We might love to buy cookies and candy and consume such treats with pleasure and a nice smile. However, unless you are careful, you could end up with a few cavities and perhaps even require a root canal. Having a toothache is no laughing matter and getting rid of said challenges can be just as dreadful as the issue itself. How many people look forward to going to the Dentist?

When it comes to money, we often meet with similar challenges. Most of us have an “I need money now” mentality and when we get it we purchase products on impulse to satisfy our sweet purchasing tooth and then we end up with some painful realities when we do not brush (pay our dues) regularly. In the end, it can cost you more by having to pay for dentists (debt solutions companies or professionals) to solve the problem you didn’t manage. So what are some debt relief solutions we can use?

First, you will want to rid yourself of any misconceptions you might have had about debt and creditors. For example, going to the dentist does not have to be a painful, uncomfortable experience. Simply ask yourself this:

Is it a FACT that dentists visits will be painful? The answer is that it is POSSIBLE that it might not be painful. So let us focus on seeking out what we really want (painless debt relief solutions) as opposed to hanging onto the fear of what we do not want. What you focus on is the picture you will attract in reality.

Once you remove the fallacies, you can begin to discover some strategies that will help you to relieve debt now. As with a toothache, you probably do not have a lot of time to sit around and ponder a strategy for down the road. You need to solve this crisis yesterday. Without having a time machine – how can we go back and fix the problem?

First, you can learn from the experience and make better choices in the future. This alone is like starting over with a clean slate. This is the first step to any strategy regarding debt. You must learn to avoid this dilemma in the future.

Next, you need to sit down and make a list of solutions that will work in the now. Many of us will not try because we feel that people or creditors are not willing to work with us. However, truth is that people help those that help themselves. So before you start any strategy, be sure to create a plan of action that is clearly demonstrating that you learned from the experience and what you plan to do about it in the future. Once you have this on paper, you can then begin to focus all of your efforts and energy in an organized manner on finding the best solution. Here are a few of the obvious:

* Sell what you do not need in the immediate now. Even if this means that you will lose out on the items you just bought or purchased to create the debt in the first place. Note: this is only what you need. If you are in debt for a house you need to live in, the solution is not likely to be to sell your house or your car that you need to drive to work with. However, you could rent out your house and move into a small apartment. If your debt is smaller, you can start with offloading a few items that can either – buy you more time or completely settle the debt altogether.

Once you have exhausted the strategies that only YOU can do, then you can begin to ask others for help (be sure you have a plan and express you have learned from the experience). We all make mistakes and people are more likely to help others if they feel that they are taking it seriously, by taking their own steps first (such as selling items, cutting back on an expensive life-style). If your credit is still good, you can seek out help from banks that can work out terms that will solve your immediate situation, but also give you a payment plan that you can manage to meet every month. Be sure that you can meet any financial agreement prior to taking the step or you will be right back in the same situation.

Another thing to keep in mind is that many creditors will settle for less than what is owed if you can pay it all off in one lump sum. Even the IRS is known to offer large cuts for an immediate payment. Don’t assume that you don’t have room to bargain. Here is one of my favorite debt relief solutions. Make an offer 10% or lower than what you owe by formulating a simple letter that states that you are planning to file for bankruptcy in which everyone will get nothing, or if they are willing to except a cash payment and close the debt, they are going to at least get something and help you avoid filing for bankruptcy.

I once hired a bankruptcy attorney to do exactly this. I hired him so I wouldn’t go into bankruptcy, (I know – ironic) but went through the process to demonstrate to creditors that I wasn’t bluffing. I was able to pay only $5,000 on a $50,000 debt only to find out later that my attorney thought I could have been okay with only paying $500. However, my conscious got the better of me.