It doesn't matter if you are working with a debt settlement company or if you are using a personal debt consolidation loan, neither method will be successful if you don't stick to the plan and stay consistent in your payment plan. There are several steps that you can use to get out of debt, must you must be committed.
The first step is to get you wallet, get a pair of scissors and the phone. Find out which card has the lowest interest, even if it is the one with the lowest credit line, leave that one in your wallet. Take the other cards, including gas cards and department store cards and call each of them and cancel the accounts. Finally, put the scissors to work. Cut them up in tiny bits and throw them in the trash. Limiting yourself to one card will allow you a small line of credit with a low interest rate in the case of an emergency and an emergency constitutes an event in which you are stranded, starving or physically in danger if you don't use your card - not going out and buying the last Gucci handbag because it is an emergency if you don't have it. Do not hide them or freeze them because you will be able to find them or defrost them when you have the urge to go shopping.
Once that has been completed, you can begin to reduce your available credit a little more. Begin by calling and canceling any other lines of credit that you may have. This is the first step in personal debt consolidation and very important to your credit report. The lack of numerous lines of credit and credit cards will reflect that you have less available credit and therefore less likely to get into debt.
The third step is to call the credit companies that you have left. Negotiate lower interest rates if possible. You may also be able to negotiate lower monthly payments that are easier for you to pay. You are essentially developing your own personal debt consolidation plan without having to pay costly fees to a company.
Remember that low interest credit card you have? You may be able to transfer credit balances to that card. Call your credit card company and ask if they have any specials available that will allow you to transfer your balances with no interest for a period of time. If they do, your goal should be able to pay off that debt within that time period.
If the debt amount is considerable, you may consider taking out a personal debt consolidation loan through your bank. They are typically very eager to help their customers reduce their debt and may be able to offer you a low interest rate. You will need to discuss these options with your lender.
The key to successful personal debt consolidation and relief is to be consistent and make your payments until the debt is paid in full.