If your credit is shot because of unmanageable debts, a credit counseling organization can help you with a debt management plan. Many are non-profits, and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling has a list of member organizations that provide low-cost or free credit and budget assistance. Clients get an in-person or phone meeting with a counselor who goes over their income and expenses and helps them come up with a budget to get their personal finances back on track. Then, the counselor works with lenders of unsecured credit, like credit card companies, to get interest rates reduced and penalty fees lowered or eliminated. If you’re drowning in bills, reach out to a credit counseling group before your debts get charged off; if your debts have been sold off, credit counselors won’t negotiate with third-party collections agencies on your behalf.