How to Negotiate a Settlement With Discover Card
Nobody wants to be saddled with credit card debt. Not only is the principal debt stressful, but the interest can very quickly grow to an insurmountable burden. The good news is the credit card companies are aware that a large debt is unlikely to be paid in full if it’s been sitting for awhile and are usually eager to get longstanding debts off their books. Negotiating such a settlement with Discover Card takes time, patience and persistence, but you can end up relieving a debt for a much lower amount.
Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
1)Call Discover at 1-800-347-2683 and follow the menu options to speak to a live representative. You will need to provide your account information and answer some questions about your address and phone number so the representative can verify your identity and pull up your account.
2)Explain your financial hardship and the reasons for it so you can request to be placed on a hardship program. Discover may offer you a lower interest rate and a reduced payment plan. This is a case-by-case basis however and is not guaranteed.
3)Contact a credit counseling agency. Discover has agreements with some credit counseling agencies to lower interest rates, accept reduced payments and generally work with you to relieve your debt. The credit agency acts as an intermediary between you and Discover. There is usually a fee associated discover card this service but it should be no more than $30 to $50 for legitimate companies.
4)Stop payments to Discover if nothing else is working. This will negatively affect your credit score but is useful in getting a settlement.
5)Examine settlement offers sent to you by Discover. It will likely take many months of no payment before Discover offers a settlement in the mail. Collectors will be calling on a daily basis prior to this. If the settlement they offer is acceptable to you, call back and agree to the terms, which normally require a one-time payment for a lower amount in return for the account being closed.
6)Offer your own settlement agreement if the one from Discover is not feasible for you. The best you can usually hope for is 35 percent of the original principal but there is no guarantee on what Discover will or won’t accept. The offer is more likely to be accepted if you have an amount ready that can be paid immediately upon the settlement being accepted.
7)Get the final settlement agreement in writing prior to making any settlement payment. This protects you against Discover taking your payment, applying it to the debt and then continuing to try to collect the rest of the amount.
Tips & Warnings