Credit providers would, in an ideal credit world, love for you to repay your debt as slowly as possible. The longer you pay interest the more money they make. To avoid being taken advantage of, your debt repayments need to be as much as you can afford. Your priority should be to settle your debts a quickly as possible. That said, sometimes it is just not possible to pay the minimum installment and that is where debt counselling can reduce financial stress and help you get back on your feet. But remember, once you are back on your financial feet, increase your installments and pay off your debt as quickly as you can. If you manage to find a lump sum, as a bonus or gift, ask your debt counsellor if they can assist you to get a settlement discount. Always pay your creditors directly or through an accredited payment distribution agent and get proof from your creditors of what they have been paid.