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Credit card debt negotiation: Consider these options

If you're swimming in credit card debt and losing confidence in your ability to find a solution, it may be time to contact your credit card company.

Believe it or not, you may be able to negotiate your debt as a means of paying less than what you actually owe. This is easier said than done, but it's something you'll want to consider.

Here are a few of your many options:

  • Lump sum settlement. This is when the credit card company agrees to accept a lump sum payment that's less than what you actually owe. The rest of the money is a charge-off. The only downside of this is a charge-off will impact your credit score.
  • Workout arrangement. Your credit card company may agree to lower your minimum monthly payment, interest rate or both. With this approach, not only is it easier to pay down your debt, but it can relieve some of your financial stress.
  • Forbearance. Are you facing a temporary financial challenge, such as a job loss or medical issue that is keeping you out of work? If so, a forbearance program allows you to take a break from making payments for a predetermined period of time.

If you've considered all of these ideas and none make sense for you, it may be time to look into bankruptcy. You may be able to best manage or eliminate your debt through either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, with both providing a variety of benefits. If nothing else, this is another idea that you'll want to learn more about, as it could change your financial life for the better.

Source: CreditCards.com, "Credit card debt negotiation in 3 (not) easy steps," accessed March 30, 2018

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