Negotiating credit card debt yourself can be a relatively easy option to reducing the overall balance amount. No, this does not absolve your obligation to pay. It can, however, be an effective tool to lessen the burden and help eliminate unsecured credit card debt.
There is an advantage to doing this yourself in that you deal directly with a human who can hear your personal story and react more compassionately as opposed to an hired counselor or agency you pay.
Here are some action steps for negotiating credit card debt yourself:
Gather all of your credit cards and match each with its current statement. Order one or get it online if needed. You must go into this knowing what you owe. Create a chart on a piece of paper similar to the following:
Create a Budget
The person you talk with wants to be assured that you are taking active steps to pay what you owe. Make a personal budget so you can say, "This is my income, these are my monthly expenses and here is how much I can pay per month. Can you help me out?"
Usually the answer is yes.
Create a Payment Plan
Once the spending plan that has been created, formulate a payment plan. This is a paragraph detailing how you are going to become debt free.
Using the Debt Snowball, you will be ready to negotiate for a better rate.
Be Specific About What You Want
Give them the direct impression that you do indeed intend to pay it all. You are not asking for a reduction of the amount you borrowed but in the interest being charged and any late fees to be forgiven.
Ask what needs to be done for a 6 to 12 months 0% interest rate. Notice that we did not ask if it can be done, but how. If they holding steady with a no, politely insinuate that a credit card balance transfer to a different company and closing the account might have to be an option considering your current financial situation.
Again refer to your household budget plan.
At all times, remain polite and appreciative of any help they could provide. Never get mad or sound offended. If they are unable to do anything, express your appreciation for trying and ask if there is someone that could make such a decision.
If you are transferred elsewhere, start the entire conversation over, maintaining a pleasant and respectful tone. Do this for each card and you will see results. Every little bit helps.
All of this looks good on paper, but looks great when lived out. Take the bull by the horns as they say (whoever "they" are) and take action. Follow up on any promises made and keep current on your payments.
Negotiating credit card debt yourself saves money and hassles -- and time. Lots of money and time. Make sure you know how much you owe, create a personal budget and payment plan, be specific with each creditor, and then take follow up action.