What should credit card holders do when they are unable to pay their credit card outstanding in full? When all ways to repay your debt fail, you can always opt for a credit card settlement.
In this article, we’ll discuss the meaning of the term ‘Credit card settlement’ and how to go about it to reduce your outstanding credit card debt. You will also learn how a credit card settlement affects your overall credit card score.
What is credit card settlement?
Let’s begin by defining the term “credit card settlement”. Often, when borrowers find themselves unable to repay their credit card dues, they enter into a settlement – called “credit card settlement” – with the credit card issuer, which helps them clear their outstanding dues. Generally, the card issuer or bank waives off the interest accrued on the credit card. A credit card settlement is hence proposed as the final option to the credit card owner to repay their dues and end their credit card debt.
How to apply for a credit card settlement process?
- Approach your bank: As a first step, you must visit the bank branch and communicate your inability to pay the credit card debt. You must specifically mention that you wish to opt for a credit card settlement.
- Write a formal letter to the bank: While the executive shall explain this in further detail, as the next step, you must express your wish to opt for a credit card settlement through a formal letter to the bank branch manager; citing the reason for your inability to repay.
- Make the required payment: After negotiation, once the credit card settlement procedure is approved by your bank, you must pay the decided amount during a credit card settlement. Note that the lender-bank in question decides on the settlement amount. Post this procedure, the bank completely waives your credit card debt.
Should you opt for a credit card settlement?
It is not advisable to opt for a credit card settlement, since doing so can have a detrimental effect on your credit score. A low credit score can seriously affect your ability to avail of more loans in the future. To avoid this, you could consider opting for a balance transfer procedure – which allows you to transfer your credit card’s outstanding balance to another lender with a lower credit card interest rate.
IDFC FIRST Bank offers one of the lowest credit card interest rates and can be a suitable option if you wish to opt for a credit card balance transfer. Moreover, you get attractive rewards and offers on each of your card spending.
Keep these things in mind while using your credit card to avoid a credit card settlement
It must be borne in mind that banks are generally averse to the idea of a credit card settlement. If a borrower approaches a bank citing an inability to repay their credit card dues, the bank first proposes to the borrower a waiver of their outstanding credit card dues in exchange for a lump sum of money. Follow these tips to avoid a credit card settlement:
- Opt for the Auto pay feature if your bank offers such a provision so that you need not be reminded of the credit card due date every month.
- Make it a point to pay on time.
- If you are short on finances, pay the minimum amount due in time.
- If you are unable to pay your outstanding amount in full; you can request the lender to convert your outstanding amount into EMIs that can be paid overtime.
- You can also opt, as mentioned earlier, for a credit card balance transfer to reduce your overall credit card debt.
It is understandable if, in the face of a financial emergency, you have no choice but to opt for a credit card settlement. However, you must consider the points made in this article before doing so to avoid a debt trap.