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1. Find hidden money in your budget
The only way to get out of debt without hurting
You'd be surprised at how much extra money you can scrape up. For example,
2. Negotiate your payment plan
Creditors are a lot more flexible than you probably realize. Some of the many things they are willing to do for you include lowering monthly payments, waiving late fees and even deferring a payment or two, Entrepreneur noted.
Be smart about your approach when you call to negotiate. "Avoid being rude or obnoxious — collectors can outclass anyone in those categories," debt settlement and bankruptcy lawyer Robertson B. Cohen told Mic by phone.
Start by asking, "Do you have the power to change my interest rate or terms," Lynnette Khalfani Cox, author of Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Freedom told CreditCards.com. Next, propose a plan, like "I can't pay the $150 minimum, but can pay $100."
3. Put burden of proof on the collector — then check the statute of limitations
Creditors sell delinquent debt to outside collectors. Outsiders often don't know much about accounts they're collecting on, Magnify Money explained. This benefits
Challenge the right to collect within 30 days of
Also, find out how old debt is. If the
4. Get a discount on your debt
Collectors often settle
Unfortunately, many people don't try to settle. "Only a small number of consumers who we contact choose to engage with us," Encore Capital Group, the nation's largest debt buyer, explained to Magnify Money.
5. Get outside help to reach a settlement
Not paying your debt could lead to creditors