You know how it is: the credit card companies are phoning, the collection agency has graduated to come around, and your biggest wish at the moment is to find someone with the know-how to sort things out.
Basically, you have three options:
2. Debt Settlement
3. Consolidation Loan
4. Do nothing, just hope the problem goes away
Bankruptcy is the least attractive option. Bankruptcy does work to get rid of your debt, but it will also follow you for the rest of your life. Your credit rating is affected for 5-8 years, and you will have difficulty gaining any type of credit in future. Every bank account application requests if you have ever declared bankruptcy, if you say 'yes' they probably will say 'no'.
Debt Settlement, or credit counseling, is usually best if you have OVER $ 10,000 in unsecured debt. With this type of solution a negotiator works for you and deals with all your unsecured debts (not just the credit card companies) and creates a lower balance on the amount owed. The upside to this type of program is that it is usually over in the quickest time.
Consolidation works for debts of LESS than $ 10,000. With this type of solution you take out one loan, with a smaller payment, to cover all of your debts. Your new monthly payment may work out less than before, but be prepared to stick with the program for some time. Consolidation loans are a good option only if you have a smaller amount of debt to contend with and you can afford to pay the loan over a reasonable period.