We have to take the time to understand the creditors’ jobs before we explore how to deal with them. You should know that creditors are creditors because they are good at being horribly mean to people. They usually get paid, or at least get bonuses, based on how much they collect. If you give them some money, they will be happy, but if you are mean to them, they are going to be mean to you right back.
You really need to try to negotiate with them, they are trying to get whatever they can. If they think there is a chance that they will end up with nothing, they will take what they can get. Try this trick:
When they call you, ask for the company’s email address so that you can further discuss the debt, then get a friend to email them on your behalf. Have your friend tell them that if you do not clear up some of your debts, that you will have to claim bankruptcy. Have the friend ask if they will accept a percent (55, 45, whatever) of the original amount owing. The company will think that you are a bankruptcy agent, or lawyer, or someone who knows what to do, and they might just accept the offer. You then can set up a flexible payback schedule that will help you get rid of the debt.
* Also know this one very important fact… Even if you know for a fact that you should not have to pay a debt, it is usually a good idea to pay it anyways. I have talked to so many people that say “My ex-wife overcharged it, I am not paying it, ” or “It was from a charge that I should not have to pay, I will not pay it.” Do yourself a favor in these cases, pay the bill and worry about getting the money back after. When this happens, the only person that you are hurting is yourself. (Also, never co-sign for anyone, if they don’t pay, that means you have to)