Don’t Hang Up, Negotiate: Handling Creditors

Published on Nov 27, 2013 08:41 am

We all experience personal and financial ups and downs. One of the most awful feelings in the world is the anxiety we feel when we find ourselves unable to pay our monthly bills – continuous calls from creditors only make it worse.

Unfortunately, sometimes life happens, and there will be times when things are beyond your control. This is especially true with regards to income and jobs.

How you handle unfortunate situations with creditors says a lot about the person you will be in your financial future. You can avoid the phone calls while worrying about your bills, or you can face the problem head-on and work on improving your financial situation. To that end, here are four things to consider if you decide to negotiate with creditors.

— Don’t avoid creditors. The problem won’t go away unless you take action to make it better, so pick up the phone and talk with your creditors. Add up the total amount of your debts and make a plan to start paying them off.

— Listen to their solution. People usually avoid phone calls from creditors because they think creditors are going to demand the entire balance all at once. This isn’t necessarily true. You never know if your creditor is willing to negotiate a lower interest rate or repayment plan unless you talk to them.

— Propose an alternative. Creditors want to get their money back so they’re often willing to negotiate the terms of your repayment. Maybe you can only afford to pay a little less than originally planned each month, which means taking a little more time to pay off the outstanding balance. In the end, all that matters is that your debt gets paid off.

— Change your financial habits. One of the best options for anyone who is in debt is to look back at spending habits and determine how you got into debt in the first place. Maybe it was from overspending and under-budgeting, or from not creating a budget at all. If you know how you got into debt, you can avoid making the same mistakes in the future. While being in a situation where creditors are calling can be embarrassing, see it as an opportunity to learn from your mistakes.


About the Author
Ginger Dean is the owner and founder of where she empowers women to take charge of their finances. Featured on several major news outlets, she has also taped a reality series episode featuring her Meetup group of over 500 women in Washington, DC.



This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

Published by permission from, Inc. © 2013, Inc. All rights reserved.

More like this