How to Negotiate With Creditors

Due to the recent economy and unemployment rate, any adults are relying more on credit cards and loans to make ends meet. They may be putting more money into the credit card bills than they can pay by the end of the month.

It might lead to an intimidating conversation with your creditors if you stop paying bills or can’t pay on time. Luckily, you don’t have to stay intimidated. There are ways to gear the conversation into a negotiation rather than a bullying session.

Plan what you want to say

Before you start your conversation, think about what exactly you want to say. You don’t need to divulge every detail surrounding your finances. However, you will need to discuss why you are experiencing hardships like you were recently laid off and your partner is in furlough. Or you can discuss how you were sick and lost your usual income due to treatments.

You can give a concise message about why you are not paying and still figure out a game plan for paying off your remaining debt. You can even prepare a list of questions to address, so you aren’t caught off guard at the end of the conversation.

Take notes

During the conversation, you will want to take notes about whatever you discuss. Whether it’s a repayment plan, interest changes or other points, you should take extensive notes about everything said throughout the discussion. For example, write down the person’s name, where they work, what the exact terms they want and how much is owed.

You will want to keep emotions out of it and focus on how you can make the conversation as productive as possible. Along with those notes, ask for further documentation of what you discussed from the creditor’s end. You will want to make sure you have all the conditions laid out in an official document.

Do not do it alone

You don’t have to set terms alone. You can work with a credit counseling agency or an attorney to determine the best approach to negotiations and what is a feasible repayment plan for your financial situation. Otherwise, you may agree to a schedule that is out of your budget (and end up in the same circumstances that you started in.)

Do not let a creditor pressure you into a specific resolution. Make sure to stand up for yourself and your needs. If you end up disagreeing with your creditor, there may be other options to addressing your unpaid debts.