Negotiating with creditors may seem like a hopeless exercise, however in truth many creditors will accept deals with those that owe them money. Creditors know that they may see little to none of their money if you declare bankruptcy so they will often be willing to work with you to recover at least some of their money. Certain strategies can make it more likely for you to receive positive terms with your creditors.
First you want to make certain that you are speaking to someone within the company with the power to make decisions. Lower level representatives may tell you that they cannot help you, and it may be the truth. If you can tell that the person does not have the power to negotiate then ask to speak with a manager. Keep going up in the chain until you find someone who at least has the power to help you.
It is important to stay calm when you negotiate with creditors. Do not go in with an attitude that they must write off your entire debt because they may just deny you out of spite. You can explain your situation and tell them that the money is simply not there. By being earnest instead of demanding you will hopefully garner sympathy from them, and they will be more likely to grant your request. Explain that you want to pay what you can and take care of the situation.
You want to be realistic when you negotiate with creditors. Do not go in and promise to pay five percent of your debts because they are likely to just be insulted. Come up with a reasonable idea of how and what you can pay.
Also mention other things that can help you when you negotiate. For instance, a lot of creditors are willing to set up a payment plan, possibly even interest-free. This may set it up in a way that you can repay the money.
Be persistent. Just because someone says no at first does not mean that they may not be swayed if you continue to ask. Try to see if you can make them feel like they are in your shoes. If you can gain empathy from them, they may be more likely to come to your aid. Offer to send them something right away so that they know that you are serious.
Negotiating with creditors is no fun, but it can be worthwhile if it gets you out of debt and on track to rebuild your financial future. The above tips can help you find success in this process.