Start My Answer

How to Get Debt Relief in California

Sarah Edwards | July 21, 2022

You can find the debt relief you need.

Summary: If you're struggling with debt in California, SoloSuit can help you find the relief you need.

If you're in debt, you probably understand the feeling of struggling to meet your bills. It can be a constant battle, especially with the rising cost of living and high taxes. People in California also must deal with high rental costs, which can be significant across the state.

This mixture results in a constant hamster wheel of earning income, paying for basic needs, and trying to pay down debt. It can be very hard to get off the hamster wheel once you're on it.

The idea of living in California is attractive to many. Known for its gorgeous shoreline, beautiful cities, and movie stars, it appeals to people from all over the world. However, behind its ability to captivate lie some of the highest living expenses in the nation.

The average individual living in California carries $3,852 in credit card debt. A recent study performed by the University of California, Berkeley, indicated that in certain areas, renters spend up to 45% of their income just to maintain a roof over their heads.

Californians faced with these types of expenses may find them difficult to overcome. So how do you get out of debt in the Golden State? Here's SoloSuit's guide to finding debt relief in California.

Let's jump right in.

Ready to find your financial footing again?

To get an accurate picture of your debt, you'll need to assess how much money you earn and what you spend it on each month. Start with your monthly income, and then list out your regular expenses.

These should consist of your rent or mortgage payment, food costs, transportation, and payments towards debt. Any other regular expenses you have should be included.

Next, figure out how much of your income is going towards things you can potentially do without or cut down. These things may include eating out or other entertainment expenses, such as going to the movies. You'll use all of this information to create a monthly budget.

Before creating your budget, make sure you understand what your goals are. If you're seeking to get rid of credit card debt, determine which cards you plan on paying off and understand what you owe on each of them.

Your budget should allow you to meet your necessary expenses while also cutting down on discretionary ones. This approach gives you the opportunity to put more towards getting rid of credit card debt. You should keep a small buffer to guard against unexpected expenses which pop up from time to time.

Take advantage of California assistance programs

There are a variety of assistance plans that California residents can take advantage of. The state provides programs that offer financial assistance for medical expenses, navigating negotiations with debt collectors, and other kinds of financial concerns. For example, the state hosts a resource center to inform residents about their rights when dealing with debt collectors.

There are also grant programs available and federal funding for basic needs like rent, medical expenses, and food for those who qualify. Consider exploring the Healthy Families program, Homeowner Assistance program, and other resources available to California residents.

These programs can help you to get back on your feet, especially when you're facing extreme debt.

Set up a schedule for paying off debt

Establishing a schedule for paying off debt can help you stay on track and measure your efforts. One common method recommended by financial advisors is the snowball method.

Under the snowball method, you list all of the debt that you owe. Next, you set the amount of money that you have available each month to pay towards your expenses.

You make the minimum payments on all of your debts each month but put all of the remaining balance towards the smallest debt you owe. As an example, assume that you have a medical debt of $5,000 and a single credit card with a balance of $1,500.

The minimum payment that you owe monthly on each of these is $100. You have $400 each month that you can afford to pay toward your bills.

Thus, you'll make a payment of $100 towards the medical debt each month and $300 towards the credit card balance. You'll follow this method each month until the credit card is paid off. Afterward, the entire $400 will go towards the medical bill each month. In under two years, you'll be completely debt-free!

When should I consider debt consolidation?

Another option for debt repayment is the use of debt consolidation. This choice is best for those who have a decent credit score and are able to obtain a large enough loan to pay off other debts.

Usually, debt consolidation loans come with a low interest rate for a certain period. This rate can benefit those who have high-interest obligations and provide the means to pay off debt quickly.

For example, someone with $5,000 of credit card debt with an average APR of 10.9% could obtain a debt consolidation loan for the entire $5,000, with an interest rate of 0% for six months.

If they use the loan to repay their credit cards and then pay off the entire $5,000 for the debt consolidation loan within six months, they'll have potentially saved hundreds of dollars in interest expenses.

When is debt settlement an option?

Another consideration for those seeking to get out of debt is using a debt settlement program. While you can seek to obtain debt settlements yourself through negotiation techniques, not everyone may have the skills (or time) required to do so. Thus, many seek debt relief programs that handle the negotiation for them.

Understand that there are many debt settlement companies that may not be legit. So before deciding to enter a debt settlement program, do your research. The company should be rated well and have solid reviews. You shouldn't have to pay anything upfront for their services.

Debt settlement involves negotiating with lenders to settle amounts owed for a fraction of the cost. When they are negotiating for you, you'll make predetermined payments to the company that they'll hold until enough is available to settle and pay their fees.

Typically, these programs last between two and three years but result in your debt being paid off. Debt settlement programs charge a percentage of the value of your debt for their services.

You might also consider negotiating a debt settlement offer on your own. This will help you avoid the fees, and sometimes it can be a faster process overall. Check out SoloSuit's guide on reaching an ideal settlement for you in this video:

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.

Respond with SoloSuit

"First time getting sued by a debt collector and I was searching all over YouTube and ran across SoloSuit, so I decided to buy their services with their attorney reviewed documentation which cost extra but it was well worth it! SoloSuit sent the documentation to the parties and to the court which saved me time from having to go to court and in a few weeks the case got dismissed!" – James


Get Started


We have answers.
Join our community of over 40,000 people.

You can ask your questions on the SoloSuit forum and the community will help you out. Whether you need help now or are just looking for support, we're here for you.


Ask a Question


>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate

How to answer a summons for debt collection in your state

Here's a list of guides for other states.

All 50 states.



Guides on how to beat every debt collector

Being sued by a different debt collector? Were making guides on how to beat each one.


Win against credit card companies

Is your credit card company suing you? Learn how you can beat each one.

Going to Court for Credit Card Debt — Key Tips

How to Negotiate Credit Card Debts

How to Settle a Credit Card Debt Lawsuit — Ultimate Guide

Get answers to these FAQs

Need more info on statutes of limitations? Read our 50-state guide.

Why do debt collectors block their phone numbers?

How long do debt collectors take to respond to debt validation letters?

What are the biggest debt collector companies in the US?

Is Zombie Debt Still a Problem in 2019?

SoloSuit FAQ

If a car is repossessed, do I still owe the debt?

Is Portfolio Recovery Associates Legit?

Is There a Judgment Against Me Without my Knowledge?

Should I File Bankruptcy Before or After a Judgment?

What is a default judgment?— What do I do?

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills — What Do I Do?

What Happens If Someone Sues You and You Have No Money?

What Happens If You Never Answer Debt Collectors?

What Happens When a Debt Is Sold to a Collection Agency

What is a Stipulated Judgment?

What is the Deadline for a Defendants Answer to Avoid a Default Judgment?

Can a Judgement Creditor Take my Car?

Can I Settle a Debt After Being Served?

Can I Stop Wage Garnishment?

Can You Appeal a Default Judgement?

Do I Need a Debt Collection Defense Attorney?

Do I Need a Payday Loans Lawyer?

Do student loans go away after 7 years? — Student Loan Debt Guide

Am I Responsible for My Spouses Medical Debt?

Should I Marry Someone With Debt?

Can a Debt Collector Leave a Voicemail?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

What Happens If a Defendant Does Not Pay a Judgment?

How Does Debt Assignment Work?

Can You Serve Someone with a Collections Lawsuit at Their Work?

What Is a Warrant in Debt?

How Many Times Can a Judgment be Renewed in Oklahoma?

Can an Eviction Be Reversed?

Does Debt Consolidation Have Risks?

What Happens If You Avoid Getting Served Court Papers?

Does Student Debt Die With You?

Can Debt Collectors Call You at Work in Texas?

How Much Do You Have to Be in Debt to File for Chapter 7?

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Debt in Washington?

How Long Does a Judgment Last?

Can Private Disability Payments Be Garnished?

Can Debt Collectors Call From Local Numbers?

Does the Fair Credit Reporting Act Work in Florida?

The Truth: Should You Never Pay a Debt Collection Agency?

Should You Communicate with a Debt Collector in Writing or by Telephone?

Do I Need a Debt Negotiator?

What Happens After a Motion for Default Is Filed?

Can a Process Server Leave a Summons Taped to My Door?

Learn More With These Additional Resources:

Need help managing your finances? Check out these resources.

How to Make a Debt Validation Letter - The Ultimate Guide

How to Make a Motion to Compel Arbitration Without an Attorney

How to Stop Wage Garnishment — Everything You Need to Know

How to File an FDCPA Complaint Against Your Debt Collector (Ultimate Guide)

Defending Yourself in Court Against a Debt Collector

Tips on you can to file an FDCPA lawsuit against a debt collection agency

Advice on how to answer a summons for debt collection.

Effective strategies for how to get back on track after a debt lawsuit

New Hampshire Statute of Limitations on Debt

Sample Cease and Desist Letter Against Debt Collectors

The Ultimate Guide to Responding to a Debt Collection Lawsuit in Utah

West Virginia Statute of Limitations on Debt

What debt collectors cannot do — FDCPA explained

Defending Yourself in Court Against Debt Collector

How to Liquidate Debt

Arkansas Statute of Limitations on Debt

Youre Drowning in Debt — Heres How to Swim

Help! Im Being Sued by My Debt Collector

How to Make a Motion to Vacate Judgment

How to Answer Summons for Debt Collection in Vermont

North Dakota Statute of Limitations on Debt

ClearPoint Debt Management Review

Indiana Statute of Limitations on Debt

Oregon Eviction Laws - What They Say

CuraDebt Debt Settlement Review

How to Write a Re-Aging Debt Letter

How to Appear in Court by Phone

How to Use the Doctrine of Unclean Hands

Debt Consolidation in Eugene, Oregon

Summoned to Court for Medical Bills? What to Do Next

How to Make a Debt Settlement Agreement

Received a 3-Day Eviction Notice? Heres What to Do

How to Answer a Lawsuit for Debt Collection

Tips for Leaving the Country With Unpaid Credit Card Debt

Kansas Statute of Limitations on Debt Collection

How to File in Small Claims Court in Iowa

How to File a Civil Answer in Kings County Supreme Court

Roseland Associates Debt Consolidation Review

How to Stop a Garnishment

Debt Eraser Review

Do Debt Collectors Ever Give Up?

Can They Garnish Your Wages for Credit Card Debt?

How Often Do Credit Card Companies Sue for Non-Payment?

How Long Does a Judgement Last?

​​How Long Before a Creditor Can Garnish Wages?

How to Beat a Bill Collector in Court