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Old 06-14-2009, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
5,471 posts, read 8,561,218 times
Reputation: 12004

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I have a rather large balance on one credit card only, due to moving expenses I incurred a year ago. At the time the card had a promotional rate of 1% for a year, so the minimum payments have been easy to maintain thus far.

However, that promotional rate has now come off, and I still owe quite a bit. Now the minimum payments are much harder for me to make each month, while paying my mortgage and raising two kids. If I call the credit card issuer directly and am able to negotiate lower payments temporarily, will that hurt my credit score? Has anyone done this?

Up until now, I have had an excellent credit score - 780 or so. I sure don't want to think about filing bankruptcy or anything, thought I'd try calling them to work out something, if they will even work with you these days. It is one of the big "Bail Out" banks.
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
2,568 posts, read 6,246,628 times
Reputation: 1924
How much do you owe? What interest rate?
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:21 PM
 
Location: H-town, TX.
3,503 posts, read 6,380,453 times
Reputation: 2232
Quote:
Originally Posted by montanamom View Post
If I call the credit card issuer directly and am able to negotiate lower payments temporarily, will that hurt my credit score?
Yes.

Basically, you did not keep to the agreement made when you began using the card.

Since you've been current, they will not work with you. Stop paying for six months and things change. As does your credit rating.
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Long Branch
390 posts, read 1,416,388 times
Reputation: 110
Is it possible to reduce your budget to give you the necessary funds to pay the card?
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Long Island
9,488 posts, read 20,506,063 times
Reputation: 5218
Asking to have your payments lowered will impact your credit score, however, why not ask if they can lower the rate? Of course we don't know what your current rate is...
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Old 06-15-2009, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
5,471 posts, read 8,561,218 times
Reputation: 12004
My rate is 7.4 percent, I owe about $10,000. It will stay at that rate IF I don't use the card again, and according to them, I can continue to pay it off at that rate. I have no intention of using the card, I have several other cards I can use if an emergency came up, none with a balance owed on them now. But the minimum payment on the card is about $80.00 more than it was at the 1% rate, and on my limited income, that is difficult. I have thought about calling them to lower my minimum payments, but I am not as of yet behind on them. That's what I'm trying to avoid.
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Long Island
9,488 posts, read 20,506,063 times
Reputation: 5218
Quote:
Originally Posted by montanamom View Post
My rate is 7.4 percent, I owe about $10,000. It will stay at that rate IF I don't use the card again, and according to them, I can continue to pay it off at that rate. I have no intention of using the card, I have several other cards I can use if an emergency came up, none with a balance owed on them now. But the minimum payment on the card is about $80.00 more than it was at the 1% rate, and on my limited income, that is difficult. I have thought about calling them to lower my minimum payments, but I am not as of yet behind on them. That's what I'm trying to avoid.
I see you already have a great "regular" rate - no way they'll reduce that without it affecting your credit.

What other ways could you save money here and there?

If you own a home, find out if you can find a less expensive policy, or increase your deductible, which will lower your premium.
For your car insurance you could take a defensive driving course (at your local library or high school), which will lower your liability portion by 10% for three years. Also, some insurance companies will give you a discount for having both policies with them.
Do you use coupons when food shopping? Shop sales and combine them with coupons?
Turn out lights when leaving the room(s), etc., etc.

None of these save tons of money by themselves, but together, they can add up.

Hope some of the suggestions are helpful.
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