Here are top ten tips on how you can deal more effectively with your creditors:
1) Don’t hide. When you delay or miss a payment, your creditor will try to contact you. Never try to hide or ignore your creditors. Ignoring your debts will not solve anything and it can only make matters worse.
2) Contact your creditor. Do you think you won’t be able to make your payment on time? At the first sign of financial trouble, take the initiative to speak with your creditor.
Inform your creditors right away and don’t be afraid to ask for an adjustment. Usually, creditors would agree not to report your late payment if you notify them in advance and make it up within 30 days.
3) Be Polite. When communicating with your creditors, exercise courtesy and be professional. How you speak with your creditors can affect the result of your negotiation. Remember, you’re trying to appeal to your creditor’s consideration. It would not help if you will raise your voice or use foul language.
4) Be Open. It’s important for creditors to know that there is a reason why you failed to keep up with your payments. Are you experiencing financial crisis? Have you been laid off from work? Have you been ill? Are you going through a divorce? You don’t need to explain all the details of your personal life but you need to be honest about your situation. Covering up things with lies won’t help.
5) Negotiate. Many borrowers do not think negotiating will be possible. The truth is, most creditors would be willing to work out a solution if you only ask. Show your creditors that you are willing to pay your debts and that you are not backing away from your responsibility.
6) Write it in a letter. Talking to your creditors by phone is only the first step. Be sure to get everything in writing. Send your letter of request via registered post mail and keep a record of any form of correspondence between you and your creditor for future references.
7) Stay true to your promises. Do not make a promise that you know you can’t keep. Trust is crucial. Be honest about how much you can afford to pay back and seriously consider the time frame you need before setting a repayment date.
8) Don’t fight with your creditors. Some borrowers threaten their creditors with bankruptcy but this may only aggravate the situation. Your goal should be to settle an agreement with your creditor, not to start a dispute.
9) Don’t keep your creditors waiting. Once a negotiation has been made, do your best to stay true to your agreement. Still, if things don’t go as expected, do not keep your creditor waiting for your action. Get in touch with them right away and inform them about your situation. Your best bet is to re-appeal for your creditor’s consideration.
10) Know your rights as a borrower. The Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov) has made provisions for all consumers against creditor harassment and unfair debt collection practices. If you feel that your rights have been violated, do the necessary action. File a complaint to the Attorney General’s Office of your State and the FTC.
*More tips: If you’re thinking about seeking debt consolidation or credit card debt consolidation, be cautious on choosing a debt consolidation agency. To be sure, find a government accredited credit counseling agency and ask for a recommendation.
Check out www.justice.gov for a list of credit counseling agencies approved by the US Department of Justice or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (www.nfcc.org)for a list of non-profit organizations providing low cost credit advice.
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