Negotiating with Creditors

by Susan Paige on August 25, 2018 · 0 comments

You can sometimes see problems coming before they arrive. In the case of financial troubles, the sooner you recognize them and get in touch with your creditors, the better the chance you’ll have of working something out. However, negotiating with creditors does take skill and patience. In every case, you’re going to have to overcome a certain amount of recalcitrance before you begin to make headway. These tips will help you do just that—prior to making calls.

Come Up With a Plan First

Take stock of your situation and figure out exactly what you can offer and stick with. Most creditors prefer one-time payments so they can put the account to rest and be done with it. This means you’ll need to have an exact figure in mind so you can negotiate a deal you can fulfill right away. If you’re going to have to keep making payments, figure out exactly how much you can afford to maintain until the debt is settled.

Be Honest and to the Point

Whether you have one creditor with whom you’ll speak or several, keep your story the same every time. The easiest way to do this is to tell the truth. They’re going to be evaluating your words to ensure you’re not just trying to get out of paying what you owe. Tell them the nature of the situation as succinctly as possible, without going into too much detail or being emotional. Let them know you’re serious about satisfying the debt, you’ve worked out a plan you can afford and just need some help on their end to make it work.

Remain Calm

Accounts receivable people are trained to push your buttons in an effort to induce guilt. Regardless of the words they utter, remember it’s a business transaction and as far as they’re concerned you’re just a voice in their ear. They don’t know you and they don’t judge you. All they do is make a decision about whether or not to work with you. Staying calm is more likely to make that happen. If you feel a volcanic moment coming on, excuse yourself from the call and phone again after you’ve cooled off.

Take Copious Notes

You’ll have to make a number of calls before you get any traction. Always get the name of each person with whom you speak and a direct call-back number for them if you can. Most call centers are staffed with a number of people and you may be making headway with one person only to get another person the next time you call and have to start all over again.

If you have a record of your conversation with the previous person, as well as their name and contact information, you can make it easier for the subsequent person to find records of your transaction. Make note of the date and time of each call. Write all of the details you discussed and any agreement you may have reached with them.

Get it in Writing

If you reach an agreement, ask for the details to be sent to you in writing so you can begin paying based upon the arrangement. Make sure the document includes the negotiated amount due and the payment(s) you’ve agreed upon, as well as the time period, interest rate and fees. Ask them to remove notations of any late payments you may have incurred from your credit report and to list the debt as paid in full once you’ve lived up to your end of the deal.

Consider Working With a Pro

As you can see, this can be a rather involved process. You can expect to be put on hold a lot. You can also expect to have to talk to a number of different people over a period of several weeks before you even begin to get anywhere. Many people have found working with a debt negotiation professional a smarter solution.

Yes, you can do it on your own. But you could also build your own car—given enough time, training and the proper tools!

If you do decide to work with a debt settlement company, do your research and pore over materials such as these Freedom Debt Relief reviews. You want to make sure you don’t make your problems worse by hiring an incompetent or—even worse—a dishonest company.

Negotiating with creditors can be done, given time, patience and a solid plan. Following the steps outlined above will save you a lot of grief and potential long term damage to your credit history.

 

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