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My girlfriend has $5000 in credit card debt and a $30,000 student loan. Her average interest rate on the credit cards is 20%+, because she couldn't afford to pay on time. Her minimum monthly payments on the credit cards and student loan amount to $750/month, more than 1/3rd of her income, which is $2000/mo. We live in Los Angeles, and it costs a lot more than $1250 for standard living expenses.

She'd like to find a way to economically pay down her debt without completely destroying her credit (which is already bad). What are her best options in the Los Angeles area? I'm very skeptical of using some of these credit counseling services, as many appear to be scams that will hurt your credit even more.

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