Sunday, March 14, 2010

Patience Required

Now that we are in the rebuilding phase of our life (financially speaking), it is time to tackle this credit card debt one phone call at a time. We have been doing a lot of research online and these are the EXACT steps we are following......

Settle Credit Card Debt

Step 1 Stop making your credit card payments. Companies have no reason to settle with someone who continues to make timely payments. Most credit card companies only settle when they believe that if they don't make some kind of deal, they won't see a penny of the money they're owed.

Step 2 Ignore threats. At some point, your account will be turned over to a collection agency that may call threatening to sue you, garnish your wages and take your house or car. Take heart in the fact that most agencies won't go to the effort and expense of actually filing a lawsuit.

Step 3 Make an offer. Many debts are settled for as little as 7 cents on the dollar. Therefore, your opening offer should be no more than 25 percent of the debt. Do not make an offer you can't afford.

Step 4 Expect that your first offer will be refused.

Step 5 Use the threat of bankruptcy to keep the company talking. Remind its representatives that if you declare bankruptcy, the company may get nothing. Continue to negotiate until you reach a mutually acceptable settlement.

Step 6 Take your time. There is no reason to rush into a bankruptcy. Every day you wait, your debt gets older and harder to collect, and your creditors are more likely to cut their losses.

Step 7 Get all deals in writing. Before you send in your payment, make sure that the person who negotiated the settlement with you has the authority to do so. Be certain that the payment you are sending will settle your credit card debt.

So, after a lot of research, I gathered all of our CC information and organized it into a binder with call logs and an excel worksheet on my computer. I was ready to tackle this debt one phone call at a time.

This week I began to make the dreaded phone calls. I started with the card with the smallest balance and figured out how much I could pay them by the end of this month as a settlement. I kept that $ figure in my head and called them with determination.

After dealing with the first guy, (who had no clue what he was doing), I spoke to the manager. After explaining our situation and bartering with him for 30 minutes, he finally took my offer!!! I settled our $500 credit card balance for just $100!!! I was so proud of myself. I literally screamed with joy after I got off the phone. I can't believe it actually worked. So, with much PATIENCE down....a million to go!!!! I'll keep you posted, wish me luck!


  1. Patience is key. Hopefully your credit score won't see too much damage doing it this way...

    Don't forget to get it in writing! Good luck with the other, um, million? :)

  2. Thanks Sharon...
    Our credit score has already been hit hard, so not much more damage we could do. Claiming bankruptcy would be worse. So, we will hope for the best. And, it's not a million, but sure feels like it.

  3. Way to go! From this experience, hopefully you are learning techniques that will help you build up your finances (and credit score) in the future. Keep it up!

  4. That's awesome!! Good stuff! I shared this link with a friend who could use this advice! Hope it helps her out!