If you’re like many who are drowning in their debts, especially credit card debts, you may be considering settling some of that debt so that you can begin to live your life without having all these bills hanging over your head. This is a great idea, especially if you have so many bills that you will never be able to pay them off, but you need to know how to negotiate a debt settlement that will meet your needs and those of your creditors. This is especially important if you will be handling your debt settlement on your own, because your creditors like to play hardball and you need to know how to beat them at their own game for the best, most convenient deal.
1. Know How Much You Can Afford To Pay
Many people don’t really know how much money they can afford to shell out, or worse, if they embark on a payment plan with their creditors, they might think they are getting a good deal, only to find that they are saddled with another payment that is just too high for them to afford. Creditors want to get as much money as possible in the shortest amount of time, so it’s up to you to simply fight that. If you do have a large sum of money to work with, consider how many debts you have to pay off and what is “fair”.
2. Know Your Rights
When you are working on a debt settlement negotiation, it’s a good idea to know exactly what your rights are. For instance, how much interest can you really take off the debts you owe and are you entitled to eliminate late fees and other charges from your entire debt when you are working to settle it? While you should never seem overly aggressive during negotiations, it’s important to be well educated so you know when a creditor is trying to give you a bad deal.
3. Get It All In Writing
Before you even consider sending any creditor any money, you need to make sure that they send you the agreement in writing. Once you have had the opportunity to review the information, and only then, should you send your payment to your creditor. No exceptions, ever. Remember that your creditors want your money and they are not above doing some less than upstanding things to get it, including taking your payment and telling you that you still owe more.