5 Tips for Negotiating with Debt Collectors

Dealing with debt collectors can be a stressful situation for many individuals. If you are trying to negotiate with them, you will want to keep several things in mind. Here are a few tips for negotiating with debt collectors.

1. Avoid Your Life Story

When talking to a debt collector, you will want to avoid telling them your life story. The debt collector does not need to know all of the details about how you got into debt and why you cannot afford to pay them. Do not give them any personal information that they can use against you. Whenever talking to a debt collector, you want to try to keep it as professional as possible. Focus on the debt instead of other things that are not really relevant to the conversation. This will help you come up with a resolution to your problem much quicker and more effectively.

2. Tape the Call

Whenever you receive a call from a debt collector, you should try to tape the call if possible. By doing this, you will be able to avoid any miscommunication between the two of you. Many times, when negotiating with a debt collector, some of the terms will be confused. By taping the conversation, you can avoid any he said/she said scenarios. If there is ever any question as to what was said by the debt collector, you can simply go back to the tape and prove what was said.

3. Stay Calm

Regardless of what is said in a conversation with a debt collector, you will want to remain calm at all times. Do not ever allow yourself to lose your composure when negotiating with a debt collector. Sometimes they will use threatening statements in order to try to get you to pay your bill. Do not allow them to affect you and keep focused on the task at hand.

4. Focus on Totals Not Payments

Many times, a debt collector is going to try to get you to agree to a payment plan. While this is perfectly fine, you should not spend your time focusing on negotiating the monthly payment. You could pretty much send in any monthly payment that you want and they will usually be fine with it. The part that you need to negotiate is the total amount of the debt that is owed. Try to focus first on the total and then work on the monthly payment with them. If you can afford to pay a lump sum, they may be willing to negotiate a much lower price for your debt. You can then settle the account and move on to other important financial matters in your life.

5. Get it in Writing

Whenever you agree to terms with a debt collector, you need to make sure that you get the terms in writing. Ask them to send you a copy of the agreement in the mail so that you will have it for your records. Otherwise, they could try to alter the terms later on.

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