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Over the last year, my wife and I have run our credit cards to the limit due to medical bills, increasingly supporting my mother after my father's death and other unforseen events. And, we know we need to do something to lessen the credit card debt we have incurred.

We have looked at home equity loans, but at this point in time, we do not have enough equity in the house to make a loan worth while.

We would prefer to take care of this ourselves rather than going to a couseling service at this time (the nearest service is about 45 miles one-way).

Where should I look for information on how to develop a repayment plan with our debtors, and reduce the interest rate.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Hi newitmanager!

I'm very sorry about the circumstances causing your debt situation. Keep in mind that the things you mentioned were out of your control, and the problems that you face can and will be dealt with. There's no shame in the fact that life threw you a curve.

The best way to deal with creditors at this point, is simply to call them. If you've got some cards with high rates, and have been getting offers of better rates, give the companies a call and tell them you think they should be more competitive to keep your business.

You'll have much more room for negotiating here if your payment history has been excellent. I'm hoping that your payments have always been on time.

If you read through some of the posts on this board, you'll find that there are many excellent ideas for coming up with extra cash as well as cutting expenses. Let us know if you can't find those posts, and we'll be more than happy to run through many of the ideas that are commonly posted.

Good luck, and let us know how things are going!

...but I still am...

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