The average American household today is operating under more than $15,000 in debt, but there are ways to get out from under that debt. The first thing you’ll need to do is relax. Credit card debt is normally what the law calls “unsecured debt,” so a credit card company can’t take your house or your car. In fact, debt-burdened consumers can negotiate with credit card companies to reduce the amount they owe or to develop a more practical payment plan. In the Chicago area, the wisest strategy is to have an experienced Chicago debt negotiation lawyer represent you.

If you choose to negotiate on your own with a credit card company, you’ll have a tough time just getting through to someone with the authority to negotiate. If you succeed in doing that, then you’ll have to offer precise reasons why you’re in financial trouble. “Things just piled up” is an excuse that won’t fly if you’re seriously seeking to reduce your payments. Explain instead that you lost your job or suffered a serious injury that prevents you from working. Credit card companies are more willing to work with clients who are both honest and precise.

If you negotiate your credit card debt yourself, you’ll have to offer the company either a lump-sum payment or a series of reduced payments. You can also request a lower interest rate. Don’t feel pressured into accepting the insurance company’s first offer. If you reach an agreement, get it in writing.

The reality is that in most cases, you won’t reach a satisfactory agreement with a credit card company by yourself through informal negotiations. In most cases, you’ll need a good Chicago debt negotiation lawyer to use his or her skills and expertise on your behalf. When a negotiated agreement isn’t available, consumers may turn to bankruptcy proceedings for financial relief. An experienced Chicago debt negotiation lawyer can also advise you regarding various bankruptcy options. If your credit card debt is overwhelming you, take the first step toward financial freedom and call an experienced Chicago debt negotiation lawyer today.