Advice on Debt Collectors

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2014
Advice on Debt Collectors
Thu, 02-27-2014 - 7:42pm

I have 6 credit cards that are now in the hands of collections company. Three belong to me and three belong to DH. I don't have the money to pay the full balances. None of the balances are over 3,000 dollars but I am still financial unable to pay them. I want to be responsible and not stick my head in the sand running from them but I dont know what to say. I thought about a debt consolidation company but I dont know if i can find the money in my budget to even pay the amount they would ask. I would love any advise and experiences with how to handle or work with them.  Thanks

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 02-28-2014 - 11:25am

I think the first step would be to try to contact each company and try to work out a payment plan.  You have to be firm because they will try to get you to pay whatever they want per month but you have to tell them what you can afford.  I know that Discover was kind of bothering me and finally I said to the woman "do you think that I have the money but just decided not to pay you?  I am not paying because I don't have money."  that ended up with her lowering my interest rate and putting me on a monthly plan that I could afford--at least they are getting some money.  If that doesn't work, you could go to a consumer counseling place where you pay them one sum and they pay each company.  I believe that they work it out directly with the companies.  They will not put you in a plan that you can't afford because there would be no point--they have you list your income & expenses.  Make sure you don't go to a company that takes your money & then says after they will try to negotiate with the creditors--that does nothing for you.  You have to go to a company that will be making monthly payments for you.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 02-28-2014 - 5:52pm

You have to be very careful when it comes to consumer counseling places.  Rarely is it the best route.  

Always try to do what you can on your own.  It is hard to give you a great answer not knowing more details of your situation. 

It depends how concerned you are about your credit score, how far behind you are, are able to pay your mortgage and just have bad habbits, or do you really not have the money.  

Music is right, you may have to be firm with some of them.  Don't comit to something you can't follow through on.  Depending on your situation, and this is not ideal by anymeans, but sometimes you have to let a CC sit so you can make headway on another one.  

Just so many variables.  But the main thing is to do what you can on your own before going to an outside source for help.