Debt Negotiation: Talk Down Your Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt is the number one form of debt in the country and every day more and more Americans are finding themselves in deeper and deeper with credit card companies. When the payments seem high and many and the interest rates are beyond comprehension, you may be looking for relief. Debt negotiation can bring relief to the situation and allow you to fight for your hard earned money and still make your creditors happy.

Debt negotiation is a form of debt management that allows for the debtor or a representative of the debtor to negotiate the terms of the loan with the credit card company to reach a settlement amount and form a pay off or reduce the interest rate, thus bringing relief to the debtor. What this means for you is a way to pay off your credit card balance while saving a little money or by bringing relief to your monthly payments and shortening the amount of time it takes to pay off your balance by decreasing the interest rate.

The first step to successful debt negotiation is to know as much as each of your credit card accounts as possible. Pull out all the information for each account you have a make a short list of the following information for each account to have readily available when you call. You need to have the account balance, monthly payment, interest rate, creditor and full creditor contact information. Knowledge is power in this instance and the more you know about the company and how the company compares to your other accounts, the better the negotiating power you have.

While, credit counselors are trained in the art of debt negotiation and if you are absolutely unable to make the calls and negotiation yourself, you can find a credit counselor who offers debt negotiation services and have them make the calls for you. With that said, with a little courage and some confidence you can negotiate your own account and contracts with great success and a few tips.

Tip #1: The most important thing to remember when negotiating with your creditors is that you MUST be speaking with someone authorized to make changes to your account, otherwise you are wasting your time. Only certain supervisors are authorized to offer settlements and make changes to accounts and most people you talk to are only there for customer service and billing calls. Ask for a supervisor or account specialist before starting your pitch.

Tip #2: Put together some pay off money and know your back up bargaining chips. The best thing you can do is offer a pay out or settlement offer. To do this you need a lump sum that you can pay them to settle the debt if they agree. If you are unable to offer this, then you need to have the information in front of you to negotiate other conditions like a lower interest rate. For this you should have other credit card offers and accounts in front of you to offer what other companies are offering you. Many credit card companies would rather meet a lower interest rate, than lose your business.

Tip #3: Don’t take no for an answer. What this means is that if they don’t go for a settlement or pay out option, don’t give up. Instead ask for a lower interest rate or a loyalty credit to your balance. If they are resistant to lower your interest rate tell them you have other offers that you have been considering transferring your balance to that offer a lower interest rate. They will often at least match it, if not beat it. Even if your account is default, they would rather you stay with them and pay it than close the account and leave their company.

Debt negotiation can be a great tool for lowering your interest rates, monthly payments or finding a way to pay off credit card debt. These tactics can all bring success when partnered with a confident attitude and understanding of the credit card industry. With a little work and negotiation you can be well on your way to a life without credit card debt.

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