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How likely is it that the creditors will negotiate credit card debt with me if I call them instead of the debt settlement company? They will get my money on monthly basis, no middle man charges, and my credit would be left intact.

Good question. Of course you can try to negotiate credit card debt on your own without professional help. However, please be aware that it can be a long arduous process because you often must make dozens of calls and write many letters just to get them to hear your case. The credit card companies are huge and they field calls all the time from people who are struggling to pay off their balances and looking to negotiate.

This is just like hiring a professional to do anything else for you. Why do you go to H&R Block? Because they can do your taxes much faster and easier than you can. It is simply a matter of how much time and effort you are willing to put into it yourself. Also, the professionals will know what you should and shouldn’t say/do to negotiate the best deal for yourself.

As far as your credit is concerned, the damage done with debt negotiation will be greater that if you work through a debt management program. However the debt management program will likely get you out of debt in 5-7 years while a debt negotiation program will likely take about half the time (of course, depending on your income situation and ability to save).

Thanks for the question.