Steps toward eliminating credit card debt
Beware of credit counselors and other debt relief programs
Here's what they don't tell you: When you settle your credit cards for less than what's owed, the difference ("debt-relief") is fully taxable and reported to the IRS. Next year, you might see a very shocking tax bill in your mailbox.
Meanwhile, your credit report will say "Settled for less than amount owed." This derogatory comment will stay on your credit report for seven years and means about the same thing as never paying in the first place — so your credit score will still be negatively impacted.
Many "credit counselors" demand lower payments and interest rates from the credit card company and charge you a hefty monthly fee for it. In many cases, you can do these negotiations with the credit card company yourself.