College Student Confused About Handling Debt Collection and Striking a Deal
I am a college student who got in over his head. I know I made a mistake and now I have to deal with the consequences.
I raked up about $6000 of credit card debt on one card that I started falling behind on the payments and stopped paying about 4 months ago because I was unable to find work until recently. As a result, the credit card company referred the debt to a debt collector about 2 weeks ago.
I've read some articles on this website and on MSN about how to deal with debt collectors, but I'm still somewhat confused about certain details and what to offer as a deal. First, I was wondering if it isn't too late to talk to the credit card company directly and see if they can offer me a payment plan that I can afford so everything doesn't have to go through a debt collection company.
If that's no longer an option and I have to call the debt collectors, what should I do? I can only work part time and make about $600. I certainly can't afford to pay in full and I don't have any assets or savings. I heard that you should call at the end of the month to a debt collector and start off with an offer of about 25% of the total debt, which in this case would be $1500.
Does that sound like a good idea? Even that I can't afford to pay in whole and would have to have it broken up into 3 payments at least. What about a deal in which I pay half the debt over a course of 6 to 8 months (about $375-$500 a month)?
Overall I just don't know how to strike a deal and what I should offer. Any advice would be appreciated.