Are you mired in credit card debt? The best way out of it is to pay off your outstanding amount right away.
Don’t think that these credit card companies are not open for negotiation. Every day, company representatives meet with clients who can’t pay off their debt.
The purpose of the meeting is to arrive at a win-win solution: the customer is cleared of his/her debts. The credit card company does not have to worry about unpaid accounts.
Here are 3 negotiation tactics that you may want to use:
- Have a Plan Ready
Before meeting with the credit card company, you should have a plan in place. The basis of your plan should be your current ability to pay off your debt. You should review your cash flow:
- Determine your current streams of revenue – What are your sources of income? Are they consistent or stable?
- Create a summary of your expenses
- Identify future payments that you might make. For example, if you have children, when will you pay their tuition?
Once you have evaluated your cash position, come up with proposals for the credit company. Here are a few proposals that you may want to consider:
- Request if it is possible to condone interest payments. It is unlikely that the credit card company will remove all interest payments on your outstanding account. It is possible for the credit card company to condone interest for a limited period.
- Ask for a lower interest rate. It won’t hurt to ask! Be prepared for the credit card representative to counter with a proposal that you have to make a significant first payment.
- Offer to settle the entire amount if a significant reduction is made. For example, you have an outstanding amount of $5,000. Don’t hesitate to offer a one-time payment of $2,500 as settlement for the entire amount. The credit card company may go for it. After all, they would rather have some payment than nothing at all.
- Talk to the Right Person
If you want the negotiation process to go smoothly, always ask to meet with the right person. The right person is the one who can finalize decisions right away. There will be serious risks to your cause if you speak with a representative and not the decision-maker:
- Delays – The representative will tell you, “Let me present your proposal to my Supervisor. I will get back to you when I have word.” If you negotiate with a representative, you will expose yourself to delays.
- Filtered Information – When information goes through an intermediary, the probability is great that it will not be accurate once it reaches the intended recipient.
Find out who is charge of credit card matters and ask for an appointment. If it is not possible, then after your meeting with the representative, put all of the key discussion points in an email then send it to the decision-maker.
Assuming your proposal gets approved, show good faith by fulfilling your obligations. For example, if the credit card company approves a reduction in interest rate, make it a point to pay on time.
- Get Help
If you are not confident about your negotiation skills, get help. Ask a friend who has had previous experience negotiating credit card bills for assistance. Perhaps he/she can give you pointers on the approach and how to respond to objections.
Find out from the credit card company if you can bring your own negotiator during the meeting.
Always make an effort to settle your debt obligations. The longer you stay in debt the closer you get to living in the poor house.