Showing posts with label lowering your debt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lowering your debt. Show all posts

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Five Secrets to Negotiating Lower Payments with Creditors

Debt can pile up quickly and soon get overwhelming to keep up with. If you get buried in debt and can't pay your bills, an option may be to negotiate lower payments with your creditors. That won't always be easy, and you will have to convince those creditors that taking what you can offer is the best deal they will get. However, there are a few ways you can make this process less stressful and more effective. Here are some ideas to get you started on lowering your debt:

Put bankruptcy on the table

Car and home loans are secured by property, and if you can't pay your bills, those lenders will simply seize your collateral. The creditors you will be negotiating with are likely to be unsecured creditors such as credit card companies. Those companies could be left with nothing in a bankruptcy and may be more willing to negotiate to get something rather than nothing. Be sure to talk to financial experts before doing this.
Aim low

Most unsecured creditors will take half or less of what they actually are owed, so you should start low in your negotiations. If you can afford to pay 30 percent, start by offering 10 or 15 percent. The worst thing that can happen is that the creditor says "no." Starting too high may lock you in a position to pay for more than you can handle and leave with feeling like there is no way out. You might be surprised about how low you can go with negotiations.

Use a third party to negotiate on your behalf

Ideally, you would hire a lawyer or another company to negotiate with creditors on your behalf. Such businesses negotiate on your behalf with creditors and can help you get the best of the deal so you can move on from your financial troubles quicker. They know the business more than you do, and they can often get better deals that you wouldn't even come close to on your own. This can help you get back on your feet quicker and not stress as much during the process of becoming debt-free.
Focus on the worst debts

You likely won't be able to negotiate a cut in all your debts, so focus on the ones that will offer you the most relief. Debts with the highest interest rates and those that are the most overdue should be the ones you focus on first. While this is not always true, it is often the best decision to save you more money in the end. Once you have your big debts paid off, you can continue using the same amount of money to pay off smaller debts quicker.

Show evidence you can pay

Creditors will be more likely to consider negotiating with you if there is evidence you will be able to pay the reduced amount. No creditor wants to spend the time and energy negotiating a debt-reduction agreement only to find out the debtor can't pay anyway. Build up the money you need to pay debts and offer to pay your reduced amount on the spot. Creditors may be willing to go lower if they will get the money right away.

Keep in mind that debt reduction and settlement is not a silver bullet. Even if you lower your payments, your credit score will take a big hit and your accounts will be canceled. However, the effort is still worth it if it keeps you out of bankruptcy. If it does come down to bankruptcy, be sure to work with financial experts to help you through the process for the best outcome.

Informational credit to D Thode & Associates.

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