It is not as glorious as many would like you to believe, but can be effective. Basically you are asking the credit card company to settle for less. The good news is many times you can settle for 30-50% of what you actually owe. The bad news is there may be some hoops to jump through.
Is it possible to just stop and call and offer to settle right now? Yes, but... is the answer. Let s go over a couple of credit card settlement thoughts first.
Credit Card companies are in the business of loaning money, charging interest on that money and making money. They are not here to give gifts. Credit card companies' point of view is most likely going to be a business decision of what is better for them now? Is it better to settle for 30-50% of the balance owed or risk receiving nothing at all?
There is more involved here than asking an operator’s manager about the possibility of lowering your interest rate.
Here are some of the questions that credit card companies may ask when making their decision.
Are you a candidate for bankruptcy? Meaning will they get nothing versus part of something now.
Are you failing to make payments to them and others? They will check.
What assets do you have that they can attach debt to? They will check.
What evidence of need can you supply to them? Easier for them to make a decision
What are management’s debt settlement plans? This varies from company to company.
Can you pay the settlement in a single lump sum? Yes, they will want it now.
Knowing how a credit card company is thinking is helpful. You still have to say the right things, and not say the wrong things, know which departments to speak to, know what expectations might be depending upon the credit card company and determine what level of stress you want to handle.
A personal and legal representative should be considered. It keeps it cleaner, safer, easier and less emotional. Plus representatives know the game and have a better chance of success. They quite possibly will save more than they will cost. Their payment is usually based upon the debt you owe or on the amount the can save you.
If the credit card company approaches you for debt settlement, their offer is usually at a higher percentage than what they are willing to accept. Again you need to determine if you want to handle this or have a professional do it for you.
Make sure if you come to any agreement, that you insist that you have it in writing before sending a check. Many stories can be told where the customer thought they had an agreement from a company or collector only to learn later they were just getting what they could squeeze out and then went for more.
So, GET IT IN WRITING!