There are lots of different ways to manage you debt. It can be as simple as writing a budget or as complex as filing for bankruptcy. Knowing which of these ways is right for you is not always as easy as it may seem. When you can no longer handle the monthly payments of your debt, or when it seems that you are accruing more debt due to high interest rates, it's time to ask for help. Debt settlement companies are a way to handle all of your debt for a reduced amount. The positive is that it will eliminate your debt immediately for a fraction of the cost. The negative is that you will need to pay a substantial amount of money. Money that may not be available to you. Debt consolidation firms are a little different. They work to get all of your debt under one manageable bill. They can get interest rates lowered, and even get some of those late fees dropped if they can prove you are doing your best to pay off the loan. Bankruptcy is a sort of last resort. It can immediately relieve your debt, but ruin your credit for years. Bankruptcy shows lenders that you are unwilling to take responsibility for you debt, making it harder to acquire loans in the future.