What options do I have if I can’t pay my credit cards?
People relied on credit cards to pay for their basic needs during the pandemic as incomes had been slashed due to financial hardship. Fortunately, government credit card help was put in place through forbearance and deferment options, offering consumers a temporary lifejacket to avoid drowning in credit card debt.
Unfortunately, as of 2022, pandemic credit card relief has ended, and now consumers are left to deal with the burden of high-interest credit cards. Can’t afford to make your monthly payments? Millions of Americans can’t pay credit card debt post-Covid-19. In addition, monthly credit card payments are rising because of increasing interest rates. So, you’re not alone.
Credit Card Solutions
For a credit card solution, consumers can either;
(A) Re-work their budget and re-organize how they’re paying on credit card bills, using the debt avalanche or snowball method. Here is a free budget tool and snowball calculator to help. You’ll also want to review the following guide: 10 Best Ways to Clear Credit Card Debt
(B) Consider debt relief programs to consolidate credit card payments. Check out consumer credit counseling if your goal is to stay current on monthly payments. If your goal is to reduce payments to the lowest amount, learn more about the best-rated attorney-based debt resolution program.
Call to speak with a debt counselor for free at (866) 376-9846.
Compare Programs to Help With Credit Cards Using This Debt Calculator
Credit Card Debt Help Near Me
Different programs are available in different states. For example, Alaska’s debt relief options vary from Texas debt relief programs.
How to learn about debt relief options near you:
Click on the top left menu of this website and select “debt help near me.” Choose your state.
Or, go to www.GoldenFS.org, and where it says “See Options in Your State,” choose your state.
What happens if I can’t pay my credit cards anymore?
Let’s take a deeper look into what consumers can expect after falling behind on credit card payments.
After falling behind on credit card payments, expect phone calls and creditor harassment. Your creditors will call you about missing payments.
How to stop creditor harassment:
However, if you enroll in an attorney-based debt relief program, your creditors must direct all communication to your attorney.
After approval on a debt resolution program
The law firm will notify each credit card company. If you have attorney representation, creditors must direct all communication to your lawyer by law.
Keep detailed notes of creditor calls.
Federal laws regulate what creditors say and can’t tell you over the phone. So, make sure to keep detailed notes of all creditor phone calls. Write down precisely what creditors are saying to you over the phone. Tell your creditors if you’re on a debt settlement program with a law firm. Make sure they know that you have legal representation.
You will then want to notify your debt counselor about the call so they can appropriately deal with it. Again, creditor violations can help with debt negotiation.
Credit Card Debt Dismissal
Down the road, you could end up getting a credit card debt dismissed based on illegal creditor activity or violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices (FDCPA). Understand the FDCPA by visiting this page next.
Get Everything in Writing
Always request whatever creditors say over the phone to be in writing. For example, you can say, “I don’t recall this debt that you’re referring to; please send me the details in writing.”
Don’t ignore creditor calls.
When creditors call, make sure to answer the call and let them know that you can’t make a credit card payment due to whatever your financial hardship is. Then, explain to them that you don’t have the money.
Otherwise, if you ignore the calls or insinuate that you do have the money, there’s a good chance they will sue you over the debt. And, if you ignore creditor calls, they will keep calling non-stop through their automated system. So at the very least, answer the call and get your number off their automated system.
You may not qualify for credit card settlement programs if you get served a credit card lawsuit.
You don’t want to get a credit card lawsuit because that makes your debt more expensive to resolve and results in you having fewer options.
Here is a list of each credit card relief program and a summary of how they work.
Creditors will send letters, and eventually, the debt gets sold to a collection agency.
- Expect letters from creditors illustrating that you’re getting charged late fees.
- Your balances will continue to rise until your original creditor charges the debt off.
- Save all documentation sent by creditors.
- Even after accounts go to third-party debt collection companies, balances can continue to rise.
Creditors Write-Off Debt
Within approximately six months, expect the original creditor to write off the debt (i.e., charge off) and sell it to a third-party collection agency.
Don’t let this part scare you. It’s good news to see that a third-party collection agency took over the credit card account because that means the original creditor has wiped their hands clean of the debt.
What if I get a credit card summons?
The worst-case scenario is when the original creditor issues a credit card summons before writing off the debt and selling it to a collection agency.
Most settlement companies won’t accept a credit card debt into the program if there’s a lawsuit attached, but at Golden Financial Services, we can still help you. But, of course, it’s better to enroll in a debt relief program before getting sued on a debt.
How to resolve a credit card summons
A debt relief program resolves a credit card summons in multiple ways. Most of the time, these lawsuits have inaccurate and incomplete documentation. Consequently, a competent debt relief attorney can fight the case and get it dismissed.
After the credit card account is with a third-party collection agency
At this point, your original creditor gets reimbursed on the debt through tax credits, which is why they write the debt off in the first place. A third-party collection agency will sometimes pay 10-20 cents on the dollar to buy the account, so they’re willing to settle it for sometimes half, not including settlement company fees.
Should I settle credit cards that I can’t afford to pay?
Before you settle credit card bills, use debt validation. Through Golden Financial Services, we can set you up on a debt resolution program through a law firm in your state. This program uses debt validation as a first approach and debt negotiation as a last case scenario to help clients get out of debt fast and cheaply.
How can debt resolution programs help pay off credit cards?
The validation program uses federal laws to dispute and challenge the validity of a debt collection account. In many cases, debt can be invalidated and does not have to get paid.
The debt then gets disputed and removed from clients’ credit reports. In some cases, if a credit card lawsuit occurs, debt negotiation will settle the account for less than the total balance.
Consolidate credit cards into one low payment
All along, with debt resolution, clients are set up with one low monthly payment that gets attributed towards taking care of all of their credit cards, making debt relief programs an affordable way to get help with credit cards.
Can’t afford credit card payments? Call Golden Financial Services today at (866) 376-9846.