth behind them:

1. “It is impossible to get legitimate assistance.”

Do not let your confusion, subjective fears, or lack of information stop you from seeking help. The sooner you reach out, the better your chances of preventing your debts from ballooning. The first step is arming yourself with the right information. Do your research and look for agencies and companies that are associated with the American Fair Credit Council or have other significant financial industry affiliations. You can also check out their website for testimonials and years in business.

2. “I will only get advice, not actual solutions.”

Debt counseling involves getting advice on how to solve debt. At the same time, getting the services of a debt counseling agency entitles the client to short-term and long-term action plans. These plans include situation-specific and concrete steps to immediately address the client’s financial problems and build a foundation for better financial stability in the future.

These action plans may include steps where the agency may reach out to creditors, negotiate fees, or come up with a debt management program (DMP). Depending on the program you choose, you may get lower monthly payments, reduced interest rates, omission of late fees or other penalties, or even a cut on the amount of you owe.

3. “My debt counselor will wipe out my debt.”

There is no magic wand that can automatically wipe out all your debt. But the help of an experienced debt counselor is an invaluable asset when it comes to managing your debt effectively and intelligently. Your debt counselor can provide you with the right tools that will give you a better chance of clearing your debt or reducing its amount. They may negotiate with your creditors to reduce the interest rates or have certain fees waived. You’ll be the one paying your debts, but your debt counselor will make it far easier for you to do so.

4. “Debt counseling damages my credit score.” 

The mere existence of a debt counselor does nothing to your credit score. Ultimately, being late on payments has already damaged your credit score. You have to first solve your debt in order to work on your financial health. Making good with companies that have allowed you credit is the best way to start. This highlights the importance of picking the right agency and being cautious about the decisions you make.

5. “Declaring bankruptcy is simpler.” 

It is not! The negative consequences of declaring bankruptcy on your credit report and score are massive and will last for a decade. Explore your options first with your credit counselor and look at your financial situation from different perspectives. Yes, there are instances when bankruptcy is the right answer, but it should only be an option once you’ve exhausted all other resorts.

Don’t let your fears and misconceptions keep you from accessing reliable help. Get in touch with trustworthy debt experts and credit counselors who can present you with options and concrete solutions today.

To learn more about debt relief solutions and how to start living with financial freedom, contact CreditAssociates for a free consultation or use our Savings Estimator to see how much you could save.