When you are burdened with unmanageable credit card debt, it might seem intimidating or even humiliating to contact the credit card companies and negotiate with them yourself. However, when your credit card debt becomes more than you can handle, working with the credit card company directly is one of the best ways to work out a compromise.
Take a good, hard look at your current finances. You'll be much better able to negotiate with your credit card companies if you know exactly how much you can pay each month. According to credit.com, this is an important step in any debt reduction plan, and one many people try to avoid.
Build a budget. Cut out whatever you can and allot as much as possible to a monthly payment on your credit cards. Having this information ready and at hand will make it easier to present a workable proposal to the credit card company. The Federal Trade Commission offers advice on how to quickly build a realistic budget based on your current income and outgo.
Call the credit card company. Explain your predicament and present your plan in a calm, logical manner. Don't forget to ask about a reduction in your interest rates, as well. Sometimes this alone can make a huge difference in your long-term payments.
When an acceptable plan has been determined, do everything you can to stick to it. Defaulting again on your agreement is likely to have serious consequences and leave you in a worse position than you were when you started.
Be realistic when you put your budget together. Don't overestimate how much you can afford to pay each month toward your credit card bills. You don't want to set yourself up to fail. Take some time to build the budget. Rushing through this step could potentially sabotage your own efforts. Be truthful with the credit card company. Financial hardship happens to many people, and if you truly are facing a difficult situation, they will be willing to listen.
Don't let emotions take over during your phone call. While you obviously will be nervous and stressed, becoming angry or overly emotional won't help your cause. Be absolutely sure you can manage the deal you've negotiated. If a proposal simply won't work with your budget, keep talking. You don't want to make promises you know you won't be able to keep.
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