Helpful Advice for Negotiating With Credit Card Companies
If you’re someone who’s currently suffering from¬†credit card debt, you are certainly not alone. In fact, according to many published articles on the topic, the average credit card debt per household is around $16,000. If you owe thousands of dollars, it’s understandable why you might feel extremely overwhelmed. However, as you’re in the processing of coming up with a plan to get out of debt, make sure that one of the things that’s on your list is negotiating with your credit card companies. It’s something that works effectively for hundreds of people each year.
If you’d like to know some ways that you can make the negotiating process easier for you, please keep reading.
Call before you’re in too deep.¬†Credit card companies are aware of the fact that sometimes people have financial troubles that make it difficult for them to pay their bills on time. The key is not to wait until you’re several months delinquent on your credit card statement to let them about your situation. By communicating your issues as soon as possible, you increase your chances of them being willing to work out something with you. In some cases, even a forbearance (which is when you don’t have to pay anything for a certain period of time) is a possibility.
Be careful about how much information that you share.¬†That said, as you’re talking to the customer associate, be careful about how much information that you provide them. Saying things like you lost your job or you need to take care of some other bills first may cause them to cut off your credit completely. It’s actually better to simply say that you’re going to be late and that you apologize for it. Then provide them with a date for when you can make the actual payment.
Ask for a lower interest rate.¬†If you’re someone who’s been in good standing with your credit card company, something that you might want to request is getting a lower interest rate. After all, for a lot of people who have a significantly higher balance, oftentimes it’s the interest that’s causing them to go into arrears. It’s not guaranteed that your credit card company will extend this to you. However, if you let them know that there’s another company that has the interest rate that you are looking for, more times than not, they will try and match them.
Request to get on a payment plan.¬†When it comes to¬†using credit cards, it’s important that you use them responsibly. This means not relying on them for all of your expenses and paying your bills on time. But if you made mistakes when it comes to these rules, something else that can help you to get out of credit card debt is to request a payment plan. This could be something as simple as requesting to have your payment date changed or it could be something like seeing if you can pay a certain amount bi-weekly or monthly in order to avoid additional fees. Keep in mind that if your credit card company agrees to this arrangement and you miss a payment, they have a right to change their minds and close your account. Therefore, you must honor your agreement until the balance is paid off.
Get your request in writing.¬†Whatever it is that you and your credit card company agree to, it’s not enough to leave it as a verbal arrangement. Also request that they follow up the call with an email or letter in the mail. That way, should problems arise in the future, you have documentation of what was said by both parties. Good luck!