If you've tried everything but your credit card debt continues to grow, it may be time to contact your issuer to discuss your situation. This is much better than missing payments, hiding from your credit card company and hoping things miraculously improve in the future.
While you could easily call your credit card issuer on a whim and begin the negotiation process, there are some steps you first want to take to prepare yourself:
- Know what you're asking for: Maybe you have $5,000 to put toward a $10,000 credit card bill. If you're okay parting with this money, ask your credit card company if they'll accept this and write off the rest.
- Talk to the right person: There's a good chance you'll have to dig around to find the person who is in a position to negotiate with you. If the first person you speak with tells you no, don't give up there. Do some work upfront to determine who you need to speak with.
- Know what you can ask for: You don't always have to focus on the balance. For example, you can ask for a lower interest rate to help prevent your balance from growing. Or maybe you request a lower minimum payment until you get back on your feet.
If your credit card debt negotiation falls flat, it's time to turn your attention to other strategies.
For example, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to discharge some or all of your debts. Best yet, the process only takes four to six months to complete. This gives you something to work toward, which is usually enough to keep you on track.
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