Thursday, December 16, 2010

DIY Credit Card Debt Settlement

Borrowers who are amidst a financial hardship and can not make timely monthly payments on their credit card debt can benefit from debt settlement. Distressed borrowers are able to avoid bankruptcy as well as reduce the total amount owed by successfully negotiating a settlement with their creditors.

This post discuses how consumers of credit card debt can obtain debt help and a debt settlement offer on their own.

How to Obtain a Debt Settlement Agreement with Your Creditors

1. Raise the Cash

Before you can seriously entertain the idea of settling your debt you need to have some serious cash.

This may mean saving for a while. Many people are only able to do this by defaulting on their credit card payments.

The lender already has a monthly payment arrangement with you that you have most likely defaulted on sense you are in the current predicament that you are in.

The lender is not going to be quick to jump to another monthly payment plan and is certainly going to want more then you would have to pay in a lump sum agreement.

2. Determine Your Settlement Target

Typically a debt settlement agreement is anywhere from 20 - 70 percent of the outstanding balance that is owed to the lender.

Figure out what percentage you are able to pay. Is this amount realistic?

Rationalize how you are going to lay these cards out on the table once you get on the phone.

For instance if your dealing with a 8,000 dollar acct and you have 5,500 dollars that you can some how muster then in terms of debt settlement you are doing pretty well. Here I would suggest offering 3000 and no higher the 3500 to 4000 dollars in this initial round of negotiations.

3. Make the Initial Contact

When you do get on the phone and you get that first rep on the phone you can probably expect to hear "NO". This does not really mean "NO" this will almost always be the case because you are most likely talking to somebody not able to say yes.

Try to go around them if you can, this comes surprisingly natural to some but it can also be like moving a mountain depending on your personality and how long of a lunch break your rep on the other end took if any.

What you can do is to collect as much information as possible. Important information would be the time the reps id info and the questions and responses that accumulate between you and the rep. It does not hurt to let it be known that you are in fact recording information and responses.

4. Find a Decision Maker

Remember that it is not easy finding a decision maker who can approve a settlement offer. The longer you have been in default the easier it is going to be to get a settlement offer. However it is never going to be easy to find a decision maker which is what you really want.

Once you do get a decision maker on the phone you should be able to get a settlement offer at some point.

Sometimes you will have to correspond by mail. This is especially true with bigger banks.

If you get a offer through the mail continue correspondence and lender communication via that outlet of communication.

5. Getting the Agreement

Generally they will send it in the mail.

You need to look it over of course and sign it and send it back with the payment but only after you know that the representative has signed it as well.

Then you can count on that credit card account and card to be useless.