Guest Post: Negotiate with Credit Card Companies for the Best Deals
Credit card companies might seem like daunting places, businesses so big that they would never listen to a mere cardholder, much less a single mom who happens to be far in debt with them. But you might be surprised at how responsive the credit card companies will be if you simply ask them for some help and appeal to the customer service representative's sense of goodwill.
If you have always made payments on time and always met your minimum or paid even more when you could, you're in an excellent position to negotiate your interest rate. Call your credit card company, point out how "good" you have been during the life of the card, and ask if they might be able to lower your interest rate.
Even if you haven't been able to make payments on time, you still might have a bargaining chip. Explain your financial situation and you might be surprised at what happens. If you are honest with the credit card companies, they tend to help you as much as they can.
If you know you can't make your minimum payments, ask them to suspend your account and negotiate monthly payments. That way, they know you won't be getting deeper into debt, and you will be paying them a certain amount every month. They would rather have a little bit of money than none at all!
Alternatively, ask if you can pay a settlement - a portion of your debt in order to wipe the slate clean. If you can pay a lump sum amount of the balance, you might be able to get out from under the debt with only a 25 percent payment on the total.
No matter what your credit card arrangements, get them in writing. Simply talking to someone over the phone is not enough. Make sure they send you information on your new rates or payment plans. If they don't send this immediately, follow up. Make sure you have the name of the person who helped you in the first place, and make detailed notes on every conversation so that you have some sort of evidence to back up the conversation.
If you are in trouble with your debts, consider credit counseling services. They can help you get back on track while paying off your debts in a timely fashion, and everyone is happy in the end.
Guest post by Jenna Lang of www.singlemomfinancialhelp.com. Visit this site for additional information on education, career and business issues for single mothers, as well as advice on home matters and relationships.
Return to Single Parent Home Page