An overview of debt relief options

Are Level Thirty Three’s debt settlement and negotiation services the best way for you to reduce your debt? They’re certainly a strong option. But you have choices. And only you can decide which one is right for you. Consider the following:

Debt settlement/negotiation

This is the service Level Thirty Three provides. Overall, a strong contender as it reduces the total amount of debt you owe. Other options typically focus on reducing your current interest rate. While this helps minimize the total amount you pay in interest, your actual debt remains exactly the same. Debt settlement can save you the most, while costing the least.

Minimum payments

Many people make minimum payments in an effort to maintain good credit. This is admirable. But sometimes situations present themselves where even the minimum payment is too much. You can easily fall behind and hurt the credit you tried so hard to maintain. Even if you’re able to make payments on time, the minimum amount is typically applied mostly to the interest. The base amount remains largely untouched, which prolongs the amount of time before your debt is paid off – costing you the most in the long run.

Debt management plans and credit counseling

For those with smaller amounts of debt, a debt management plan or credit counseling is a viable option. Here, a credit counselor works with you to create a repayment plan, while also working with your creditors to get you a lower interest rate. While this is helpful, it doesn’t reduce the total amount of your debt – you still owe just as much, but now simply pay less in interest.


This option has the broadest reaching impact. It’s not a “magic bullet” and, due to changing bankruptcy laws, doesn’t always wipe away your debt in its entirety or create a blank slate for moving forward. Because of its complexity, you should rely only on the advice of a bankruptcy attorney. (And not Level Thirty Three, this website, or any other site.) What bankruptcy does do is destroy your credit for up to 10 years. Because of this, it’s typically thought of as a measure of last resort.

Home equity loans or refinancing

Some people turn to their largest asset to manage debt – their home. By refinancing your mortgage or taking out a home equity loan, you can pay off the balance of your debt while keeping your credit intact. But refinancing can be expensive, and only cost-effective if you can secure a certain percentage below what you currently pay. And by taking out a home equity loan, you’re essentially giving up the equity you’ve earned to pay off the debt you accumulated.

Personal or signature loans and balance transfers

If you have a relatively small amount of debt, this could be a good choice. You might be able to get a better interest rate through your bank and make one simple payment, which allows you to more efficiently and effectively manage your debt. But this is another option that affects only the interest you pay, leaving the principle amount of your debt entirely intact.

Selling assets

If you have assets like stocks, a home, or a car, you might be able to sell them in order to reduce or pay off your debt. While this keeps your credit intact, it might take a long time to sell certain assets, which could leave you even deeper in the hole. Your quality of life might also be affected, so it’s best to seriously consider what you can and can’t do without.