If you have a lot of credit card debt, you may be wondering if there are any government programs that can help. While there are no credit card debt relief government programs, there are many other ways to manage your debt.

Debt relief options like settlement, consolidation, and debt management plans can help. You may also want to learn more about government regulations and laws like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) that protect you from unfair collection practices.

Do Credit Card Debt Relief Government Programs Exist?

The federal government doesn’t operate any credit card debt relief government programs. The government also doesn’t offer debt forgiveness for credit card debt.

However, it does offer resources and assistance to help those facing financial hardship, such as debt management programs and credit counseling through nonprofit organizations. The government also offers education resources and information on debt collection rights, debt relief options, and how to avoid scams.

What Resources Does the Government Offer for Credit Card Debt

If you’re looking for government resources that can help you reduce debt, here are a few options to consider.

  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): The FTC offers information on how to avoid scams, offers information on consumer rights, and enforces consumer protection laws.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): The CFPB offers many tools, resources, and information about debt relief and debt collection rights.
  • Credit Counseling: Nonprofit credit counseling agencies can help you with budgeting and debt repayment. They also offer debt management programs that make repayment easier with lower interest rates and affordable monthly payments.

7 Alternatives to Credit Card Debt Relief Government Programs

While there are no credit card debt relief government programs, there are a number of other options available to get out of credit card debt.

1. Credit Card Debt Repayment Strategies

If you carry a balance on multiple credit cards, consider following a repayment strategy like debt avalanche or debt snowball.

With the debt avalanche method, you can make minimum payments on each credit card and use any remaining money you have to pay down the balance on the card with the highest interest rate.

With the debt snowball method, you can make minimum payments on all your cards and use any available money to pay off the card with the smallest balance.

Both of these methods are effective at helping you pay down balances and get out of debt if you’re committed.

2. Credit Card Debt Consolidation

Credit card consolidation involves taking out a loan at a lower interest rate to pay off your credit card debt. You’ll then have a single loan payment each month.

With an average credit card interest rate of 27.89%, a personal loan with a lower APR can help you save thousands in interest charges.

3. Balance Transfer

You’ll typically need a credit score of 670 or higher to qualify for a balance transfer. However, if you qualify, you’ll be able to transfer the balance to a card that offers a 0% APR for an introductory period of up to 21 months.

If you manage to pay off your entire balance within the introductory period, you’ll be able to save a considerable amount of money in interest charges.

4. Credit Card Settlement

If you’re already several months past due on your payments, you may be able to settle your credit card debt. A debt settlement company can negotiate with card issuers and debt collectors on your behalf to settle your account for less than you owe.

Once you enroll in a debt settlement program, you’ll have to stop making payments on your card and make a deposit in a separate savings account till you have saved enough for a lump sum payment. Once you make the lump sum payment, your account will be settled.

5. Debt Management Plans

Credit counseling agencies also offer debt management plans in addition to counseling sessions. With this option, you may be able to repay your debt in three to five years.

Your credit counselor can negotiate a new repayment plan with your lenders to waive late fees or lower interest rates to make repayment easier. If you’re finding it difficult to keep up with payments, a debt management plan is a good way to make payments affordable.

Make sure the agency you select is accredited by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and is on the approved list of credit counselors of the U.S. Department of Justice.

6. Bankruptcy for Credit Card Debt

In some cases, it may be better to file for bankruptcy for credit card debt. Depending on your financial situation, you may be able to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

If you don’t have enough resources to make payments on a debt consolidation loan or save money for a settlement, bankruptcy may be a last resort option to consider. However, it’s a major financial decision that can impact you for years.

We recommend speaking to a bankruptcy lawyer to weigh the pros and cons, determine your eligibility, and understand if bankruptcy may be right for you.

7. Credit Card Debt Forgiveness

Credit card debt forgiveness may seem like the ideal solution to your debt problems, like student loan debt forgiveness offered by the federal government. However, it’s important to understand that your debt won’t be completely erased without any consequences.

In most cases, credit card debt forgiveness means that some of your debt may be forgiven if you opt for an option like debt settlement. For example, if you have a credit card balance of $10,000 and you settle your account for $6,000, the credit card company will forgive the remaining $4,000.

Completely erasing your credit card debt requires extreme measures like bankruptcy, which can have a severe negative impact on your credit report for years. You’ll also have to pay income taxes on any forgiven debt. So, while credit card debt forgiveness exists, it isn’t always easy, and it has consequences.

Don’t Believe Websites Advertising Credit Card Debt Relief Government Programs

Websites and social media posts advertising credit card debt relief government programs are usually scams. The federal government has no such programs dedicated to credit card debt.

There are a number of other options available to repay your debt. Seek credit counseling to address the spending habits that led to debt and for personal finance education. You may also want to get in touch with a debt relief company to learn more about options like debt settlement, debt consolidation, and debt management programs.

If none of these options work for you, speak to an attorney to see if bankruptcy is an option for you. While it isn’t ideal, it may be the only available option in some cases.