You don’t plan to run up a credit card balance that you can’t manage, but you never know what the future will bring. So, if you find yourself bogged down by credit card debt, you must implement a plan for digging your way out.
Your credit card issuer is under no obligation to provide relief, but most companies are willing to hear you out and look into ways to assist you. After all, they’d rather you pay back the money you owe than default entirely.
Here are four types of relief to discuss with your credit card company:
1. Waived fees and/or penalties
Fees and penalties have the potential to add up. Sometimes you see these coming. Sometimes they sneak up on you without notice. Either way, it never hurts to negotiate these fees and penalties with your credit card company.
2. Deferred minimum payment
A minimum payment is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the minimum amount of money you can pay each month in order to keep your account in good standing. If you can’t make your minimum payment, your credit card company may be willing to defer it for a specific period of time. This gives you the time you need to collect the funds necessary to get back on track.
3. Credit line increase
A credit line increase could be helpful if you rely on your credit card to make ends meet. You don’t want to request this if it’ll bury you in more debt, but it could be just what you need to bridge the gap until you get your finances back in order.
4. Extension on using benefits, such as reward points
This is one of the requests that many people overlook, but it could go a long way in helping you save money. Take for example reward points that have an expiration date. Rather than rush to use these, ask for an extension. This is one of the requests that is most likely to be approved when your account is in good standing.
The best thing you can do is avoid this situation altogether. Don’t spend more money than you can afford to pay back when your next bill comes due.
Do you have any experience requesting credit card relief? What approach did you take? Were you satisfied with the end result?