If credit card debtor makes minimum payments of $250 on a $10,000 balance with 24.9% interest rates, it will take seven years to get it out of debt. With CCCS, if one can afford payments, it takes about 5 years to get out of debt and the consumer pays 100% of your balance and sometimes a small amount of interest. Short of winning the lottery or inheriting money, and no desire to declare bankruptcy, I’m not sure how one would get out of debt without settlement. Typically with a reputable settlement attorney a debtor can get out of debt paying 50-60% of the total debt (which includes all fees) over three years. Sometimes it is less, but that is a conservative number. One recent settlement that I saw was a 35 cents on the dollar settlement on a $25,000 debt payable over three years in monthly installments.
The downside of these types of programs is that your credit gets worse (but ultimately improves as debts are settled and your recent payment history becomes consistent again). If you are barely making minimums it is unlikely that you would be granted additional credit. If you were granted additional credit it would be at a very high interest rate and if you were unable to repay it (as it is already difficult) your credit score would suffer.
If you go the debt settlement route, I would strongly suggest NOT to use any firm besides a law firm or an attorney that represents YOU with regard to your debt issues. A non-licensed debt settlement firm will tell you that they have an attorney on staff (which represents their interests not yours) or that they have IADPA Certified Arbitrators. These ‘certified’ arbitrators were certified by an industry group that these debt settlement companies own and control.
What state are you located in?