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”.