When it comes to finding relief from debt, debt negotiation is a do-it-yourself debt relief option that allows you to negotiate with your creditors individually to make your debts more manageable. You have a number of options you can choose from, all of which may be able to provide you the credit card debt relief you need.
If you’re considering debt negotiation as a way to find relief from credit card debt, give us a call at to let a credit counselor assess your debt and help explain what you need to know before you call to start negotiating with the credit card companies.
Are creditors really willing to negotiate on my debts?
In truth, creditors are not just out to make your life miserable. You want to pay them and they want to get paid, so there’s a very good reason for them to work with you since you both share that common interest. The key in debt negotiation is working with your creditors to reach an agreement both parties will be satisfied with moving forward.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that your creditors are just going to give you whatever you want without any work. It’s essential to have your finances and debt negotiation strategy in order before you pick up the phone to call any creditor. By being prepared and having a clear goal in mind, you can successfully negotiate with creditors to get the credit card debt relief you need.
Tip #1: Make sure you’re ready to negotiate
Simply calling a credit card company and asking them to change your contract or alter your account really isn’t going to work. You need to have your finances in order and have a clear goal when you head into each negotiation. This includes having an accurate budget in place that you can share with creditors during debt negotiation, to show that you’re not just out to avoid paying your debts back.
Tip #2: Know your goal in debt negotiation
In addition to your monthly budget, you also want to know what it is that you wish to get out of the negotiation. Assess your debts overall and each debt individually to come up with a plan that will make your credit card debt more manageable for your monthly budget. Some possible goals as you’re negotiating with creditors include:
- Lowering your interest rate to provide debt relief
- Waiving penalties or fees assessed to your account
- Setting up a special payment plan that works better for your budget
- Settling your debt for a lump-sum payment
Tip #3: Don’t take no for an answer… at least not right away
Just because you have your paperwork in order and have a clear goal doesn’t mean any particular creditor is going to accept your offer outright. If the customer representative you talk to first isn’t willing to negotiate, don’t immediately start backing off your position. Remember, you have an established goal that will provide relief, so settling for less than what you’re asking for may not provide the amount of debt relief you need.
Be aggressive in your negotiation tactics. Know what you want and what it will provide to the creditor. If you’re negotiating to pay debts back in-full, point out that what you’re offering will pay everything you owe. You can even use a debt calculator to determine how long it will take to pay your debt off if you want to establish a new interest rate or a payment plan.
If the first representative simply won’t budge, don’t give up. Thank them for their time and try calling again to speak with a different representative who may be more willing to work with you. In addition, if one credit card company won’t negotiate at all, call another to see what they’re willing to offer. You may be able to get a few of your credit card accounts adjusted enough to provide the debt relief you need to get your finances back on track.
Tip #4: What to do when debt negotiation doesn’t work
If none of your creditors are willing to work with you, don’t just give up and let your debts spiral out of control. You have other options for debt relief. Give us a call at to let a certified credit counselor assess your debt and review your options for debt relief.