How to Defer Payments to Credit Cards

by Heather Topham Wood ; Updated June 13, 2017
Defering payment may be an option.

If you experience financial hardship, the last thing you want to worry about is how you are going to pay your credit cards. Failing to pay your credit cards can result in finance charges, late fees and notices from collection agencies. Instead of hurting your credit, you can inquire about deferring your payments until you are on your feet again. Contact your credit card company as soon as possible to avoid any fees.

Step 1

Call the customer service line of your credit cards. Tell the customer service representative that you do not wish to default on your accounts. Ask they company would be willing to temporarily defer payments. Give them the basics of your financial situation, but don't over-explain. For instance, you can say something like "I just got laid off, so I need to defer my payments until I get back on my feet."

Step 2

Ask if the credit card company would be willing to take a lump sum. Find out if the company would allow you to defer payments now and then pay a lump sum in several months.

Step 3

Transfer the balance to a new card that has a promotional period where no payments are required for a set period of time. Some balance transfer credit cards allow you to make no payments during a promotional period. This can defer the payment of the credit card balance until the introductory period has ended. Find these credit card offers through credit card comparison sites like Credit Net.

Step 4

Contact a credit counseling service. Look for a reputable business in your area that is affiliated with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Select a debt management plan and enroll in it.


  • When you open a new credit card account, you will likely be offered an optional payment protection plan. Enrolling in this type of plan, typically only requires a phone authorization and allows you to defer payments on the card for a set period of time. You are charged a small monthly fee that appears on your credit card statement. Benefits are typically available to individuals, who have lost their job, become disabled, required to report for military duty, or a similar lifestyle change.

About the Author

Heather Topham Wood is a seasoned writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including USA Today, Gadgetell, Feel Rich and Step in Style. Heather is a published novelist with six Amazon bestsellers and a contract through Crescent Moon Press. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from TCNJ.

Photo Credits

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