8 Bargaining Tactics to Reduce Credit Card Debt

Chose the best time to call: An easy, yet very effective negotiation tactic is to choose the right time to call the credit card company. If you call them first thing in the morning they will most likely be in a better mood than in the evening after a long day of people trying to get out of their credit card payments.

Let them know you will pay back your debt: What concerns credit card companies most are people who are trying all sorts of dirty negotiation tricks to get out of paying their debts altogether. It is crucial that you explain to them that you do intend to pay back your debt. What you are asking is some small help. If you do this nicely, you may be surprised how understanding credit card companies can be!

Make use of your first time: In case this is the first time you are asking to have a late fee waived or a lower interest rate, you need to tell the credit card company about it. They will be much more supportive to people who ask for this for the first time, rather than to those who ask every month!

Show them your loyalty: If you have been a customer or a big spender for several years, you should use this to your advantage. When you remind your credit card company what a loyal customer you have been, they will be more willing to renegotiate your debt because they want to keep your business long term.

Request a lower interest rate: Unknown to most, rates on credit cards can often be negotiated. If you have a good payment history, you should be able to get a lower interest rate. Especially, if you can explain that you'll be able to put more money towards paying off your actual balance rather than your interest rate charges.

Get relief from late payment fees: This is a very easy, yet effective bargaining tactic. Late fees, like other fees, can easily be waived if you pay your bill within a few days of the due date. A solid credit history can be used as leverage, and may be well worth the effort to make that extra phone call.

Ask to skip a payment: When you are in a situation of financial problems that you think you will be able sort out in the near future, you can try to explain this to the credit card company. If you request to miss one or two payments as an exception, many companies are willing to give you this relief. The downside is of course a likely negative impact on your credit report.

Speak to the right person: A good negotiation tip is to always try to speak to the person in charge. Your initial concerns will likely be handed to a customer service representative, but request that you speak directly to the manager or another individual who has the authority to make decisions. Remember to write down the names, designations, and contact details of everyone you speak with, as well as the time, day, and particulars of your conversation.

Martin P R Collins is a negotiation expert at Geneva Education who frequently gives very useful advice in his articles and blog posts. See here to learn his 20 most common negotiation tips ( Or visit Geneva Education on facebook for more negotiation tricks (

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