A couple days ago I got one of my credit card companies to reduce their interest rate to 0.0 percent for ONE YEAR!
That will allow me to paydown my debt by almost $3600 over the next 12 months.
Here's what happened:
3/4/08 - (They called me.) I missed their call so I checked CallerID and then called them back. I explained that I could not make the monthly payment and I requested a Balance Liquidation Plan (BLP). The lady said that they cannot put me on a BLP because their policy is they need at least one year in between BLP's - I was on a BLP last year with them and recently came off it last January. She said that I owed about $800+ (just to bring my account current) and that my interest rate now was something like 12.5% and that if I missed that payment then my interest rate would go up to 30+%. She recommended credit counseling, I said I've already tried that and was denied. I said they recommended Chap 7 and she said that if that's what I have to do then that's too bad. She wanted me to make a payment but I told her I can't. I said that my mortgage payment is $5700 and that my take home was $6000. I said that we all lose and then I hung up.
3/4/08 - They called me back and gave me their Customer Assistance Center phone number. I called their Customer Assistance Center and then again explained my situation and then I was transferred to a Supervisor. She asked why I fell behind - I explained that my mortgage payments are $5700/mo and that I take home $6000/mo. They will put me on a One (1) Year Plan:- $285/month- at 0 percent- One Year- first payment due 3/26/08- manual payment plan- re-evaluate after one year (2/27/09).
The supervisor said that they would have to close my account and report to the credit score companies (Experian, TransUnion, etc) that I will be on a BLP with them. I said thanks. At this point I just want to get out of debt. My credit score is already so bad (poor status) that it doesn't really matter to me. I'm never going to have credit again anyway so a credit score is pointless from this point on until I die.
3/4/08 - It seems like if I use terms like "death" and "dying" in phrases like "...I'm financially dying" or "I'm financially already dead" or "I'm financially terminally ill." then that's when they immediately offer a payment plan.
3/4/08 - It took three (3) phone calls, but four (4) conversations, the same day - morning - to get a re-payment plan. The last conversation was with a Supervisor. And only after I told them I am "financially dead" did they seem to believe me.
I have a theory that if the credit card companies hear the pain and despair in your voice - in my case true - AND you use words/phrases like "financially dead" "I'm financially dying" etc then they will work with you. I think that "dead" "death" and "dying" are keywords for them.