Debtors in New Jersey and throughout America may be able to obtain credit card debt relief by asking their creditors to forgive a portion of their balances. In many cases, a debt settlement may lead to a lower credit score. However, it may also help a person avoid negative consequences such as late fees or interest accumulating on an unpaid balance. Those who are interested in a debt settlement should first determine how much they owe and who holds their debt balances.

From there, individuals should conduct research into multiple credit counseling or debt management companies in their area. Doing so may help them avoid companies that aren’t reputable or that can’t meet their needs in a timely manner. Generally speaking, reputable companies won’t charge upfront fees or make any guarantees as to how much money their clients can save.

Groups such as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling may provide the names of attorneys or other reputable service providers that individuals can reach out to. For those who are experiencing a temporary financial bottleneck, it may be possible to obtain debt relief relatively quickly by executing a balance transfer. A balance transfer may allow a person to avoid paying interest on an existing debt for up to 18 months or more.

Individuals who are having trouble keeping up with credit card or other monthly debt payments may wish to file for bankruptcy. Doing so might allow a person to obtain an automatic stay of creditor phone calls, letters or other collection activities. In a Chapter 7 proceeding, credit card debts may be eliminated in full within a matter of weeks. An attorney may help a debtor learn more about the potential benefits of bankruptcy and whether he or she might qualify for Chapter 7 protection.