How to Negotiate Credit Card Debt For Less

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Credit card debt settlement is possible, even without the help of a debt settlement company. When you feel that debt payment has become unmanageable, it may be a good idea to try to settle credit card debt for less then what is owed. However, if you are planning to negotiate credit card debt and arrange a credit card debt settlement, it is important to understand that this debt settlement will lower your credit score.

Stop making payments. This will hurt your credit score, but is essential to debt settlement. Creditors will not work with you to settle credit card debt and will not negotiate credit card debt for less if you are paying on time. They will only negotiate credit card debt if they feel you are not going to pay. The best time to negotiate credit card debt is between three and six months after you have stopped making payments. After six months, the account may get sent to collections and you may be unable to negotiate credit card debt or come to a debt settlement agreement.

Send a debt settlement proposal via registered mail. You can also make a debt settlement proposal to a supervisor on the phone, but if you do this over the phone you will want to make sure you get everything in writing. Your debt settlement proposal should state a lump sum amount you are willing to pay to settle credit card debt. While a credit card debt settlement could include a series of debt payments over several months, creditors will be more likely to negotiate credit card debt if you can make one single lump sum debt payment. This could be for between 30 to 60 percent of what you actually owe.

Get the debt settlement agreement in writing before sending a debt payment. Once you and the supervisor have agreed on a debt settlement plan, make sure you get it in writing. The written agreement should specify exactly what your debt payment is and should make it clear that this debt payment is settling credit card debt for the full amount owed.

Send a debt payment to settle your credit card debt. You should send a check or money order. Don't give the creditor access to your bank account to take the debt payment because then you are giving them too much access to your money.

Tips & Warnings

  • Often, only supervisors have the authority to negotiate credit card debt. Do not try to make a debt settlement offer or negotiate a credit card debt settlement with the first person who calls. Make sure you are speaking to a supervisor with decision making authority.
  • A debt settlement plan will lower your credit score
  • You may be taxed on the difference between your debt payment and the amount you paid. Be aware of this when you settle credit card debt to account for the extra payment you will need to make to the IRS.

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