Most of us carry a certain amount of consumer debt. Usually, it is manageable when we make regular monthly payments on time without taking on more new debt. But when added to other outstanding loan balances like a mortgage and a car payment, the debt load may seem insurmountable. Before you start missing payments and getting into financial trouble, here are some positive things you can do to bring your debt problem under control.

Reduce Credit Card Balances

Pay your regular credit card payments each month on time, and the balance will soon decrease. You can expedite the payoff on any balances by paying extra each month. Apply additional amounts from extra income like job bonuses, purchase rebates, and tax refunds to your principal balance. The more you pay on the principal balance, the quicker the loan will be paid in full. You can then apply that monthly payment amount to the next balance to be paid off. Do the same until all your credit debt is eliminated.

Consolidate Balances Into One Monthly Payment

Talk with your bank lender or another financial institution representative about your eligibility for a consolidation loan. By combining your credit balances into a new loan, often at a lower rate of interest, you might get a smaller monthly payment, which can ease your budget strain. The new loan structure can help you pay off your credit balances quickly and easily.

Don't Apply for More Credit Cards

Avoid opening a new charge account for any purpose except an emergency. Having too many monthly payments to make will strain your budget and cause you to get further behind. Try to set aside a small percentage of your income each month as an emergency fund. It will come in handy when your car needs new tires or you have to pay a deductible for a medical service. Avoiding new debt can help you more quickly reduce current debt owed.

Get Legal Advice

If these methods won't work in your situation, or if your debt balance is too big to handle, contact a bankruptcy attorney for advice. You may be able to file for bankruptcy, which can alleviate your debt load and protect your monthly budget. In other words, you won't be homeless or penniless if you file for bankruptcy. The hit to your credit score will eventually clear, and you will likely be able to apply for credit in the future.

Don't let mounting debt get the best of you. Take steps like these now to pay down your credit balances to become debt-free with a strong credit score.

Author's Bio: 

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer from Sacramento, California. A mother of two, Hannah enjoys writing on blogs of all niches.