If you take no other piece of advice from this site on credit cards, take this: you do not want to dodge the credit card debt collectors at all. First and foremost, if you know that the debt belongs to you outright and there’s no one charging up your credit cards, then you have a moral obligation to pay the debt that you owe. Anything less than that is simply selfishness and you don’t want to go down that road. After all, if someone owed you money, you would want to make sure that you had the debt paid back to you, wouldn’t you? The credit card companies are the same way. They just want to make sure that they are going to be paid as soon as possible.
One of the first things that a credit card company will do is make a courtesy call to your phone. This call can usually be pretty polite, especially if you’re not even 30 days past due yet. The later calls can escalate in severity, especially as you near the 90 days past due mark. This is usually the point where a credit card company realizes that you aren’t going to pay them, and they try to turn you over to a collection agency to see if that will cause you to pay your debts. Of course, since there’s a lot more information on credit cards now than ever before, some people still don’t pay their bills.
You have a lot more power if you decide to step up and actually deal with your creditors than if you were to dodge all of their phone calls. If you have a valid reason why you’re not paying your debt, you need to make sure the credit card company knows this. Of course, it has to be said that this is not something that you should conduct over the phone. Naturally, this is what a lot of people do, but it’s not as effective as you think. It’s very easy to lose phone records or to have them entered incorrectly by the representative that answered your phone call. Customer service can be something that’s very sporadic and difficult, which means that you will need to make sure that you take matters into your own hands. You can’t expect the credit card company to help you unless you’re serious.
The best way to show that you’re truly serious is to make sure that you handle yourself in a professional manner. Instead of running from the calls, you will want to make sure that you open a line of communication that’s less intrusive than the phone calls: the mail. If you have a stable mailing address, you might want to send a cease communication order to the credit card company. Explain that the phone is no longer a valid way of contacting you, and you prefer to handle everything through the mail. Make sure that you send this letter to them through certified mail, while requesting a return receipt. This means that you will have verification that they have actually received your letter and not thrown it away. This will help you take matters into your hands in case you have to go to court later.
Now, keep in mind that if you ask the credit card company to talk with you only through the mail that you will need to communicate with them regularly. You will need to let them know the reason why you aren’t paying the bill, and ask if there are any alternate programs that they can assist you with.
Of course, if you are still open to talking on the phone with credit card representatives, then you can augment your letter campaign with a few phone calls. This will make your campaign more targeted because you’re not relying on the phone — you will have a paper trail that you can turn to in case the credit card company argues that you’ve never made attempts to handle your debt properly.
At the end of the day, no one can force you to deal with the credit card debt collectors. However, you will find that the company will handle you much differently if you strive to talk things out and work towards a solution. Running will only make your problems worse, and it certainly won’t improve your credit score in any way. Use the tips in this guide to push forward, and remember: don’t give up; a brighter credit future is around the corner!