Some people will advise you not to use a company for debt settlement. They will say you can do it yourself for no cost. In fact, there are numerous online guides about do it yourself debt settlement. But, is this right for you? Read on to see if you’d like to try it on your own.
If you have received a settlement offer from your creditor, the odds are on your side. When the creditor sends out a settlement offer, it only means that they are willing to go to such lengths to have your debt settled. This is the ideal situation for do it yourself settlement. However, if you are planning to initiate the debt settlement process, expect a few bumps ahead that you should be ready to face if you want to venture into it on your own.
Prepare and Plan
You cannot just call your creditor when the whim to do so strikes you. You need to prepare for it. First, make sure that you have all the necessary documents, your bills, credit reports, letters from creditors and the like. Take note of your outstanding balance and how much of it is composed of interest rates, late payment fees, and other penalties. It is important for you to be able to point this out to your creditor since most creditors are willing to forgive interest rates and late payment fees for as long as the original charges are paid off.
You need to have the skills of a good negotiator. Some creditors will not give in easily to your offers; so, it will take a lot of determination on your part to parry the collection tactics of your creditor as well as the negotiation of your settlement. If the person you are talking to will not entertain your offer for settlement, always demand for a higher ranking officer to talk to. It’s not over till you’ve exhausted all possible venues for settlement.
Put any agreement in Writing
Whatever agreement you have reached with your creditor, always put it in writing and have it signed by the creditor’s representative. This is crucial proof of settlement in the event of payment dispute. Also, never assume settlement until it is duly approved and signed by the creditor. Your creditor may cash that check with “full payment” written on it but it will never amount to a true full payment unless you have documents to back it up. Therefore, keep the agreement tangible; always secure a signed agreement from your creditor.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to find out if you can be an effective negotiator, then do it yourself debt settlement may not be a good place to find out if you can play the role. If you are not certain of your capacity to settle debts on your own, perhaps it is a better idea to try the professional services of companies offering a debt settlement program.