How to Manage Credit Card Debt as You Get Older

The retirement years if not planned for, can be accompanied with unwanted financial troubles. A lot of senior citizens find themselves under huge credit card debt burden which takes a huge toll on their pensions and depletes their savings. Besides, with old age comes the additional burden of health care costs such as that for doctor’s visits, medications, and other related expenses. Handling all this along with your credit card debt would be nothing less than a nightmare.

To add to the woes, credit card debt can be extremely expensive. The interest rates can range anywhere between 10-30% and they keep piling on month on month if you don’t manage to pay off your credit card balances. Just making minimum payments for a long time can make even a small balance total up to thousands of dollars accompanied with credit card charges.

Negotiate lower rate or a settlement with your credit card company

Age of the card holders is sometimes a consideration made by the credit card companies and they agree to give discounts on existing debts. If you are retired and have piled on lots of credit card debt, then negotiating a lower interest rate may ease the burden a little bit. The negotiations normally work only if you have been paying the previous bills on time and the past record with the company is clean. At times, companies also take into consideration the dire financial situation of the client and the duration for which the bill has not been paid.

In case the interest rate is not lowered through negotiations, credit counselling agency or an attorney can help you negotiate a low interest rate on the card. In really bad situations, you can also seek some final settlements where your balance or interest can be waived off. This will hurt your credit score a lot and limit your chances of getting financial help in the future.

Using assets or filing bankruptcy – exercise as last options

It is not recommended to pay your credit cards bills by mortgaging your assets such as house, that is, unless you are left with no other option. And if that is the case, then a reverse mortgage would be a good option to look at. You can use your house to give you the much needed money, though your children would not be left with any inheritance after your demise. But if the credit card debt is really huge then looking at such an option is practical and better than filing bankruptcy, which could be painful process for you and your spouse.

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