Living Frugal
Settling Credit Card Debt

How do you even begin to start settling credit card debt?

If you have excessive credit card debt, it's overwhelming to figure out how you got her and what you are going to do. You want to settle the debt because there's no way at this point you can pay off the credit card debt.

First and foremost, you have to be delinquent in your monthly payments, you are not eligible to negotiate your monthly payments. Missing monthly payments will impact your credit score and the more payments you've missed, the more your score will drop.

Before attempting to starting settling your credit card debt, make sure you have prepared your strategy. You need to compile the facts to demonstrate that you absolutely cannot pay the debt in full. You may be able to negotiate a partial payment. The company might be willing to accept it as opposed to nothing at all.

Your first step will need to be explaining to the creditor why you're behind on your credit card payments and show the other places your money has to go in order for you to live. Keep in mind these people have mountains of information on you and you won't get away with a lie.

Review the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act so you know your rights. There are guidelines on how often debt collectors can call you and what sort of things they are not allowed to say. If the debt collection agency calls and threatens you, they are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. You don't have to take the abuse, know your rights.

Free Debt Counseling Advice

When you begin the debt negotiation process to start settling credit card debt, know how much the original debt amount is and negotiate that as a starting point. Debt collection agencies will occasionally inflate the amount you owe by adding in fees and various penalties. The starting point should be the original amount of debt so don't accept the first offer from a collections agent until you're certain of the original amount.

Some debt collectors may be willing to allow you to make monthly payments as opposed to negotiating a lump sum amount when settling credit card debt. Keep in mind that if you negotiate monthly payments, the discount on the original debt won't be as much. The debt collection agent works on a commission. The commission is based on a percentage of collections so don't let them bully you around, they negotiate debt all day long. It's in their best interest.

If you were successful in settling credit card debt, get the agreement in writing (a debt settlement letter) and do not pay any money until you do. The paperwork will free you from any further obligation for that debt should it ever be took to court. After you get the agreement and it looks OK, once you sign on the dotted line the money is due in a few days. Make sure you're ready to make that payment before starting the debt negotiation process.

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