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Debt Negotiation for a Better Credit Report

Mar 8, 2008
If you realize that you can't settle your due bills, you might have to resort to debt negotiation with your creditors. This option presents the means for you to find a solution to obtain the amount of money required, in order to fend off your creditors.

First things first. Before you jump into debt negotiations: Review and examine your bills. Identify and prioritize on the payments that are nearing their due dates. You can then carefully evaluate your finances and devise a plan on how to effectively subdivide your payments. You should acquire a copy of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. This is crucial because you need a visual copy of your credit situation to know what your creditors are also looking at.

If your bank creditor refuses debt negotiations, then you have no choice but to formulate a communication plan that will take you steps closer to dissolving your debt problems. Rather than opting to hand your account over to collection agencies, many creditors are sympathetic enough to those with financial issues and are thus willing to negotiate. They do not enjoy having to file a bankruptcy case against you. Here are a few tips that you might want to consider during debt negotiations with your creditor:

1) Payment through installments. Appeal for an agreement that entails having to pay your bills in installments, or attempt to convince your creditor to settle for a much reduced cost. Before making any payments, remember that you should have a copy of the agreement. You want to avoid finding out that you have a rolling late payment appearing on your credit report, meaning you will be given negative statements on your account.

2) Beware of Scammers. Do not reveal any private and personal information such as credit card and bank account numbers, or employment information. Many payment collectors can be quite misleading when it comes to the payers' credits and balances. With the ever-increasing amount of credit card scams everywhere you need to be very cautious in your transactions.

3) Proof of Payment. One of the safest ways to send debt payments is through certified mail. Ensure that you obtain a return receipt. Certified mail enables you to pay by cashiers check or money order. Do not lose these documents and receipts, as they might prove to be necessary at a later date.

4) Be Realistic and Honest. If you might delay in paying your bills on time, avoid making it seem like you have everything under control. Your creditor should be notified of the difficulties you are facing, trying to settle your payments.

You may propose customized payment terms from your creditor. Your creditor should be informed of the changes in your plans before you make any payments. Last but not least, when it comes to dealing with your creditors it is vital that you keep the promises that you make.
About the Author
Gene Pimentel is the author of "Identity Theft Trap" and other informative personal finance publications, freely available at his resource sites
JustCreditReports.com and IdentityTheftTrap.com
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