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Are the terms of your credit card account negotiable?

Many of our Escondido readers dread receiving their credit card bills in the mail each month. Not only do these statements point out the thousands in credit card debt that is owed, but they also point out the often very high interest rate that applies to the balance, as well as the minimum payment - which by itself can seem daunting for the average person who is simply struggling to make ends meet in today's troubled economy. With all of these terms spelled out, sometimes in bold lettering, these monthly statement can seem more like contracts in which the only party getting what they want is the credit card company.

However, while most of our readers may believe that the terms of a credit card account are beyond a back-and-forth between the consumer and the credit card company, the fact of the matter is that some of the details on a person's credit card account may in fact be open for negotiation. For instance, as detailed in a recent article, one item that may be open for discussion is the due date for the monthly bill. Oftentimes a credit card company is willing to reset the due date to a time of the month that makes it easier for the borrower to make the minimum payment.

Further items that may be open for negotiation could be the credit limit on the account and even the interest rate. When someone finds themselves bumping up against the limit on their account, sometimes all it takes is a call to the credit company to request a credit limit increase. Of course, whether or not this request is successful or not often depends on the person's overall credit. The interest rate could also be negotiated downward, again, mostly only if the person's overall credit is still in good shape.

Unfortunately, many people in America have less than stellar credit these days. When an individual or family is facing financial challenges that are more substantial than simply negotiating the terms of a credit card account, sometimes even bigger steps, like filing for bankruptcy, need to be considered.

Source: kshb.com, "Can you negotiate with your credit card company?," Abby Hayes, May 12, 2014

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