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Getting debt relief starts with knowing how your debt works

At some point, you may come to find that you're being weighed down by entirely too much debt. If this becomes a problem, such as an inability to stay current with your payments, you need to learn more about your options.

If you're interested in debt relief, there are many steps you need to take. To start, you must have a clear idea of what type of debt you are carrying and how it works. For instance, there is a big difference between credit card debt and student loan debt.

Consider the following:

  • Secured debt. This is a debt that is attached to collateral, such as a mortgage or car loan. If you don't meet your obligations, your lender has the right to repossess your collateral, which could mean losing your home or car.
  • Student loans. This type of debt can be among the most difficult to deal with, as you can't get rid of it in bankruptcy. Fortunately, most lenders offer a variety of repayment options, allowing you to find something that better suits your situation.
  • Unsecured debt. This includes everything from personal loans to medical bills to credit cards. If you aren't paying your unsecured debt, don't be surprised if your account is sent to collections.

Once you know how your debt works, you can create a strategy for finding relief in the near future. For instance, if you have credit card debt, you can attempt to negotiate a lump sum payment.

Depending on the type of debt, you may also realize that filing for bankruptcy is the best way to start fresh in the future.

Regardless of your situation or the approach you want to take, make sure you know your options and legal rights.

Source: FindLaw, "Repaying Debts," accessed Nov. 19, 2017

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