Credit card companies know exactly what they are doing when they make it so easy for us to get the things we want, even though we can not afford them. When money is tight it is all too simple to turn to our flexible friends for help. The problem creeps up slowly as the debt builds up, until the burden of paying them back becomes impossible. The credit card payments then exacerbate the problem still further, making us rely even more on credit and borrowing.

The ease with which we can spend money with credit cards is one reason why serious credit card debt has become such a problem for so many people today. At this point many people can see no way to get rid of the debt, so they start considering serious options such as filing bankruptcy. While this may be necessary in some cases, there are far more times when it can be avoided by using a negotiated settlement.

The main principle of successful credit card settlement is that new agreements are negotiated with each card company, which result in them writing off a large part of what you owe them. While that sounds simple, it is a complicated area and the negotiations can take anything from weeks to years. The basic choice you have is whether to try to do this directly on your own, or to do what the majority choose to do and use the services of a debt settlement company.

Successful credit card settlement is possible to achieve on your own, provided you have the right understanding of the processes that card companies go through when dealing with outstanding debts. A lot depends on the timescale of your approaches and when you choose to try to make a deal to settle. Knowing when to negotiate and what to say makes the difference between getting no settlement deal and writing off over half the debt.

To go into that without help is unlikely to yield great results, though there are various online resources that can teach you about the process and help to give you an understanding of how to reach successful settlement deals yourself.

The alternative is to approach a debt settlement company, who will have highly experienced negotiators, who know exactly how and when to approach creditors in order to maximise the discounts on the debt. The best companies will have relationships with many creditors already, which can make the settlement process that much more effective.

If you do decide that the best way to successful credit card settlement is to work with a professional company, you should exercise some caution with regard to selecting the company to use. Debt settlement has gained a bit of a reputation from some companies who do not operate ethically or responsibly. Unfortunately many people have fallen prey to organisations who take large advance fees from people and then fail to gain any reductions on their debts.

It is important not to let this put you off the whole settlement process, because it works very well when done by reputable companies, but you should indeed be put off from taking any chances with who you use. There are many good companies and you will be perfectly OK provided you make sure you only deal with reputable organisations who are well established and can demonstrate a history of successful credit card settlement. The other essential precaution is to approach at least two or three so that you can see who provides the best proposal, and find out who you feel most at ease with.

Author's Bio: 

Read reviews and recommendations for reputable online debt settlement companies and UK IVA providers. K D Garrow has worked as a senior manager with significant financial responsibility for the last twenty years. His website offers free, unbiased advice on a range of debt related issues, including recommendations for the best debt management companies in the UK and US.