Debt settlement should be your last resort, whether you are settling debt on your own or using a service. If you’re to the point where you just need to settle a few small debts on your own, the following guide will show you how to do so. If you have high debt, programs are also available to help you pay off your debt for the least possible amount.
How to Settle Debt On Your Own
This first video shows you about the mindset required when attempting to settle a debt on your own, provided by Paul J Paquin – the CEO at Golden Financial Services.
How to Talk With Creditors (Video)
Before we get started, did you know there is a credit card debt relief program that could help you avoid debt settlement altogether, saving more money and potentially getting the debt off your credit? This program is called “debt validation”. According to Golden Financial Services, the debt validation program is the best way to clear high credit card debt in 2020.
How to negotiate credit card debt on your own (do it yourself debt settlement)
1. Copy the debt settlement letter template that we are providing you. Fill-in the blanks with information relevant to your situation. You want to offer 10%-20% in this initial offer, as it’s only a low-ball-offer. The goal is to get your creditor to respond with a settlement offer that is acceptable. If they settle at around 50%, that’s what you want right?
Debt Settlement/Negotiation Letter Template
2. Fax and mail a copy of that letter to the collection agency, along with your debt hardship letter, budget, proof of income, receipt of all medical bills and proof of whatever you are saying in the letter. You can acquire the fax number and mailing address off your last collection letter that you received. Certify the mail in order to have tracking and confirmation that your letter was received. You may also call your creditor and ask to speak to a supervisor. Once the supervisor gets on the phone, just get their information so that you can provide them everything in writing by either mail, fax or email. At least you’ll have the name of a supervisor to address in your letter.
3. As suggested in step two, fax a debt hardship letter to each creditor. Write a hardship letter that is approximately 300-400 words long. Include in your letter why it is becoming near impossible to pay your accounts and that you are contemplating bankruptcy. Explain to the creditors that bankruptcy is your only option left if they don’t work with you and this is your final attempt to settle the debt. Dialogue about how you lost your income, your medical condition, job loss or whatever your true hardship is.
Debt Hardship Letter Template (Copy and paste this and then personalize it for your situation)
Your Phone Number
Debt Collection Company Name
Attention (Supervisor’s Name)
RE: Settling a (state the type of debt it is, like a credit card debt or medical bill). Creditor Name and Account Number
Dear (Supervisor’s Name or Creditor Department Name),
My name is (your name). I am currently going through very difficult times health-wise and financially, which I’m about to explain.
EXPLAIN YOUR HARDSHIP: I was diagnosed with Lime Disease on (date). I incurred $15,000 in medical debt and only half was covered by my insurance. Included with this letter are medical receipts. I stayed at the (include hospital name) on (include dates) and this hospital visit cost (amount) and insurance covered only (amount). This situation has caused me to fall deeper in debt, making it impossible to continue paying on anything besides for my mortgage/rent, groceries, etc… (include a copy of your budget)
I have not been to work in 15 days and my income has gone from (amount) down to (amount).
I have been on a payment plan with your firm paying (amount) since (date). Due to this unexpected circumstance in my life, it’s now impossible to continue paying this amount.
Included with this letter is a settlement offer that I am willing to pay today to resolve this debt in one lump sum payment. The funds that I am willing to offer you today were borrowed from friends and family members who have all contributed all that they are willing to contribute to help me address my debt.
I’ve also attached my income to illustrate that it’s gone down from (amount per month) to (amount per month). I hope that you are willing to work with me on resolving this debt so that I am not forced to file for bankruptcy. I even plan on giving you guys a nice review online if you can help me out today.
Please contact me as soon as possible so that we can begin the process.
Here’s a 2nd Debt Hardship Letter (specifically for medical debt)
4. Wait for the collection agency to respond back in writing or follow up with a phone call.
If you follow up via phone, click here to get instructions on how to negotiate a settlement with your creditors over the phone.
Some people may only need a temporary reduction in credit card payments. If this is the case for you, learn how to negotiate with creditors to reduce payments temporarily.
Success Case: (Debt Settlement Negotiation Letter Saving 60+%)
Settling Small Debts
If you have an account that has a small balance (e.g., $400), it’s less likely that the creditor will try to sue you, over the creditor that you owe $4,000 to. It costs money for creditors to take legal action. Consequently, if you owe less, there will be less motivation involved for the creditor to sue.
Complications transpire when consumers have numerous accounts or high balances, and they attempt to settle all debts on their own.
Before you attempt to settle a debt on your own, try this national debt calculator. It is a free tool that will show you all of your debt relief options. You may decide that one of these debt relief programs is affordable and an easier route for you to take.
Also, check out this article illustrating the 10 best ways to get rid of credit card debt. Inside the article, you’ll find a script that you can use to call your creditor and negotiate with them on your own.
By using an attorney debt settlement service;
A. you have legal representation if your creditors decide to issue you a lawsuit
B. only an attorney can get the debt dismissed if your creditors break the law and violate your rights
C. creditors must stop calling and harassing you after being notified that you have attorney representation
If you do use a debt settlement program to get out of debt, I recommend using an attorney debt settlement service. Give us a call and we can recommend a debt settlement law firm in your state.
When is it safe to settle a debt on your own?
Golden Financial Services feels that if you have one or two minor debt collection accounts, go ahead and try to settle them on your own. (i.e., if it’s under $5,000 in credit card debt or unsecured debt collection accounts, you could try to settle the debts on your own and your chances of getting sued would be small.) If you owe a Discover credit card debt, Discover is very likely to issue you a credit card summons. That is why most debt relief programs in the nation don’t even accept Discover in the plan.
Best Debt Settlement Alternatives
Most of the time, you won’t need to use debt settlement to resolve your debt.
Is your credit score above 730?
You can use a debt consolidation loan that includes a low-interest rate to pay off high-interest debts, including secured and unsecured debt. These loans can be obtained at a local credit union. You can use a 0% balance transfer card to consolidate credit card debt and even a home equity line of credit in some cases.
Is your credit score below 730?
There are programs to consolidate credit card debt that are available and even come with credit restoration and are less expensive than debt settlement. States like Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, New York and Iowa all offer a plan called debt validation. Credit card debt can get disputed before being settled and often creditors can’t prove the debt is valid.