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Paying Off Your Credit Cards


One of our readers, Jackie, sent us this question:

I have about $15,000 in credit card deb. I have been paying the min payment required for the past couple of year. I pay interest rates of 9% to 20% on multiple cards. I just came into some money (enough that will allow me to pay off all of these balances) Should I just write a check for the balance or should I call and try to widdle the balance down? is this even possible? i don’t want to just write a check for the balance if I can negotiate some how with them Thanks for your time.

Thanks for your question Jackie!

You will definitely want to do some negotiation before you pay your balance in full! At the very least, call each of your credit card companies and request the following things in return for paying in full:

You will probably have to talk to a manager in order to get some of these things done, but they are all possible. Just remember that if you get an unhelpful, or rude rep, (or even a rude manager) hang up and call back later. It might take you a little bit of time to get these things done too, but the money you will save should more than cover the time investment.

Since you are planning to pay in full you actually have a huge amount of leverage with your credit card companies. Definitely use it to your advantage!

Thank you so much for your question. Good luck in your negotiations!

One of our readers, Eva, also had this question:

Can I transfer my cards to another persons name since this person is using my cards under my name?

Thanks for your question Eva. Typically you can not transfer your credit cards into another person’s name, but it doesn’t hurt to call your credit card company and ask anyway.

I say that it’s not typical because in order for the credit card companies to put the cards into that person’s name, they will have to run their credit report, and get them to sign the account holder agreement. Generally most companies prefer to just open up new account with that person if they are eligible.

If the person using your credit card has poor credit, then you can bet your credit card company would rather have the debt in your name – since you are the one the card was issued to, you are liable for the debt even if someone else uses the credit card. If you have good credit, they will feel confident that you will pay the debt back if the other person defaults.

Alternately, you can get the person signed up as an authorized user. Being an authorized user officially gives them permission to use your credit card, and it will being to show up on their credit report and raise their score.

Definitely remember that if the person is having trouble getting a credit card of their own, their best bet would be to get a secured credit card. There are many advantages to secured cards – you get your deposit back eventually, they have an extremely high approval rate (even with bankruptcy), they almost always report each month to all three credit bureaus, and they have better interest rates than unsecured bad credit credit cards.

Thanks for your question!

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