This is a simple guide on How to Negotiate With Your Credit Card Company. I think everybody will agree that you don’t have to wait till you fall into deep debt before deciding to have a conversation with your credit card issuer. Financial institutions such as banks requires realtime customers, so they may be more open to negotiation than you might think.
Truly, all those do-it-yourself projects are a simple ways to save money these days. Yes, it is one reason why there are several youtube videos, TV shows as well as thousands of magazines celebrating the joys of hands-on home/office improvement.
With that in mind, there is another do-it-yourself opportunity that gets much less attention but it can take about as much time as fixing a broken bathroom pipe. Its just like negotiating with your credit card company.
Now, whether you are trying to push through an unavoidable late fee payments or stay out of bankruptcy court, you can make use of these tips I have written on this page. With it, you can know how to take matters into your own hands. Reading through these guidance and take it as a help from a pro.
Why Negotiating is a Good Idea
It might be hard to fathom that you can call the toll-free number on the back of your credit card and convince a multinational financial company to change the terms of your debt.
But remember that you have power – that same company is competing with several other banks for your business and realizes you could easily switch to another card. If you have a large balance on your card, the company still has an incentive to work with you, because it doesn’t want you to miss payments or possibly go bankrupt.
“Banks are interested in maintaining and attracting lifelong customers,” says Peter Klipa, vice president of creditor relations for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “Because of this, negotiation can be an option. It is worth exploring prior to going to outside sources.”
Some debt-related situations might be too overwhelming for consumers to handle one-on-one. But if you do your homework, you might get a better deal with just a phone call.
Negotiating When You’re Not in Debt
If you’re a loyal customer and pay your balance on time every month, you might have more leverage than someone who isn’t keeping up with payments, Klipa says.
Some common areas for negotiation are:
- Late payment fees
- Interest rates
- Annual fees
- Credit limit
- Payment due date
Even the best customers will make a late payment every once in a while. As long as it’s a rare occurrence, credit card companies sometimes waive that fee if asked.
Interest rates are another ideal topic of negotiation, but most people don’t realize it. In fact, the 2018 Customer Financial Literacy Survey conducted for the NFCC showed that 38 percent of customers carry credit card debt month to month but few have taken steps to lower their interest rates.
Even though there is a chance the company might cut your interest rate just because you called and asked, “You can’t just say, ‘Reduce my interest rate,'” says Brent Wilsey, president of Wilsey Asset Management in San Diego.
The same holds true for trying to get your annual fee waived or credit limit boosted – you have to prepare.
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Importance of Doing Your Homework
Researching your credit card company’s rivals is an ideal way to gather evidence to make your case, Wilsey says.
For example, if your interest rate is 18 percent and two similar cards by other companies are offering 8 percent and 10 percent, you might have a chance to get yours lowered.
It’s not easy to get an annual fee waived, but, again, take a look at the competition. If your card charges more than other, similar cards, mention it and see if you can get it lowered or removed.
If you’re a new credit card customer, companies want your credit limit to increase as the years go on, but you’ll need to prove that you’re a good customer by using the card and making your payments every month, Wilsey says. Then, check in with the bank after about a year.
“You’ll never get in trouble for asking if you ask nicely,” Wilsey says.
Another tip: You need to be prepared to walk away from your card if you don’t get what you want from your current company, Wilsey says.
Free Guide for Negotiation When You’re in Debt
As an individual, medical bills of yourself or your family member, loss of a job, marital divorce or even unhealthy shopping habits can put you into debt. Yes, truly, one or more of these situations can leave consumers of banks in a financial crisis. And since you completely rely on credit cards for your everyday life and major purchases, you can be a victim. Why? Because those accounts are often the first sign of financial distress in your life.
Trust me, credit card debt can become a major headache very quickly because of high interest rates and monthly compounding in your account.
From research, I know that you may be tempted to throw up your hands and ignore the problem, because it seem not to matter at the moment. Hmmm, it will only accelerate your dive into complete bankruptcy.
Personally, I know that people get overwhelmed; they give up. But, when they do that, they’re unknowingly moving straight to the bottom of the credit score scale. You will have a bad credit score.
Instead of ignoring it, there is a better way to go. Truthfully, it often includes a simple call to the very company – or companies – that you owe much of that debt. Professionals will say it’s always a good idea to involve the creditor in the discussions, and thats the blunt truth. It’s the number one thing I personally encourage my friends to do in this situation.
When You’re in Debt: What are the First Steps to Take?
As a human being, you might try to avoid thinking about your debt as it gets worse each month (its very worrisome), but credit card companies never forget about it.
Even though banks as well as other lenders know that unforeseen circumstances can come up and legitimate hardship happens, they knows that providing an unsecured. They also know that revolving credit line involves risk. Therefore, they will protect their interest at all cost. What will you do now? Lets see these guides below;
Get a Job or Start a Business
That being in the know, the sooner you take responsibility for your debt, the quicker you’ll be in a better credit score. You have to sit down and think about how you got in over your head and forecast what could happen. Things like; securing a new/better job or business idea to generate income. Else, there is possibility of more bills coming to you in months or years to come.
Making Changes in Lifestyle
Bossler Kathryn, a financial counselor at GreenPath Financial Wellness in Detroit, says, “Take a hard look at what you can do. Ask yourself about the realistic thing you can do to address the situation. Take for example; you can decide to reduce the height of your lifestyle.
Do dome adjustments and changes in your spending. Things like; disconnecting cable TV completely or reducing monthly subscriptions. You can even differ your memberships of all sorts that requires payments to help align your expenses with your income. You can even sell off any property that is not in you needs list”.
Budgeting means planning and it plays a huge role in debt payment. It will surely help to force you to list your fixed and variable expenses, as well as sources of income and debt. Even though the debt is not yet paid, its a nice start.
Furthermore, search yourself to discover if you are irresponsible in your loan repayments. Also know what particular steps your credit card company might have taken already to recover their money.
First, put a call through to Negotiate with your Credit Card Company about Debt Payment. And if you’re speaking with the creditor representative, you can explain your circumstances and current situation and see if they’re willing to work with you directly.
While you are on that, make sure to remember the 180-day rule, though. If you don’t pay on your debt within that time, the creditor can write off your debt as a loss. You can still negotiate, but your credit score will sustain major damage. This is more dangerous because it may be difficult to obtain a future loan.
Request for Help from Family and Friends
While you’re looking here and there for ways to pay down your credit card debt, you might want to solicit help from family or friends. You can also consider a home equity line or credit card debt consolidation loan. But remember that loans are available if your credit history is strong. See articles to help you get a strong credit score here.
How Credit Card Companies Might Help You
Talk to your creditor. And immediately you and your creditor agree on how much you owe and you’ve brought up the possibility of waiving late fees and lowering the interest rate, you can move to the next step. Discuss a hardship plan. Yes, the money might not roll in as you have envisaged. This discussion would help you navigate a temporary financial setback in case in arises.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), recommends that when you call the company, explain the following:
- Reasons why you can’t/may not afford the minimum payment.
- The amount you believe you can pay and for how long.
- Time: How soon you can restart your typical payment schedule.
Another recommendation is to do an online research. This is because your credit card company is likely to have information on its official website about how it can help consumers who are in a financial crisis.
My advise is that you keep a good, positive, open line of communication with creditors and be honest about what you can afford. Tell them the truth and hear what they got to say about it.
Lastly, when you successfully reach an agreement with the credit card company, be sure to get it in writing and sent via email or standard mail in your box.
When to Talk to a Credit Counselor
Do not waste time, call to Negotiate with Your Credit Card Company about Debt Payment. If you wait too long to address your credit card debt or the debt is so overwhelming you can’t effectively make sense of all the money you owe. Therefore, it’s an ideal time to turn to a nonprofit credit counselor. Take the step immediately.
Over the years, I know a lot of people come into these situations under a variety of circumstances. Typically if they’re behind in multiple credit cards, this is where there agencies below will be of help.
Contact a Debt Agency to Help You:
Now, written below are a few steps you should take when choosing an agency, as suggested by the Federal Trade Commission and CFPB:
- First, you have to look for an organization through the NFCC or the Financial Counseling Association of America. They are available online. Browse it.
- Secondly, you have to carefully review the organizations through your state attorney general’s office and/or your state’s consumer protection agency.
- Thirdly, try to access information from the agencies. Be aware that agencies gives these information to you free, without asking for details about your financial situation.
- Lastly, respectfully interview the agencies you most want to work with.
What Will a Credit Counselor Do for You?
Get the facts right. Know what to expect. The credit counseling agency you chose will take a holistic approach to understand your situation. How will they do that? It is done through in-person, phone or online conversations. They will collect information about income, expenses, assets and liabilities to get a full picture of your debt situation before swinging into action.
After gathering all the information they require, the counselors will then construct a budget with you. They will figure out what you can afford at the time and assist you make smarter financial decisions to help repay your debt.
Going forward, when you decide with the counselor how much you can afford to pay monthly, the counselor can handle the negotiations for you. From there, they can put you on a payment plan, such as a Debt Management Plan (DMP).
By using the debt management plan, the agency sets up a payment schedule to repay debts and will handle collectors’ calls if applicable. Now, after the DMP is completed, the agency will help you re-establish credit so you can begin repayment.
“The important bottom line is that there are solutions out there for people and they may not realize it,” Klipa says.
Why Debt Settlement Can Be Dangerous
What is Debt settlement? It is a system that promises the creditor or another body to take care of your debt for a fraction of the cost, but this option has multiple risks. Your credit score will decline.
Be that as it may, if you have been solicited by a debt settlement company, make sure you understand this is different from debt counseling. Please look it up. Debt settlement companies can be for-profit entities that don’t consider consumer education and budgeting to be part of the process. Get more details online.
The FTC says you also should realize:
- You’ll likely need to set aside money every month to put in an account that helps pay for the settlement.
- It’s possible the credit card company won’t agree to the settlement, which might cause interest and fees to continue unabated.
- Your credit report and score could suffer if you’re not making regular payments directly to the credit card company.
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Avoiding the Need for Future Negotiations
If you make use of negotiations wisely, credit cards can be an ideal locomotive to boost your credit score. But they can cause mayhem when your budget and spending are out of whack.
“The tough part is discipline,” Wilsey says. “Make sure your credit card balances don’t get out of hand.”
Part of that discipline is to keep an eye on the market and see if the credit card company is giving you the best deal it can.
Take an exceptional example, if your competitive research and a phone call to your credit card company results in a lower interest rate, “just think about the money that could save you over four years,” Wilsey says.
Lastly, I believe that the I have taken time to explain will help you Negotiate with Your Credit Card Company about Debt Payment. Do well to share this article to people who might need it. Cheers.
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