Yes! You Can Negotiate Your Credit Card Debt

There are many things that people fear and out of control credit card debt is not something that always comes first to someone’s mind when they think about the worst financial hardship that could happen. But, when it does happen to someone, it can feel as though it is the worst thing ever and that they are buried so far that they will never see any light. But this does not have to be true as there are many ways to go about fixing the problem including debt negotiation. What credit card debt negotiation does is take the debt you owe and either reduces the total amount that you owe or find a way to make it easier to pay it off.

Generally, when a credit account hits a collection agency, there is more room to work a debt negotiation plan. This means that if you owe a total of four thousand dollars, they may be willing to take a lump sum payment of two thousand dollars and call the debt paid off. This helps the company in that they are finally receiving money from the debtor and the debtor is helped by the reduced amount of debt. Credit card debt negotiation plans are often a win-win situation for both parties involved. And while it is true that there will be a small mark on your credit for paying less then the total due, the affect is much less then leaving the debt sit or filing bankruptcy.

What to Do

If you look at your card statement, you will see that your interest rate is listed on there in a spot that is easy to find. If your rate is over 10% then you have something you can use for negotiating credit card debt. These are arbitrary numbers set by the credit card company and you can use them when you are negotiating debt. As long as you always pay your principle you are fine. I had a friend that would call his credit card companies once a year and tell them that if they didn’t lower their interest rates he was paying the card off in full and canceling it. More often than not the rates got lowered. This also affects your monthly payment and can help you control your monthly debt.

The best and generally the cheapest way to go about tackling debt negotiation is to call each of your creditors yourself and explain your hardship. While not every single credit card company or collection agency will be able and willing to accept a deal, there is a good chance that one or even a few of those on your list that you owe will be willing to work with you. Even though you would love to see every creditor on your list cut your debt in half, the fact is, even if one or two were able to slice your debt in half, you will have been successful in your credit card debt negotiation.

If you are feeling that you are not outgoing enough or maybe you are just simply too scared or shy to contact your creditors, you may need the assistance of someone else. There are agencies that are dedicated in helping you with credit card debt negotiation and since it is their job, they may know a few tricks that you do not and this could make all the difference in getting it done. It never hurts to call in some professional help but try to stay away from those who want to charge you excessive fees for their assistance because successful credit card debt negotiation cannot be promised although the success rate for skilled negotiators is extremely high.

Focus on the Present and Analyze the Trends

The secret of success is in the quality of your focus. Like a surgeon precisely removes the damaged part, you must replace what is not efficient with something that is. Do not focus on the past except to learn from it. What you do now will determine the success or failure in the future.

Focus on the present to prepare for the future. Focus on the past to learn from your mistakes and successes. Focus on the trends so you can ride them to success. Focus on new developments to take advantage of them. Analyze everything so that you can weed out inefficiencies and keep going at full speed to reach your goals.

One thing often overlooked is that if you keep on doing what you have been doing, you will keep on getting what we have been getting. It is insane to expect different results with the same action. If you are not getting good results, you must change what you are doing. Here is where the precise part comes in. You usually do not have to change everything, just the inefficient part.

The problem is that you probably do not know which part to change. This is what focus is all about. You must develop a method of analysis to determine what is efficient and what is not. Sometimes you simply have to change something and see what happens. It is a matter of discovering what does not blend in with your system. It is a process of elimination to remove what is not efficient.

Success is often a matter of timing. What will work one time, may go belly up another time. Businesses often move gradually to a peak, hold steady for a while and then begin to decline. The same goes for products that businesses sell. They are popular for a while and then decline, depending on their quality and the quality of their competition.

You have to have a feel for what is hot and what is not. You have to know when to get in a business, how it is doing, and how to make it more efficient. You have to know how and when to get out if time changes have outdated your business.

This is where your focus is critical. How well you do, depends on how you read what is going on. You must not only focus on the present, but you must have a gut feeling for which way things are going. This requires analyzing trends. You can get better as you gain more experience. If you are sharp enough to anticipate changes in the trends, you can get a jump on the competition. If you guess wrong, you will lose ground.

How fast you rise to success and how long it remains to a peak, depends on the efficiency of your focus. You must sell what is hot and drop what is not. You must keep up with new developments. New technology may threaten your business unless you see it coming and take advantage of it. If you do not keep up with changes in the times, you will be left behind.

12 Awesome Real Estate Negotiation Tips for Home Buyers

Negotiation can turn a bad deal into a good deal, turn an undesirable house into the perfect new home, and save you plenty of money. The final agreement between buyer and seller is key, providing a counterbalance to judge the entire value of your new home. Your buying agent will be skilled in negotiation, but there are some important things that you, as a buyer, can do on your own to make sure you get the best deal. Here are 12 tips:

1. Do your research
Research is 90% of the negotiation process. Before you begin communicating with any agents or sellers, you should gather information on your own. Knowledge is power, and the more you can learn about the local pricing information and value of features (such as fireplace, views, utilities, location) the more leverage you will have during negotiation. Before you step out the door, buckle down and take some notes. You never know what information will come in handy during negotiation.

2. Set your boundaries in advance
Sit down alone, without an agent, and run through your personal finances to determine your “absolute” spending limit. Check and double check your calculations, and have confidence in your boundaries. Your spending limit must be based on your finances, not the negotiation process. Once you have a clear figure in mind, set it as your firm limit, and don’t budge.

3. Declare your comfortable spending limit
Once you have your absolute limit, take off about 5-10% and call this your “comfortable” spending limit. This is the limit you should communicate to your agent so they can help you negotiate. Your agent is your friend, and they are motivated to get you the best deal, but they are also business people. Their main goal is to make a sale, and sometimes an agent has more incentive to sell quickly rather than hold out for the best price. Only let them know your comfortable limit, adding that you might be willing to spend more for an exceptional home at an unbeatable deal.

4. Get pre-approved
Before you begin your search, get pre-approved for a home loan. If you’re “ready to buy” you can get the attention of sellers itching to sell quickly. You’ll move up on their priority list and this could help you gain leverage when negotiations begin. You’ll come off as a no-nonsense buyer who’s ready for action-if the deal is good enough.

5. Don’t be emotional
When looking at a new house, or talking with an agent, try not to appear overly emotional. Showing emotions can send subtle (or not so subtle) signals that you wouldn’t necessarily want to convey. If you’re seeing a new home and you’re excited because it’s just what you’re looking for, appear “interested” rather than excited. Excitement, or any display of a lack of calm rationality, can be a sign that your spending limit might be as flexible as your feelings. Along the same lines, if you’re unimpressed with a home, try to avoid criticizing it. Appearing too negative will send the message that you could be a pain to work with, or it could offend the seller.

6. Ask questions about every house you visit
So you’ve found a house that you’re interested in and you need to ask more questions, but you want to avoid coming off as “too” interested. How do you get the information you need while remaining aloof? The best way to not be obvious about your enthusiasm is to make sure you ask the same important questions at each house you visit. Make sure you come off as an inquisitive, diligent, and methodical buyer every time you view a house. When you find a house that excites you, you can gather all the information you need without tipping off the seller.

7. Learn about the seller
The more information you have, the more power you have in negotiations. If you can learn specifics about the seller, you can gain insight into their needs and potentially gain precious leverage. Why are they selling? Are they desperate to sell fast, because their life has taken an unexpected turn? Are they in a good position to wait patiently for the best deal? What kind of a deal are they looking for, and how can you give them what they need while still getting what you need? The more you understand about their circumstances, the more you’ll be able to spot where your expectations overlap with theirs. The best deals are found within the center of the Venn diagram.

8. Don’t rush
Many people fear that the house they want will get sold to another buyer before they have a chance to negotiate, so they feel that it’s best to make an offer early. Many real estate experts agree that this worry is often unfounded. If you’re interested in a house, the seller will know, and even if they have other offers, they will still have incentive to give each potential buyer proper consideration. Waiting to make an offer will always make the offer more valuable. Always wait a few days before making your initial offer. When you finally come around with your offer, the buyer will be relieved, and you’ll find yourself in a stronger position.

9. Have a strong initial offer
Many people underestimate the importance of an initial offer. Even though the final price will be determined through negotiation, the initial offer plays a huge role in informing the price. A good rule of thumb is to offer 20-30% lower than your comfortable spending limit. Keep in mind that if your offer is too low it can offend the seller, and if your offer is too high it will end up dramatically increasing the final price. When you make a low initial offer, always give the seller a good reason, such as the local market, your budget, or other factors in the home’s value. This will show that you’re basing your offer upon logic, and you’re inviting further conversation.

10. Be reluctant to increase your offer
Make sure the agent “convinces” you to increase your offer. Always be reluctant to increase, and only agree when a strong argument has been made. It never hurts to wait. Avoid accepting offers to meet halfway. The final sale price isn’t decided by the splitting your offer with the seller’s asking price. Both offers should be treated as stepping-stones on your path to the final sale price. Make sure to crawl your offer up slowly and carefully.

11. Keep a bargaining chip
You’ll be negotiating more than just a sale price. The terms of the agreement will determine things like move-in date, closing costs, inspections, included furniture and features, as well as other incentives. Early on in the negotiation, hold on to one aspect of the agreement that you don’t necessarily need. Don’t let on that the issue isn’t important to you, but hold onto it as if it’s necessary. Near the end of the negotiation, you can concede on the issue as a final bargaining chip. This will help give you one final push toward closing the deal.

12. Be confident, positive, and respectful
Start off your search by reminding yourself that you’re on the path to your perfect home. Have confidence in yourself and your ability to work within any situation, stay positive, and get what you need, no matter what unforeseen challenges come your way. Remembering that you’re dealing with people, with families, and you’re all about to make one of the most important decisions of your lives. A “good deal” isn’t good unless everybody gets what they need. You’re not just searching for a new home; you’re searching for the perfect circumstance, the perfect deal. At the end of your path lies your new life. You’ll help plenty of people along the way, and many people will help you. Make the best of your situation, and enjoy your new home!