Proven Tactics to Overcome Big Debts

Chances are you have debt -- and lots of it.

(Image credit: iStockphoto)

Chances are you have debt -- and lots of it. The average amount owed per consumer is $17,205, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s most recent consumer credit report. That doesn’t even include real-estate loans -- just credit-card balances, auto loans, student loans and other personal loans.

What’s your strategy for paying it down? Sometimes in the fight against debt, the money’s actually there: It’s simply a matter of crafting a budget, reining in your spending and funneling more of your income to pay down the debts. Other people need to get creative -- and work even harder -- to bring in extra money to tackle their debt.

Read on for inspiration from seven people who paid off as much as $80,000 in consumer debt in three years or less. Hopefully, some or all of their approaches will help you pay down what you owe.

Cameron Huddleston
Former Online Editor, Kiplinger.com
Huddleston wrote the daily "Kip Tips" column for Kiplinger.com. She joined Kiplinger in 2001 after graduating from American University with an MA in economic journalism.