Unfortunately for many residents in Mississippi, one medical emergency could easily send you spiraling into debt. While it might seem like an impossible pit to climb out of at first, there are actually several ways that you can start tackling your debt today.

AOL offers four potential ways to handle medical debt, each serving a different possible scenario. To start, negotiation is one option. A collection agency may be called on behalf of the hospital if you’re unable to pay your bill, but you can then negotiate with the collection agency to pay a full and final settlement. You may even be able to strike a negotiation with the hospital once your first bill comes in. It’s possible to attempt to reduce it, or to work out a payment plan that allows you to pay your debts off without the involvement of a third party.

Bankruptcy is also an option in extreme cases. When all else fails and you simply don’t have the funds to bail yourself out, bankruptcy will erase your debt. However, it does come at the cost of heavily impacting your credit score for years. Alerting the hospital to your intended bankruptcy filing may prompt them to initiate or accept negotiations, as well.

Looking for low interest rates can also help. For example, some personal loans may have interest rates set at 4.25 percent or even lower. These will generally be much more affordable than the financing offered by the hospital.

Once you’ve been saddled with medical debt, it’s important to step back and examine your situation carefully. From there, you’ll be able to choose which option will suit your needs and means the best.