Discussing your accounts with your creditors is often a necessary evil, but there are guidelines for contacting creditors, including when should you contact your creditors.
When should you contact your creditors?
Your creditors want to hear from you before you become delinquent on your bills. Creditors are more willing to work with you if they know your situation ahead of time. If your bills are already late, and you are still asking yourself when you should contact your creditors, it may be too late and they may have already turned your account over to collections.
Contacting your creditors early.
There may be advantages to contacting your creditors early in the delinquency process. Early intervention may get your creditor to:
- eliminate late charges on your account.
- not report your delinquency to credit reporting agencies.
- permit you to make interest-only payments for awhile
- Prevent your utilities from being cut off.
- Not turn your account over to a collection agency
- Defer payments to the end of your contract.
Before contacting your creditors, know what you can and cannot afford to do. Try to figure out a solution that you can live with and will make them happy prior to calling. Only promise to pay what you can afford by asking yourself these questions:
- How much take home income can I count on?
- What are my current fixed payments? (mortgage, rent, auto loans, etc.).
- What are my current flexible expenses? (food, clothing, fun, etc.).
- Will I have additional income in the future?
Sample Debt Collection Response Letters and Stop Collection Calls Scripts.
Prior to contacting your creditors by phone it may be helpful to first write down what you intend to say. This can help defuse the emotion, and make it easier to talk with them. Be honest and courteous, and never promise one creditor money that you already agreed to pay another. Also, keep a copy of your payment plan by the phone will help keep you strong when creditors unexpectedly call. Our sample debt collection response letters and stop collection calls scripts, including this free sample creditor phone script, may help as well.
Take good notes when you call, of including the name of the people you speak with, the date and time you talked with them, and what you discussed. This free sample creditor phone log may help you track your conversations. And always follow up all phone calls with a letter, keeping a copy for yourself. A follow-up letter helps confirm and clarify what was agreed upon, shows you really want to resolve the problem, and gives you and your creditors a record of what was said. You can use this free sample creditor confirmation letter if you make a satisfaction arrangement.
If you believe you are a victim of unfair or illegal debt collection tactics, need help settling your debts, or have fallen behind on your bills and just need any help you can get, don’t panic—you may have several good options available to you. Your success starts by assessing your current situation and finding a trusted Debt Help Lawyer that is licensed in your state. Click here for more information and for a FREE debt help analysis.