Can I settle my debts for less than I owe?

It is possible to get a settlement arrangement that allows you to settle your debts for less than you owe, but there are consequences.

An individual can personally seek a settlement with the credit card company or other creditor that they may owe, or they can enlist the help of a debt settlement company. People should only seek to settle when they have no other option, because their credit score will be badly damaged for many years.

Creditors will sometimes settle for surprisingly little compared to what they are owed, because getting something is better than getting nothing.

Settlement companies negotiate this arrangement on behalf of a debtor, but the process can take about 2 years oftentimes. Still, the creditor would rather settle themselves than enlist the help of a debt collections company.

Collections companies pay the creditor an even smaller amount than they might have gotten from the debtor themselves. A consumer’s FICO score is the main credit score used by lenders, landlords, and potential employers. Having very bad credit history can be detrimental to many future plans.

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