O.K., times are tough. And it takes no small amount of courage to face the financial disaster that credit cards can cause to even those who feel themselves to be the most sober of financial citizens. Then it takes real courage to pick up a telephone and make a request to a disembodied and not-likely-friendly voice to ask for help bailing you out of a mess you can barely believe you find yourself in.
I have three things to say about this. First. The country’s supposed financial geniuses are unable to pay their debts and are facing bankruptcy. You are not alone. Second. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, though there is something to be learned from this painful experience. I know. I was there during the recession of the early ’90s. Third. You are not without remedy. Take a look at “How to Negotiate with Your Creditors” at Entrepreneur Magazine this week.
Tips to help you negotiate with a creditor or collection agency:
What to Negotiate for When Dealing with Creditors, Lenders, or Collection Agencies
- a lower interest rate
- the interest accrued to be waived
- the late fees, penalties, and/or legal fees to be waived
- the loan to be extended or restructured, allowing you to skip one or more payments with no penalty
- a payment plan that would allow you to pay off the amount currently owed, but with no added interest or fees added in the future
- a settlement that would include a significantly lower balance due (such as 50 to 75 percent of the total)
- favorable reporting to the credit reporting agencies or the removal of negative information from your credit report pertaining that to that account
Jason R. Rich is the bestselling author of more than 37 books including The Complete Book of Dirty Little Secrets: Money-Saving Strategies the Credit Bureaus Won’t Tell You, available from Entrepreneur Press. His books cover a wide range of topics, including computers, e-commerce, personal finance, career-related topics, and travel and entertainment. He also contributes regularly to major daily newspapers, including the New York Daily News, as well as national magazines and popular websites.
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