Pin Me

Don't Let Credit Card Debt Get You Down: Settle Up

written by: Kristie Lorette•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 5/21/2011

Everything is up for negotiation, including a settlement with your credit card company. Learn how to negotiate a settlement with a credit card company, so you see to all the details and make it as efficient a process as possible.

  • slide 1 of 5

    Credit card balances can quickly spiral out of control. If your balance is through the roof or you simply cannot afford to make the payments, you may be able to work out an arrangement with your credit card company. Generally, when you contact your credit card company, it's wise to be aware of how to ask the credit card company about getting your balance and payments under control.

  • slide 2 of 5

    Contact the Credit Card Issuer

    Learn how to come to a settlement arrangement with your credit card company. Contact the credit card company as soon as you know you are having a problem making the payments. You'll most likely have to call several times and talk to several different people to finally get the answers you need. Make sure that you take detailed notes of your contact. Record the date and time of each call and the specific name and extension of the person you speak with about your problem.

  • slide 3 of 5

    Find Out Your Options

    Talk with the representative about your options. Typically, there are four primary options, which include a lump-sum settlement, an arrangement where the credit card company eliminates the interest or lowers your interest rate, surpass the credit card company and go directly to a debt management company that conducts the negotiations on your behalf, or forbearance, which delays payments for a few months so you can get back on your feet.

    Each type of settlement has its own set of pros and cons. Each credit card company has its own rights on which options it can offer to you. You can see which option or options they offer and then evaluate which works best for you. Another option is to know one or two ways you want to settle and then pose these options to the credit card company. These are the two primary how to negotiate a settlement with a credit card company options for you to be aware.

  • slide 4 of 5

    Get it in Writing

    Once you reach a verbal settlement with the company, the process is far from over. Verbal agreements must then be put in writing. Generally, the representative from the credit card company sends the agreement in writing, but verify this is the next step before hanging up the phone. Once you receive the written agreement, review it carefully to make sure that it contains the same information you discussed during the verbal negotiations in settling your credit card debt.

    If the credit card company does not supply anything to you in writing, then write and send your own letter to the company. You should have a written agreement for any credit or payment issues that may arise in the future. Finally, once you negotiate a settlement with the credit card company, you have to do your part to stick to the agreement. If, for example, you agree to make monthly payments, then pay the agreed upon amount and always on time, until the balance is paid in full.

  • slide 5 of 5


    Photo by Nacu at