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How to Negotiate with a Credit Card Company

By on June 14, 2011 in Credit

Especially these days, it is common to find yourself falling behind on making your credit card payments. For some consumers, it is because they have lost their jobs and do not have enough income to make normal living expenses, not to mention keeping up with the rest of the bills. For others, it’s simply that there credit card balances and payments have spiraled out of control, so they are left choosing whether they can afford to pay for groceries this week or make that payment on the credit card. Still yet, with ever increasing gas and food prices, consumers are simply struggling to keep up.

The Solution

One solution, when it comes to working with your credit card companies, is to enter into negotiations with them. You’ve heard the saying that everything is negotiable. To some extent, this is true. The worst that could happen is that your credit card company says no, so it’s at least worth the try. You can try to negotiate items such as the interest rate, your credit card balance and even your monthly payments.

Your Situation

Some of the options you have, including whether negotiations are the way to go, depend on your personal situation. For example, if you have good credit, you may simply be able to conduct a balance transfer to a lower rate credit card, so you can decrease the interest rate you pay, reduce the amount of interest you are accruing and bring your monthly payments down to an affordable level.

If you are already in default on your payments with the credit card company and your credit score is in the toilet, then getting a lower rate credit card that you can conduct a balance transfer with may not be an option. It may also prohibit your existing credit card company from wanting to enter any negotiations with you. Again, this should prohibit you from at least trying, but it is something that you should be aware.

Contact the Creditor

Contact your credit card company and let them know the personal financial situation that is prohibiting you from being able to make your payments. Let them know that you are interested in meeting your obligations or responsibilities, but that you need to know what options they can offer you to help you rectify the situation.

Popular negotiation options from credit card companies include:

  • A decrease in interest rate
  • A decrease in payment amounts
  • A decrease in balance

Which options, if any, that your credit card company will offer you can vary from situation to situation. No matter what the company offers, keep a journal of all of your interactions with the credit card company, and if you do negotiate new terms and conditions with them, be sure to stick to your end of the agreement.

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