It all depends on what you value. If your credit is already bad, you may consider seeing if you can settle with the companies or hiring an attorney to settle for pennies on the dollar. The process usually takes you failing to pay for 90 days at which point the collectors call and call and call and threaten to sue, but if you owe $2000 and you tell them that you have $800 to pay over a 3 month period, they might bite on that offer because usually the collector has already bought the account from the original lender. Sometimes. Or you can get an attorney from the jump and have them negotiate the amounts. You might pay him $500 to save you $2000. Consolidation loans usually also have ridiculously high interest rates and you end up back where you started.
See my article below regarding the 3 unbreakable rules for getting out debt. The one that directly addresses your issue.
Rule 2: Never turn unsecured debt (e.g. credit cards) into secured debt (consolidation loan or cash out mortgage).