Arizona residents may be interested in the results of a survey recently conducted by an online credit education company. Results of the survey show that more than 50 percent of those respondents with $20,000 or more in credit card debt believe it is “extremely likely” that they will begin paying down their debts in the coming year. More than 60 percent said it was extremely important to establish a payment plan to keep them on track.

Dealing with large debts can be an intimidating process, and it is important to have a plan that allows for unexpected circumstances that may arise during the payoff period. But establishing financial control is about more than just the dollar amount. Credit counseling can be helpful to debtors who are struggling or who may not know how to formulate their own plans.

The majority of the respondents indicated that they had never considered consolidating their debts, nor had they considered bankruptcy or credit counseling. Many of those surveyed stated that they had not considered these options because they fear losing points on their credit rating, but a credit rating can be less important than the debt load for many consumers, especially those who are middle-aged or approaching retirement.

There are a variety of methods that may be available to a consumer who is struggling with high credit card and other financial obligations. Often, paying down debts is a matter of sacrifice and planning, while at other times it means negotiating with creditors. A bankruptcy attorney may be able to examine a client’s financial situations and discuss appropriate alternatives.

Source: MSN Money, “What it’s like to owe $20,000 in card debt“, Christine DiGangi, February 04, 2014