By Rochelle N. Belnap, The Arizona Credit Law Group, PLLC
Credit cards. Everyone has them, but what do you do when you have too much credit card debt? What are your options? This blog is for people who want to pay the company less than what they owe and call it even- aka negotiate a settlement.
In negotiation there are a few questions you need to know to ask before you get started:
1) Who do I talk to? The customer service rep is not your best bet. You want someone who handles loss mitigation/collections.
2) What are you trying to achieve? It’s not enough to know you want to settle, you will need to know how much you can afford and by when. The best settlements happen when you can make a single lump sum payment. If you need to make payments over a period of time then your settlement is really more like a long-term repayment plan.
3) How much will they take? Generally, companies will work with you if you are reasonable and are experiencing a financial hardship. But generally the “how much” varies by credit card company, owner of the debt, debt amount, status of the account, and by your financial position and credit score. The only real way to know, is to ask them.
Make sure to always get the terms in writing before you make a payment, and to request a “fully satisfied” letter when your payment clears. This way there is no question about whether you paid the debt. Pro-Tip: check your credit report 30 days later to make sure the account was updated.
Thanks for reading and Good Luck!