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Credit card relief is a popular topic these days, given the ever-increasing number of citizens who find themselves facing insurmountable debt. At best, it can be a struggle to keep up with the regular payments, and at worst, it can seem as though the credit companies won't stop until you're completely bankrupt. Don't give up hope however, because as it turns out, the many people defaulting on their credit card debt is allowing responsible individuals to eliminate their loans by paying far less than originally owed.

Owing money is nothing new, and unfortunately, there will always be a few people who are in debt and cannot make up the difference. Whether it’s due to unforeseen medical bills, predatory lending practices with inflated interest rates, or just mismanagement of finances, there are thousands and thousands of individuals who simply don’t have the means to pay their bills. Putting the balance on a credit card may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but once those astronomical interest rates kick in, there’s nowhere to hide.

Being Smart About Credit Cards

The first thing to be aware of is that some companies will try to scam you. If you've watched TV or read a newspaper lately, you've probably seen the commercials. Some company promises to negotiate a settlement between you and the debt collectors for a 'small' fee. It turns out that many of them just leave you in worse shape than before, and even the ones that are reputable charge hundreds of dollars for something you could do yourself. Some of the worst agencies even acquire lists of individuals who are defaulting on payments, and will then call your home. Just what you need, right? More phone calls at home from people trying to take your money.

Once you’ve recognized that you’re the one in charge of making the decisions, evaluate your options and don’t agree to anything before you’ve had a chance to analyze it. This goes especially for documents in writing that banks and other lenders will ask you to sign. Before you agree to any loan repayment plan, make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions that come along with it. It will do you absolutely no good to start making payments while the remaining balance continues to grow even larger thanks to interest rates. Try your best to work something out where the interest rate is kept to a minimum, or even better, removed entirely.

Take Responsibility for Your Credit Card Bills

When it comes to your personal finances, and that includes your own credit cards, the first lesson is that no one is looking out for you but yourself. Once you accept this, the rest falls into place. Rather than having someone else negotiate a settlement, why not call the bank or credit agency yourself? It's no joke, the news stories are full of people who have been able to negotiate a settlement at fifty cents for every dollar owed. Things have even gotten to the point where telephone operators don't even need to speak to a manager before agreeing to terms like those.

Don’t take no for an answer. Like any negotiation, you have to be willing to meet somewhere in the middle, so be reasonable. Try to be upfront and honest with the debt collection agencies and you’ll likely be able to work something out that works for both sides. Don’t try to hide assets or pull a fast one; they’ve got far more experience at loan scams than you do, and also have a lot more resources than anyone defaulting on payment. Together, you and your lenders can recover your financial freedom and find relief from credit card bills.

photo of credit cards in wallet