Debt Settlement VS. Debt Management?

I currently owe $ 10,418 in credit card bills, which ended up being around $ 600 a month. I have been working with CareOne for 3 months now and I have to pay $ 274 a month plus they lowered my interest fees. It is estimated that I will be out of debt in 4 years & 11 months.

While Debt Management is working pretty well for me, I am wondering about Debt Settlement. I know it will hurt my credit score, but for how long? My credit score is already 565 so Im not sure it could get any worse. Has anyone done this? Has it worked for you? Are there any down sides?

Right now I am starting to believe that Debt Settlement is like giving up, Like I would have more relief if I just continued with the $ 274 a month for 4 years & 11 months. Is Debt Settlement the cowards way out?

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