You Can Negotiate Credit Card Debt – Here’s How to Do It
Is your monthly credit card bill extremely high? If you’re struggling with credit card debt that feels insurmountable, you aren’t alone. The average American carries $3,100 in credit card debt, meaning most people are struggling to make their monthly credit card payments. However, if your credit card debt is becoming unbearable, you can search online to find solutions and settlement options.
One surprising way you can take control of your credit card debt and lessen the amount you owe is by negotiating with your credit card company. That’s right – your credit card company may be willing to work with you to get rid of some of your debt. Search online today to discover how you can start credit card negotiations and achieve a settlement of your own.
Wondering where to start? You can learn more about negotiating your way to a credit card debt settlement right here.
There Are Different Ways You Can Settle Your Credit Card Debt
First and foremost, it’s important to understand your options. When you negotiate your debt with your credit card company, you may be given the choice of different types of settlements. And it’s important to know which option is the best for your financial situation.
Getting familiar with the types of settlements credit card companies offer also helps you know what to expect. If a credit card company is willing to consider a debt settlement, they will want to control the terms. You should know the ins and outs of what they’ll likely offer you.
The following are the three different ways credit card debt is typically settled or negotiated:
- A Lump Sum Payment Agreement. You pay the credit card company a one-time lump sum of money that totals less than the amount you actually owe, and your entire balance is forgiven.
- A Workout Agreement. The credit card company lowers your interest rate, reduces your monthly payments, or removes late fees to make your debt more manageable. These adjustments can be made individually or together to reduce your overall debt.
- A Hardship Payment Agreement. Your credit card company agrees to lower your minimum payments, interest rates, or fees due to illness, unemployment, natural disaster, or another short-term hardship. They may even suspend your payments for a short period of time.
Every credit card company is different, but these are the most likely outcomes you’ll be offered in the negotiation process. It’s a good idea to prepare for each of these scenarios and assess whether or not they would work for your needs before you begin negotiating.
Credit Card Companies Won’t Make Negotiations Easy
Once you’re prepared and ready to start discussing debt settlement with your credit card company, it’s time to start negotiating. And in order to get the kind of settlement that you need or want, you’ll want to know how to convince your credit card company that you’re someone worth settling with.
Credit card companies make money when you’re in debt. They don’t need – or want – to settle your debt for a lower amount. Every late payment gets charged fees that go right into your credit card company’s pocket, and every additional interest charge is another bonus for them. So, it’s in the company’s best interest to have you repay the full amount of your debt, no matter how long it takes. That’s why credit card companies are so reluctant to change their terms.
However, there is one situation that will make a credit card company want to settle. The primary reason credit card companies will negotiate debt down is a fear of bankruptcy. If your credit card company thinks you might file for bankruptcy, they’ll be more willing to negotiate.
This is because filing bankruptcy frees you from your credit card debt, in a sense. You may not have to repay your credit card debt once you’ve filed for bankruptcy, and that’s even worse for the credit card company than if you pay a smaller amount of your total debt.
So, you need to make the case clear in order to successfully negotiate a better outcome with your creditors. And being willing to file for bankruptcy could be the key to clinching the settlement you need.
Take These Steps to Start Negotiating With Credit Card Companies
If you’re ready to start the negotiations process, you’ll want to make sure you follow the right steps. Here’s what you need to do.
Confirm Your Total Debt
Check your account balance, either online or over the phone, to determine the exact amount of money you owe. You can also confirm your current interest rate and the costs of any other fees, like late fees or annual fees.
Call Your Credit Card Company
You need to speak directly with your credit card company in order to get negotiations under way. Call the company. Ask to speak with the debt settlement, loss mitigation, or hardship department.
Once you get the right kind of representative on the phone, you should explain your situation and say you’d like to settle your debt. You can even make an offer if you have a particular goal in mind.
Make Your Terms Clear
Your credit card company will be resistant to your initial offer. That’s why your next step should be to make your terms clear to them. Let them know you’re considering filing bankruptcy or hiring a professional for debt settlement. Say that you’d prefer to work your debt out with the company directly. You and the company’s representatives may go back and forth before a settlement can be reached.
At this stage of the process, it’s likely that your credit card company will freeze your credit limit or close your account.
Get the Final Agreement in Writing
Once your credit card company agrees to offer you a settlement, make sure to get it in writing, You need to have documentation and proof of the agreement and its terms. Until you get the settlement in writing, don’t assume that it’s a done deal.
Start Negotiating Your Debt Today
It’s possible to lower the amount you owe in credit card debt. You just need to be willing to negotiate with your credit card company. It’s a tough process, and it can be lengthy, but it could help you achieve a lower debt amount or pay off your debt faster with better terms.
If you need help negotiating your credit card debt, you can search online to find professionals. Debt settlement experts can help you find the right settlement and make negotiations easier. You can work with local professionals or have a debt settlement expert work on your behalf remotely.