Getting into debt is easy for almost anyone to do, but getting back out is much more difficult. In some cases, the only way a person can get ahead of their debt is with the help of a specialist in credit counseling. Many of these services are free and can help you create a plan to pay off your debt without adding further fees to it.

There are a few different forms of debt counseling services. Some offer guidance and advice, but nothing else. They’ll help you assess your situation and the debts that you currently owe.

This information is then packaged up into a debt management and repayment plan. These plans will vary from one person to another, depending on their situation. These services don’t actually take any action however – it’s up to you to apply the plan they create for you.

Other credit counseling services go beyond just simple plan creation. They’ll contact all of your creditors and see if they can work out a better deal for you. This deal could be a discount on the outstanding balance, or possibly a lower rate of interest.

These debt counseling services will then set up a payment program for you, in which you make payments to them every month. They then distribute those payments out to all your creditors to pay down your balances.

This type of counseling service is most helpful if you find it hard to stick to a debt repayment program or if you just don’t have enough willpower to pay off your debt and refrain from charging up more at the same time.

Some credit counseling services can also help you with your monthly budget. If you’re unable to stop spending or you don’t track your spending very well, this can be a big help.

When you decide to choose a debt counseling service, make sure you do your research. There are some less-than-honest operators out there that will charge you unnecessary fees or may not follow through on the payments to your creditors. Make sure you get references and that the company you’re dealing with is on the up-and-up.