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Credit card debt negotiation: You have options

No matter how much credit card debt you have, your issuer expects that you'll eventually pay it off. However, there may come a point when you realize that you don't have the financial means for doing so.

There is no guarantee of success, but you can attempt to negotiate credit card debt with your issuer. Here are some of the options to consider:

  • Modification: Your issuer can modify your account in many ways, such as by removing late fees, lowering your interest rate or reducing your monthly minimum payment.
  • Lump sum settlement: With this option, you offer your issuer a lump sum of money in exchange for writing off the rest of your debt. For this to work, it's essential to make a reasonable offer.
  • Hardship plan: This comes into play if you can prove to your issuer that a financial hardship is making it difficult to stay current. For example, unemployment or a serious illness may qualify you for a hardship plan.
  • Debt consolidation: For example, if you have more than one credit card with a balance, you can use a balance transfer credit card to consolidate all your debt. This may be something your current issuer can assist you with.

Don't be too proud to negotiate your credit card debt. Your issuer is willing to help as long as you keep an open mind and an open line of communication.

If you're unable to settle on something that works for both sides, turn your attention to other ways to reduce or eliminate your debt. For example, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may allow you to discharge your credit card debt within four to six months.

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