Credit Card Issuers Slashing Balances To Settle Accounts


The banks were bailed out last fall, the automobile companies last winter.  For Edward McClelland, a writer in Chicago, deliverance finally arrived a few days ago.

Mr. McClelland’s credit card company was calling yet again, wondering when it could expect the next installment on his delinquent account.  He proposed paying half of his $5,486 balance and calling the matter even.

It’s a deal, the account representative immediately said, not even bothering to check with a supervisor.

As they confront unprecedented numbers of troubled customers, credit card companies are increasingly doing something they have historically scorned: settling delinquent accounts for substantially less than the amount owed.

“Credit Bailout: Issuers Slashing Card Balances”, The New York Times, June 16, A1

If you’ve racked up some big balances on your credit cards and dug yourself into a hole, this might be a good time to call up you credit card company and make them an offer to settle your account.  You might be surprised when they say “Yes”.