If you're not behind payment then why on earth do you need debt relief? If you're finding it hard to cope up with paying the debt then the time has come to reassess your financial position and start budgeting.
I think the following article will be very helpful for you: -
get out of debt - 4 Keys and 3 simple steps for it
Have you tried to contact your banks to see if they would be willing to work with you before you get behind. Sometimes they will waive any fees, decrease your interest, decrease monthly payments, etc... Sometimes though, they won't do this if you are not already late or behind. But it would be worth a try to call and explain your situation.
Hope this helped.
Some of my creditors did offer hardship programs when I first notified them that we were experiencing financial difficulties, even though we were not yet behind. Others said that they didn't have any programs that we could qualify for unless we were behind on our payments (I told them I'd be behind next month and we could talk then).
However, the problem with the hardship programs is that they are temporary, and it sounds like you need permanent relief. The hardship programs will usually reduce your monthly interest rate (to between 0% and about 10%), and lower your minimum monthly payment to 1% of your outstanding balance, and they last from about six months to a year. If you need more long term relief than that, then you would probably need to look at either debt settlement if you can come up with funds for that (I would recommend doing it yourself and saving the fees that a company would charge you), or bankruptcy.
Thanks for the replies. To be honest, until just a couple of days ago, I was unaware of the debt settlement possibility. I have been trying to get more information about the process. I have learned that there are many companies who claim they can help, but I have also learned that many are scams. I am not sure I am up to the stress of doing it on my own. I guess I need to do more research. I would like to get a handle on things before the problem gets too big. I would also like to be able to avoid something like bankruptcy.