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How Can I Lower the Debt I Owe? – LeoTheLion

“Dear Steve,

I have between 70K and 75K unsecured debt (95% credit card balances and 5% medical bills). Credit cards are Chase, Citibank, American Express and Discover. A lot of these credit cards have 0% apr, so the apr is not an issue, but the amount of minimum payment itself is killing me.

I need to decrease the amount of debt. I have student loan (co-signed,), home mortgage, car loan etc…over and above these unsecured loans.

What is the best approach to getting these debts minimized, removed, settled?

Should I go to law firms? or debt settlement companies? or communicate with my creditors directly? I have a couple of medical bills in collections. in the amount of about 2500$.


Dear LeoTheLion,

If you are struggling with the payments at 0% then this is a problem that will likely explode once the interest rates go up, and they will.

I’m assuming you’ve done some balance transfers to get this at a temporary 0% rate.

The only way to reduce your payments without negatively impacting your credit is to change the terms of the underlying debt. You may want to explore a consolidation loan through or But I’m concerned that your credit may not be wonderful with your current open collection accounts.

You can use the free How to Get Out of Debt Calculator to review your options.

Once you decide what tool you will use to either refinance or negotiate with your lenders and you get that in place, then you will need to focus on rebuilding your credit.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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