negotiating with credit card companies - Mothering Forums

Thread Tools
#1 of 10 Old 05-01-2010, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
RoonBean's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: West of Chicago, by the corn
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a question, and wondering if anybody has any insight on this.

It recently came to light that we are in debt. How can you not know that you’re in debt, you’re probably wondering? Well, for almost six years I have been dealing with depression on and off (more on than off, and not very well in either mode), and part of that was me not opening the mail. The bills were getting paid, an automatic payment from the bank, so they were mostly on time, and usually over the minimum payment.

I know, it’s bad.

Another part of this is that I hid it from my husband. He trusted me to be doing the right thing for our family, and for whatever reason, I was avoiding it. I am back in counseling and considering going back on medication. I had been treated for this (depression – apathy, the doctor actually called it) in December 2007, and stopped in February 2009. It is now obvious that it wasn’t working.

I’m not even going to discuss the hit our marriage has taken because of this.

Anyway, my question is whether or not there is any way to negotiate with credit card companies to lower the amount of interest due to them, especially on my husband’s card (Chase) since he was not aware of what I was (not) doing. He is not asking them to forgive any of the principal due, since he acknowledges that is what we charged (although there is one non authorized charge that he is filing a claim on), but he would like the amount of interest lowered. He has already requested a lower interest rate, and he was denied that, saying that with the new law that they’re not lowering rates for anybody.

Do you think that this is even a possibility? And if so, do you have any suggestions?

I know what I did was wrong, and I/we are dealing with all of this the best that we can, but the reality is, I put us in serious credit card debt by not paying attention to the mail, amongst other things. A hefty piece of the amounts due is interest since the rates on the cards went up.

Any information you’ve got is appreciated.

Mom to Rooney (05/02) & The Bean (06/04)
RoonBean is offline  
Sponsored Links
#2 of 10 Old 05-01-2010, 11:02 PM
slvsquared's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 333
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In my experience, no one's been willing to negotiate until we were actually past due. Credit companies belong in one of the lowest circles of hell.

<<<HUGS>>> on the bill thing. I've been there, and I know exactly how crappy it feels when you finally start opening the mail.

Work at home writer mama to 2 little monkeys. Homeschooling, loving, and just trying to make it through the day
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
slvsquared is offline  
#3 of 10 Old 05-02-2010, 04:04 AM
zebra15's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: State of Confusion
Posts: 5,089
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
NO, as far as I know the interest is money due the bank. Its already accured (sp) and they will do their best to collect it. Principle, interest, fees, everything. Sorry.

Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed  crochetsmilie.gif homeschool.gif  reading.gif  modifiedartist.gif

Seeking zen in 2014.  Working on journaling and finding peace this year.  Spending my free time taking J to swimteam

zebra15 is offline  
#4 of 10 Old 05-03-2010, 07:06 PM
Shellie's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Arizona
Posts: 536
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
CC companies are evil, I agree.

IME, CC companies are willing to reduce balances a little in exchange for a settlement payment but not by much. Also, be aware that if they forgive principal, you have to count that as income. But I've never found one that will forgive principal. I did recently save about $600....I negotiated with Cap 1n on my $3700 balance. I had enough to pay off the whole thing but after adding up how much I'd paid them in interest over the years, on the original principal balance, I decided I would see if they'd give me a break and they did. I made to to get a letter from them about how they'd report the paid off account on my credit report but they provided it.

Declutter - 789/2010 (counting the stuff on my porch waiting for a Freecycler to pick it up! )
Shellie is offline  
#5 of 10 Old 05-03-2010, 07:45 PM
notjustmamie's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Posts: 1,941
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The only advice I have is to keep asking for a supervisor. My husband works for a credit card company and corporate policy is never to send a call upline unless the customer specifically asks. Supervisors (his office has a whole department of them--they don't actually supervise anybody, just have additional authority to do stuff) are sometimes willing to make changes to your account that a regular customer service rep can't or won't do.

Amy loving DH 5/04, raising DD 2/05 and DS 11/09; missing my mom& my babies 6/07, 12/07; and on the side
notjustmamie is offline  
#6 of 10 Old 05-03-2010, 07:56 PM
fruitfulmomma's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Between the Rockies and a Flat Place
Posts: 4,259
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 45 Post(s)
We have negotiated settlements before and gotten several hundred dollars shaved off but we had to pay the whole chunk of what was agreed to all at once and then the account was closed. Not sure if they would do that if you are still wanting to make monthly payments. It is worth trying though.
fruitfulmomma is offline  
#7 of 10 Old 05-04-2010, 01:10 PM
shelleyd's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 872
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think that it is definitely worth calling the companies. I settled a couple of credit cards. We had to pay them a lump sum but it was about half of the balance. However all three companies also offered various hardship plans that involved lowered interest rates for a set period of time but did not lower the acutal principle due. They also offered to waive a whole lot of late fees. Good luck.
shelleyd is offline  
#8 of 10 Old 05-04-2010, 01:28 PM
lyterae's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,105
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We've been paying down our debt for about a year now and have been trying to get our interest rate lowered.. We've been told they aren't lowering interest rates for anyone right now (this is what we've been told since last September and most recently this past month).

wife of 8 years to DH geek.gif, mama to DD blahblah.gif (2006) & DS jog.gif (2011) angel1.gif (Dec. 2012) rainbow1284.gif due Nov. 2013 

 vbac.gifh20homebirth.gif cd.gif homeschool.gif

lyterae is offline  
#9 of 10 Old 05-04-2010, 03:41 PM
sunnysandiegan's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,404
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This isn't quite the same thing, but I do have a relevant point in here...

We have excellent credit (scores around 800) and our interest rates were automatically raised fairly recently on two credit cards and an annual fee was instated on one card. DH called as each notice arrived because he was irate. (I typically handle finances, but we are both fully aware of our accounts, etc.) The annual fee was not negotiable and he canceled that card (Citibank, I believe). The interest rates, however, were both lowered back to the previous rates and he was given a song and dance about why it was raised. (Technically speaking, raising our interest rates means nothing to us because we do not carry balances on any cards unless it is interest-free for a specific period of time and we pay off the balance before a cent of interest is due. However, the principal of the whole thing is what ticked DH off.)

My point that is relevant to the OP's situation is they ARE lowering interest rates under some conditions. It just may be more strict than it once was and it may take a higher level of authority to get it done. Be persistent and keep going up the ladder, so to speak.

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

sunnysandiegan is offline  
#10 of 10 Old 05-11-2010, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
RoonBean's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: West of Chicago, by the corn
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
just a quick update ...

DH has talked to his credit card company, and at this point, there isn't anything they can do for him, however, they did say that he can write a letter, with documentation to support his claim (my depression).

He is not hoping to get any principal waived, as he does agree that those are valid charges. He said that if he had known about the debt, that we would not have spent as we did, but whats done is done and we can only move forward from here.

We are working on a letter for his credit card and for one of mine, and we'll see what they say.

We did get approved for our home refinance, so the money he wanted to pull out and put toward a living room upgrade/mini renovation will go towards the debt instead. It won't cover all of it, but a significant chunk.

Thanks for your insight ladies, I do appreciate it.

Mom to Rooney (05/02) & The Bean (06/04)
RoonBean is offline  

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 12,990

71 members and 12,919 guests
7soleil , abelitz , Anna1979 , averysmomma05 , BabySmurf , BeautifulLife02 , bluefaery , CarolS , chickabiddy , Cricket VS , Dakotacakes , DungeonQueen , elliha , emmy526 , EmsMom , Eris , farmermomma , frugalmama , happymamma85 , htovjm , iceface , Incubator , itybitywity , jojobean , K703 , katelove , kitchensqueen , KnockedUpButtercup , Laurie Pal , LiLStar , Linda on the move , mama24-7 , mamabear0314 , Marumi , Mathemom , mckittre , MeepyCat , Milk8shake , Mirzam , moominmamma , MylittleTiger , oaksie68 , OliviaA , oumsafsaf , pers , prosciencemum , RollerCoasterMama , rubelin , SandiMae , sarafl , shantimama , Shmootzi , siennaflower , sillysapling , Springshowers , sren , stardogs , Teles , Tigerle , Trixie Falsae , Voondrop , Xerxella
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 01:21 PM.