Advanced Guide: How to Negotiate Debts With Capital One

Learn how to negotiate overdue credit card debt with Capital One. Avoid the experience of getting sued by Capital One (even for amounts as low as $1,000) by applying the strategies used by professional debt counselors.

Getting some payment from a consumer is better than none in the eyes of lenders like Capital One. Debt negotiation involves people with past due debts talking to creditors and working together with them to come up with a settlement plan both sides can agree to. The fact is, most credit card companies like Capital One are perfectly willing to miss out on the full amount of an outstanding debt as long as you pay part of it. Knowing this, banks like Capital One are highly approachable and willing to consider taking less as payment, waiving late fees, or making the interest rates or fees more manageable. Here’s how to negotiate with Capital One if you are facing late payments, steep fees and a mountain of debt:

What Capital One Is Looking for in a Negotiation

Being prepared will give you the best chance of success. The good news is debt relief professionals who go to bat for their clients against Capital One report successfully negotiating an out-of-court settlement 50% of the time. Your odds are better than the pros. A lot of people think negotiating debt with a bank yourself rather than through a debt relief professional could be more statistically successful. Banks don’t love working with debt relief companies because they lose money; they'd prefer to save the relationship when it’s still in your hands. You got this!

If you're going to talk to Capital One or another major credit card lender to ask forgiveness for unpaid debt, you're going to have to know what they want to hear from you. Generally, there is certain key information they'll be looking for to justify accepting newly negotiated terms. Tell them your story. There's usually a really good reason when people can't repay the credit card debt they've taken on. It could be an unexpected illness and the related medical bills, losing a job, or a family crisis that caused you to be unable to pay your credit card bill. Capital One routinely agrees to settlements where you pay 50% of your debt, and the rest is forgiven.

How to Negotiate Debt With Capital One

Follow these four steps to avoid getting sued:

Step 1: Know your debt inside out

The first thing you need to do is determine exactly what your debt is all about so you can come up with appropriate solutions. Assess your total debt. Since you're going to be working out payment plans and other financial negotiations, it's important you're aware of all of your debts.

Step 2: Explore your options

There are several options for dealing with unpaid credit card debt. All of these options involve a reduction in the overall amount you have to pay. A workout agreement lowers interest and fees. With the first option—known as a "workout agreement"—you ask the credit card company to tweak your terms to make it easier to pay the debt off. Lump sum settlements erase the debt with a reduced cash payment. The second option is to offer the bank a lump sum cash payment for less than what you owe. Debt management offers non-profit support to become debt-free. Debt settlement is the final option before bankruptcy.

Step 3: Contact Capital One and Negotiate

If you know your debt and debt relief options, you’re ready to negotiate. Contact Capital One, either through a customer service phone number (it's 1-800-CAPITAL or 1-800-227-4825) or online options and get ready to speak with a professional. When you negotiate, understand how to hold a power position: Give them your story, keep their goals in mind, be polite and be prepared to let them know what you can pay.

Step 4: Finalize Agreement

Negotiations take time. Be prepared for a lot of back-and-forth conversations and to speak with several people. If you're making a reasonable offer but getting no progress with one rep, politely ask to speak to their manager, who might have more decision-making power. Don't agree to anything you can't afford. If the agreement Capital One offers is more than what you calculated you can pay, don't accept it and state the reason why. Once you have arrived at an agreement you can afford, get it in writing before paying a dime. The agreement you get in writing should include the original amount owed, the agreed-upon settlement amount, and repayment schedule or deadline. Don’t settle for anything that doesn’t clear your debt.

Debt Negotiation With Capital One

Debt negotiation is never easy or comfortable, but if you’re in deep with Capital One it’s past time to negotiate before you find yourself in a lawsuit. Even coming from a position of bad payment and default, remember that Capital One would rather work with you than a third party. Once your debt goes to collection, they lose money, which gives you a unique negotiating position.

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