When it comes to debt, it can be difficult to know where to start. It's important to take the time to consider all of your options and make sure you are making the best decision for your financial situation. One option that may be available to you is a debt management plan (DMP). Before you consider a DMP, there is one essential step that must be taken: contact a certified nonprofit credit counselor. A credit counselor will review your financial situation and help you determine if a DMP is the right choice for you. They will also provide you with critical information about settlements and other debt solutions. It's important to get debt advice from a charity or debt management company before making any decisions. Once you have spoken with a credit counselor, you can begin to consider whether a DMP is the right choice for you. The first step is to prioritize your debts and figure out why you want a DMP in the first place. You should also calculate what you can afford and decide whether or not you will pay someone for a DMP. If you are struggling to keep up with payments on things like credit cards, loans, and store cards, a DMP may be the best option for you. A DMP allows you to combine your debts and make one monthly payment with a lower interest rate. This can help restore your credit history, although it will take time and patience. If your debt has been sent to collections, it's important to remember that there are still options available to you. You may be able to negotiate an agreement with your creditor in order to pay less than what is owed. However, this is rarely a good option and should only be considered if you can no longer make the minimum payments on an unsecured debt but think you could manage a less aggressive payment schedule. It's also important to remember that the higher the interest rate on your debt, the more money you'll save by paying it off as soon as possible. You should focus on attacking balances with higher interest rates first in order to save money in the long run. Overall, it's essential that you contact a certified nonprofit credit counselor before considering a debt management plan. They will help you determine if a DMP is right for you and provide critical information about settlements and other debt solutions. A DMP can be an effective way of managing your debts and restoring your credit history.