Can You Ask for Debt Relief from Credit Card Companies?
Millions of people in the United States face financial uncertainty from the COVID-19 crisis. With businesses closed, paychecks halted, and job security a complete unknown, many people must operate in a new reality where bills might not get paid on time. Asking for debt relief from credit card companies may not be your first choice, but it may be a viable option if you need it.
What kinds of debt relief are credit card companies offering right now?
Most major creditors have put two main systems in place for customers who find themselves unable to make payments during COVID-19:
- Deferring minimum payments for a few months
- Waiving fees for late-payments
Allowing customers to make late payments or delay payments until they are able to go back to work is a way for credit card companies to address the needs of the public without losing out on those payments they are owed.
You will still need to eventually pay the entirety of late or deferred payments. In these cases, only the deadlines and additional fees have been changed.
What do you need to know before taking advantage of COVID-19 debt relief from credit card programs?
You will likely find it helpful to plan out your debt relief strategy as much as possible. Ask your credit card company questions about any of the following areas to make sure you are well-prepared.
Many people are calling creditors right now because of their own circumstances due to COVID-19. If you find that wait times are an issue, try applying online for debt relief on the creditor’s website instead.
Give yourself as much time as possible to get a debt relief plan in place with your credit card company. It may take a while for them to contact you and work out the details. Some creditors say to expect at least a week of lag time between sending in your application and hearing back from the company.
Clarifying the drawbacks
Using one of these debt relief plans may affect your credit card account. Some companies, for example, may lower your credit limit or close your account entirely.
Additionally, you may still accrue interest on your payments even if your creditors allow you to defer payments until COVID-19 closures have ended. If so, your balance will increase even if you don’t make any purchases in the meantime.
Keep in mind that credit card companies are offering these options for debt relief over the next couple of months. Temporary debt relief programs have been put into place specifically in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and are therefore only meant to stave off problems for a little while until people can get back to work and resume their payments as normal.
Long-term debt relief from your credit card payments is another matter entirely. If you’re struggling to make your credit card payments normally, outside of the current COVID-19 situation, or you have recently lost your income due to the crisis, you may be in need of long-term help instead of the short-term solutions listed above.
In that case, consider contacting UmbrellaDEBT Relief to discuss your options. We can discuss the debt settlement program options with you that may lower your entire debt burden rather than just delaying your payments.
Wondering which debt relief strategy is right for you?
If you’re struggling to make a credit card payment or two during the height of COVID-19, your credit card company’s debt relief options may help. However, if you know that you will be unable to make your payments even after the crisis ends due to the high amount of debt you carry, give us a call or use our online contact form to learn how we can help.