Mastering Credit Card Collections: 8 Essential Steps to Navigate Debt & Explore Your Options
Mastering Credit Card Collections: 8 Essential Steps to Navigate Debt & Explore Your Options


Facing the reality of a credit card account going into collections can be scary and overwhelming. However, it is important to understand that you still have options available to you. From negotiating with creditors to understanding your legal rights, there are steps you can take to navigate this challenging situation.

Understanding Credit Card Collections:

Credit card collections happen when you are not paying your minimum payment. This could be for a variety of reasons – if the non-payment was because of a job loss or due to medical illness. An account being sent to collections also happens when the creditor has decided that the account is delinquent. The creditor then seeks help from a third-party collections agency to recover the owed funds. This typically occurs after several months of missed payments.

Credit Card Collections Options Available to You:

  1. Assess Your Financial Situation: Before taking any action, assess your financial situation. Determine your total debt, monthly income, and expenses. Understanding your current financial situation will help you make the best decisions for yourself moving forward. Once you know how much money you have left at the end of the month to make payments or how much you have in savings, then you will be able to understand whether you can meet any of the options that the creditor has.
  2. Communicate with Creditors: Open lines of communication with your creditors or the collections agency. When speaking with companies who handle credit card collections, it may be helpful to explain your financial hardship and see what options the creditor or company have for repayment. In some cases, creditors may be willing to negotiate a reduced settlement amount or establish a repayment plan that fits your budget. It is important to note that any reduced settlement amount may have tax implications for you. To learn more about debt settlement and the concerns, click HERE.
  3. Request Debt Validation: Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), you have the right to request validation of the debt. This means you can ask the collections agency to provide proof that they own the debt and that you owe the amount they claim. If they fail to validate the debt, you may not be legally obligated to pay. If you believe that the collections agency is violating your rights under the FDCPA, consider seeking legal advice. An attorney specializing in consumer rights can help you understand your options and protect your interests.
  4. Credit Counseling: Enrolling in a credit counseling program can provide you with resources and support to manage your debt more effectively. Credit counselors can help you create a budget and develop a plan to improve your financial situation. Feher Law works with DebtHelper to assist clients with their credit counseling, especially as related to a bankruptcy filing. Learn more about DebtHelper’s services HERE.
  5. Bankruptcy: Filing for bankruptcy should be a last resort. It can provide relief from overwhelming debt. It will affect your credit score and the bankruptcy will remain on your credit for up to 10 years. Everyone should consider when the right time is for them to file bankruptcy. Many individuals file for bankruptcy after they try other options. Meeting with an experienced bankruptcy attorney can assist you in understanding whether non-bankruptcy options will be able to resolve your situation or whether bankruptcy is your only remaining option.


Facing collections on a credit card account can feel overwhelming and scary. It is important to remember that you have options available to you. By communicating with creditors, meeting with an attorney, understanding your rights, and exploring repayment options, you can take steps to manage your debt and move towards a more stable financial future. Whether through negotiation, legal action, or financial counseling, there are paths forward from collections that can help you regain control of your finances.

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