Up to 80 percent of Americans living in Mississippi and throughout the country have some form of debt. However, for some, that debt may become too large to manage in an effective manner. To start the process of lowering credit card and other balances, it is important to understand the different options available to achieve that goal. One such option is to apply for a personal loan.

Personal loans allow individuals to consolidate a variety of different debt balances into one payment. Typically, these loans come at a lower interest rate than credit card companies charge. This results in lower monthly payments and the ability for an individual to improve his or her credit score. Another option for those with credit card debt is to transfer balances to to a new credit card with a lower interest rate.

It is important to understand that zero percent interest offers only apply for a limited time. After about 12 to 14 months, the interest rate on a remaining balance could be up to 15 percent. Individuals who can’t or don’t want to make use of those options could choose to work with a debt relief company that will negotiate with lenders on a debtor’s behalf. Instead of sending payments directly to creditors, payments are made to the debt relief company instead.

There are many ways in which a person may be able to overcome financial challenges. In addition to debt consolidation or working with a debt relief company, it may be possible to file for bankruptcy. Depending on a person’s income and asset levels, debts can either be discharged immediately or discharged over a series of three or five years. An attorney may describe the pros and cons of using bankruptcy or other debt relief options.