L.P. in Houston. “You need to know what’s coming in, what’s going out, and your assets and liabilities,” she stresses. “Once you have this information, adjust your spending so you can focus on paying off debt and accumulating net worth.”
Debt Negotiation DOs & DON’Ts
DO be proactive. If a layoff or divorce is imminent, contact your creditors immediately. They might temporarily waive interest rates on your cards.
DO let creditors know you’re committed to paying your bill if your debt is at the collections stage. Call regularly to update them on your repayment plan.
DON’T be rude. If you make a call and the representative refuses to help, politely let him or her know that you are about to hang up. Then try again later.
DON’T be impatient. Most credit card companies require 12 to 24 months of on-time, full payments before they will consider lowering interest rates.