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3 clever ways to reduce debt without bankruptcy

As someone struggling with debt, you've probably already considered ways of reducing what you owe. You might have cut back on your extras, like eating out or having cable TV. You might have looked for a better job or tried other ways to lower your payments.

Everyone struggles from time to time. There are some ways to get out of debt, no matter what your situation is. Here are three clever options.

1. Combine your debts

If you combine all your debts into one payment, you may find that the payment is low enough that you can pay more onto the debt and resolve it sooner. This is called consolidation, and it's a helpful way to reduce what you owe much faster than paying on multiple bills.

2. Take on a side gig

This isn't necessarily a second job, but it should be something that can make you decent money for a few hours of your time. Some common quick-money options are face painting, proofreading for college students, tutoring and newspaper routes. These fit into and around your schedule, so you can earn extra without feeling like you're working a second full-time job.

3. Talk to your creditor

Many people avoid telling their creditors when they're in trouble, but they shouldn't. Letting your creditor know you can't make your payment helps them understand that they need to help you. Be kind and ask if there is anything they can do to help, be it reducing fees or granting you a payment deferment for a month.

Our site has more on how you can get out of debt. There are several options open to you.

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