How to negotiate with creditors

Mandi Smallhorne
2013-05-14 09:53
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Negotiate with your creditors. Negotiate with your creditors. ~ Shutterstock
Johannesburg - Before approaching a creditor, there are three steps to follow to ensure successful negotiation. Here they are:

1. Draw up a budget: you need to understand exactly what your situation is, how much money is coming in and how much should be going out, as well as what you can, realistically, afford.

2. Work out what you can afford to pay each creditor – how much you can pay per month, and over what period. If you plan to ask for reduced payments for a time, work out how you will be able to catch up. Make sure you put the most important services and products – the things you need, like housing, lights and water and transport – top of the list.

3. Approach the creditor with your offer and your plan. You will have to decide whether to deal with them in person or by letter.

Some experts advise sending a letter: you will be able to lay out your case point by point, and you will not be put off your stroke or intimidated.

Being proactive gives you a little leverage: most creditors will tell you they’d rather be warned that someone can’t manage the full payment, and be assured they will continue to be paid, than go through the whole costly business of legal debt collection.

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