The credit card companies can offer bargain deals to distressed credit cardholders whose balance on the card has spiraled out of control and they can not afford to pay back the debt. And in today’s difficult times, these companies are more willing than ever to do whatever they can to settle the debts.
For example, when you miss your monthly payment a couple of times, the card issuer can offer to decrease the minimum payment amount or the interest rates for a few months. This would give you some breathing space and would allow you to repay the debt on easier terms. This way you will also get some time to settle your financial affairs.
If you are unable to pay even the minimum amounts according to the schedule, then you can ask your credit card company if they can offer you a plan that would give you scope of repaying the credit card debt at a reduced rate over a long period of time, say a year or more.
If even this is not possible, then the company might offer you a debt settlement in which you pay lesser amount that the entire debt, that is you get a discount on the amount owed. Sometimes companies settle for as less as fifty per cent of the total outstanding amount.
However, there are many disadvantages of these settlement deals offered by credit card issuers. Once you take such a deal and opt out of your debt payment, your credit scores will go down significantly. This is penalty of not repaying your entire debt amount can cost you dear in the future. With bad credit scores, getting new credit in the future will become not only difficult but also extremely expensive.
There are various alternatives that you should consider before opting for a settlement deal with your credit card issuer. If your credit scores are not already bad, then you can shift your debt to a credit card that has a lower rate. You can also look for a three year, fixed-rate loan and pay off your credit card debt. A credit union or bank can give you a personal loan or various peer-to-peer lending sites can also come to your rescue.
You must consider all the options available to you for repaying your credit card debt and any form of debt settlement with you credit card company should be your last resort.