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I have excellent credit but my income has decreased. My credit cards are a burden. Can I protect my credit score and drastically reduce my debt payments?

Unfortunately, there is no way to drastically reduce your debt payments without drastic measures such as through debt settlement. However, debt settlement will hurt your credit score for several years while you go through the process. That is the big downside to debt settlement that accompanies the benefits of the drastic debt reduction.

A debt management program through a credit counseling agency may reduce your payments somewhat but it will not be a drastic reduction as you requested. It is a way to get the rates you are paying lowered however, you will have the added costs of paying the debt management company a monthly fee. It is great for some people and probably something you should look into as it typically will have a lesser impact on reducing your credit score but it will still hurt your score.