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Can You Negotiate Credit Card Debt

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Enroll In A Hardship Plan

How to Negotiate Your Credit Card Debt

If youve already missed payments on a bank credit card, that bank may have already reached out to you about reducing your monthly payments by enrolling you in a hardship plan. While not widely advertised, these programs lower your interest rate. They may also waive or eliminate fees and penalties. Also called assistance programs, hardship plans can be short-term or long term. On a long-term hardship payment plan , your account is canceled and your interest rate is frozen while you repay your debt.

What qualifies for a hardship plan? While hardship plans are generally negotiated on a case by case basis, usually a major life event that impacts your ability to pay will qualify you. Examples include unemployment, a serious illness, divorce or a natural disaster such as a fire, hurricane or flood.

Note that not all credit card issuers offer hardship plans. And even if they do, not all will provide specific information about their plans without talking to them directly. Discover seems to be the exception, offering information about its hardship programs on its website. If you want to see what kind of help you can get from your bank, call the number on the back of your card and ask a representative if they offer hardship plans. If they do, explain your situation honestly and tell them you want to pay what you owe but that youre struggling right now.

How To Negotiate Credit Card Debts When You Have A Good Credit Score

It’s more difficult to lower your credit card debt by negotiating with your credit card issuers if you have a good credit history and you havenât recently missed payments on your bills. If you have a good credit score, credit card companies expect that youâll be able to pay back your debts because you’ve been reliably making regular payments.

But all is not lost because they want to keep your business, especially since you’ve been making your payments on time. Your credit card company doesnât want you to close your account. If you have a good credit score, they know youâll be able to do a balance transfer to one of their competitors or open a different credit card with a lower interest rate. If that happens, theyâll lose your business and will not profit off of the interest they charge you each month. They also know that you can take out a personal loan to repay your credit card debt, which would eliminate any profit they can make from you.

Strategies You Can Try To Lower Your Debt When You Have Good Credit

If youâre in a situation where you havenât recently missed payments and you have a good credit score, call your credit card issuer and talk with them. You can still ask for the following:

S To Take To Pay Down Your Credit Card Balance

As the holiday season come near and shoppers add more to their balances, “you need a serious plan” to pay down any debt you have, Rossman says. Taking some basic steps with your budget may help.

Almost half of the Inside 1031 poll-takers who have avoided credit card debt said they limit their spending to what they can afford to pay off in full. Over a third each said they cut back on discretionary spending or reduced their credit card spending by using other forms of payment .

“Look at where you can cut back,” says Colleen McCreary, chief people officer and financial advocate at Credit Karma. “If you are deciding whether you should pay off your monthly credit card bill or pay for any ‘nice-to-haves,’ the credit card bill wins. Making only the minimum payment should be a last resort, as you’ll find yourself accruing costly interest.”

Talk to your credit card issuer if you need more help, she advises. You could ask your lender to switch you to a lower interest rate. In a 2018 , 70% of people who tried asking for a better rate got one. Some issuers also let you set up a payment plan or offer temporary forbearance for financial hardship.

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How To Get Credit Card Debt Relief In Canada

If youve been using your credit cards as a financial lifeline, its now catching up with you and you want to know how to get credit card debt relief, here are Canadian options, plans, programs, solutions, and advice in short, straight answers.

When your credit card debt is so high that it doesnt feel like the minimum payments actually pay anything down, taking steps to get relief from your credit card debt will ease your money worries. With the right help and advice, you should be able to put together a plan to get your finances back on track and get out of debt.

Depending on your situation, you may be able to negotiate a better interest rate for yourself, but you may also need someone to negotiate relief from credit card debt for you. Heres how to do both.

Being Summoned For Credit Card Debt In Canada

How to Negotiate Credit Card Debt When You Cant Afford ...

I am not all that familiar with the court processes for suing on credit card debts in Canada. I wont be of much help in this regard, other than to say that settling is always an option no matter what stage of collection you are in.

What are your thoughts for managing the credit card you are being sued for? Are you thinking to manage the smaller balance one with a settlement, while making payment arrangements on the larger?

I would be very interested in keeping this page going with updates from you, or other Canadians settling their credit card debts. I will provide whatever feedback and experience I can along the way. I may even be able to reach out to some past contacts in the collection space that operate in Canada to seek out some tips for you. If you are up to participating through the comments below, this page may be able to be a resource for other Canadians seeking to resolve credit card bills with settlement.

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Statute Of Limitations For Credit Card Debt After Death

Every state has its own statute of limitations when collecting owed credit card balances, and payment requests must be given in writing. Depending on where the decedent resided, unsecured debts like a credit card may only have 3-6 months to be collected upon. This clock usually starts ticking when the estate executor/personal representative gives the court-required notices of the decedent’s death to alert owed companies to request. Once this period has passed, creditors can no longer submit claims to the court for owed money.

Enroll In A Debt Management Plan

A certified credit counselor should review your financial situation and offer customized money-management advice before enrolling you in a DMP. For example, Nitzsche says Clearpoint identifies and addresses reasons for financial difficulties first. Counselors may help clients create a household budget, outline financial goals, and address financial concerns in addition to developing a DMP to deal with debt.

Consider examining the DMP to make sure you understand and agree to its details. You may want to confirm that credit card payments are scheduled according to your due dates in order to avoid late fees. Nitzsche says you can contact creditors to adjust due dates if needed.

The FTC offers guidance on checking the credentials of and verifying that a DMP may work for you. In addition, consider asking for a schedule of fees so you’ll know what services you may receive and how much they cost.

Consider getting documentation of any deals in writing. In this way, you’ll be able to confirm your understanding of agreements.

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Find Out How Much You Owe

First, you need to pull your credit report and see your credit score from at least one of the three credit bureaus.

Your credit report will include all of your credit accounts, all credit inquiries from the last two years, any debt in collections, and public records such as bankruptcies.

Then you can list all your creditors, interest rates and credit card balances to see a clear picture of your debt. This will also help you determine if you have any debt youre not legally obligated to pay.

Depending on your state, after anywhere from three to 10 years of no payments or activity, credit card debt is considered past the statute of limitations, meaning you cant be sued for it.

But certain creditors may keep harassing you to paying on it again. This type of debt is called zombie debt, because if you make a payment on it, it restarts the statute of limitations and youre required to pay it again.

Debt collectors will sometimes make calls or send debt settlement letters in the mail to get you to make a payment in an attempt to restart the statute of limitation. Always consult your credit report before agreeing to anything.

Why Would You Need To Negotiate Credit Card Settlement

How To Negotiate Credit Card Debt

The main reason you might want to negotiate a credit card settlement is if youre having trouble keeping up with your regular payments, or you feel like you owe too much. This could be because of an emergency, a job loss, or other unforeseen circumstances that have made it difficult for you to pay the minimum amount due each month. Having a settlement negotiated could result in saving up to half or more on your outstanding debts, reducing the amount youre required to pay back. It can also provide you with options for an affordable monthly payment, allowing you to keep more money in your pocket each month.

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Diy Debt Settlement As A Viable Option

When you choose the DIY approach, it puts the power back in your possession. You speak directly to your creditors and can save both time and money in the process. Are you unsure of how to accomplish this?

You negotiate credit card debt and possibly:

  • Reduce your interest rate
  • Lower the overall total by offering a partial payment
  • See a better credit score over the long term

While it may be scary and challenging to achieve, creditors prefer receiving at least partial compensation for what you owe. If you come to your lenders with a reasonable plan and offer, they are more likely to agree. The chances increase if you offer a fair lump sum payment.

However, not everyone who attempts it is successful. Its not impossible, but more difficult for an individual to accomplish. If you know your rights, have a plan, and budget in place, you may be able to sway them without involving a third party.

Ask If You Qualify For A Relief Program

If your income was impacted by the pandemic, you may qualify for a specific relief or hardship program. Ask if your creditor offers these programs and if you qualify for them. Come to the call with a specific list of questions.

Relief and Hardship Program Questions to ask:

  • If I cant make my payment because of Covid, do you have a financial relief program?
  • Are there fees associated with these programs?
  • If I defer or lower my monthly payments, will interest continue to accrue during this relief period?
  • How long does the relief period last and when will I need to start repaying my bill?
  • What happens if my financial situation hasnt changed once the period ends? Is there an option to reevaluate?
  • What information will be reported to the credit reporting agencies?

Even if you dont qualify for a relief program, be prepared to ask additional questions:

  • Do I qualify to reduce my interest rate, based on my customer loyalty?
  • Can I defer or reduce my monthly payment?

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How Does Credit Card Settlement Work

The benefits of credit card settlement are clear: You may be able to get out of debt more quickly without the responsibility of the full debt load. However, your credit score will likely drop as a result of debt settlement, and you may have tax consequences down the line. If you settle a $15,000 debt for $10,000, for instance, you may be taxed on that $5,000 difference.

The Basics Of Debt Settlement

13 Awesome Tricks for Negotiating Credit Card Debt

Debt settlement is an agreement between a lender and a borrower for a large, one-time payment toward an existing balance in return for the forgiveness of the remaining debt. Someone who owes $10,000 on a single credit card, for example, may approach the credit card company and offer to pay $5,000. In return for this one-time payment, the credit card company agrees to forgive or erase the remaining $5,000 still owed.

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How To Get Out Of Credit Card Debt Without Paying Everything You Owe

Debt is tough. Sometimes it is hard to imagine getting out of it, and you can feel like your back is against the wall. One idea, that sounds good in theory, is to somehow get out of debt without paying it all off. Of course, this is an appealing strategy, but pursuing it can cause more harm than good. Here are the ways you can technically pay off debt without paying everything you owe, along with important reasons to consider other options instead.


In this article, we are talking specifically about credit card debt. There are other types of debt that have forgiveness options, such as student loans. However, there are not typically formal forgiveness options through major credit card companies. When you use your credit cards, creditors have the full expectation that you will repay the money. After long periods of missed payments, your creditors may lower these expectations and charge-off the accounts and send them to collections. After this period, there may be opportunities to pursue alternative payment arrangements for less than what you owe. However, these always accompany damage to your credit score.


Debt settlement is not cheap, either. You can expect to pay fees between 15 and 25 percent of the enrolled debt. On top of that, if your debt is forgiven then the forgiven amount is treated as taxable income!

What about DIY settlement?


Better Options


Find Help Negotiating Credit Card Debt

A key to negotiating credit card debt is to remember that what is beneficial to the debtor is sometimes not in the best interests of the credit card company. So you have to overcome that and make it worthwhile for the creditor to negotiate. Here are several helpful pointers for your credit card debt negotiations.

When you are trying to come to an arrangement to reduce or get rid of your debt, remember that the creditor – debtor relationship is often times one in which if one party benefits the other party stands to loose. While it is possible to negotiate your credit card debt yourself, and we provide helpful tips and methods to do that, always keep in mind that you can use debt negotiation companies, debt settlement plans, and counselors, and they may be your best option, as you will have a debt mediator to work with you on your situation and represent your best interests negotiating your credit card debt with your creditors. But here are some steps that might help you if you proceed on your own.

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Settle Your Credit Card Debt Yourself

In a debt settlement, you make an agreement with your credit card lender to a new set of payment terms. The credit card company may agree to forgive part of your debt or agree to a new payment schedule to allow you to get back on track. You likely wonât be able to negotiate a debt settlement unless you are already past due on your debt. Otherwise, the credit card lender will assume you can pay back your debt.

You can try to settle your credit card debt on your own. You may want to write down your credit card debts on paper or a spreadsheet and start budgeting to find out what you can afford to repay. List the interest rate and the balance you owe for each card. This way when you’re ready to contact your credit card companies youâll have the information available and know which ones are worth trying to negotiate with.

Why do credit card companies do debt settlements?

Before negotiating with a credit card company, itâs important that you understand your lenderâs viewpoint and motivations. They want to prevent a situation in which their loan is never repaid, and they understand that you may have a certain amount of money available to repay your debts. They also understand that money may need to go to pay multiple creditors. Knowing this, they hope you will pay off your debt with them instead of paying your other bills before you pay them.

Try these strategies if you have multiple debts to pay.

Debt Settlement Downsides

What To Look For In A Debt Settlement Company

Can You Settle Credit Card Debt If You Are Still Current?

Your debt settlement company should have a good reputation and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Look for an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and positive client feedback on the services debt settlement companies offer. Make sure that you opt for the services of an entity that has helped thousands of customers already.

Contact the debt settlement company and after your initial conversation, ask yourself these questions.

  • Is this debt settlement company committed to working out the best solution for my situation?
  • Does it possess the tools and resources to help me achieve my goal of freedom from debt?
  • Does it have a team of skilled negotiators and debt specialists capable of obtaining a good debt settlement deal for me?

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