If your credit card balances are starting to pile up much too high for you to manage, it may be time to take a step forward and ask for assistance. There are now many resources that are available to consumers who are burdened by too much credit card debt. There are companies that will help you settle your debts with lump sum payments and there are debt consolidation programs that help you reduce your monthly payments. Both methods for debt reduction are effective but not all people will be eligible for or able to commit to such programs.What YOU can do is attempt to negotiate new terms on your credit accounts to make life easier for you.
So how can you reduce your debts effectively when you owe money to your creditors? First know that credit card companies are competing for business and many will be willing to work with you. Don’t be afraid to contact your credit card company directly and ask them to work with you on the following issues:
Negotiate the Interest Rate
Many people fall into financial difficulties because their credit card companies raised the interest rates on their accounts. These high interest rates can be negotiated to a lower rate that will save you money each month. Many consumers do not realize that they can contact their credit card companies and ask for a reduction in interest rates. Cite the better rates at another credit card company and don’t be afraid to consider making a switch if your current company is not willing to work with you.
Negotiate the Monthly Payment
If you can’t afford to pay the minimum payment each month, contact your creditor before the situation gets out of hand. Explain your financial hardship in meeting the minimum payment each month and ask them for other options. Credit card companies want to get paid back but with the recent recession crisis and the amount of defaults on credit card balances, they are often willing to help you out rather than risk your turning to bankruptcy as an option. Some may be able to skip a payment or two so you can catch up.
Negotiate the Fees
If you have been late on payments in the past, chances are good that you have been hit with a lot of late payment fees and penalties. You might be able to speak to your creditor about erasing those from your record. Without these fees, your balances might be more manageable and allow you to catch up once again.
Don’t Believe the Hype
Debt consolidation and settlement companies usually promote their services as one of a kind or that they have a special relationship with your creditors. While it may be true, there’s nothing stopping you from trying to negotiate a settlement yourself and avoid paying someone else to help you.
The important thing is that you don’t avoid your credit troubles or wait until they become a bigger problem. Contact your creditors as soon as you suspect trouble with payment and see what they can offer you in the way of assistance.