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There are ads everywhere for DEBT SETTLEMENT services. Isn't that the fastest way to get out of debt?

Debt settlement companies charge very high fees and almost always fail to deliver on their promises.  Meanwhile, because they advise you not to pay your bills in order to qualify for settlement, you end up delinquent on your bills, and this kills your credit score and causes you to rack up all sorts of penalties and interest hikes. 

Do not confuse debt settlement with debt management!  Debt management is what non-profit credit counseling companies offer, and, if you work with a good one, you will get on track to paying off your debt and improving your credit score.  Debt-settlement companies, on the other hand, basically are scams.  Stay away from them no matter how much they promise!

P.S.  For a real solution to credit card debt, see the answer here!