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Good Faith Credit Card Payments Backfire: Debt Experts Weigh In

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What happens if you are trying your best to make your credit card payments, but your card issuer won’t work with you and insists you make higher payments than you can afford? Debt experts weigh in to help this reader understand her options with her credit card payments:

My daughter lost her job a little over a year ago and she was the main bread winner for our family. Since then, she, my grandson and I have been living on my Social Security and part-time job. I was unable to pay anything on my Capital One account for five months. It wasn’t consecutive. I didn’t pay for three months, then I made a couple of payments, then missed two more. I called and explained this to them in November 2010 and told them I thought I would be able to begin paying again in January 2011. The person I talked to at that time didn’t seem to have a problem with this. However, the calls began. Each time I gave the same explanation but no one seemed to have a record of what I previously said. Some of their collectors are good and some very rude, but that’s another story.

I now have made payments in January, February, March, April, May and soon June. April and May were only $50.00 payments and once again the calls have started. The account has been closed, I’m trying to pay but it is next to impossible to pay the amounts they want to bring the account to what they are calling “current.”  They want $300 for the next three (3) months, they continue to charge $39.00 late fee each month and of course, interest.

I fully intent to pay what I owe them but I can’t seem to meet what they are asking. Do I have any way to get them to quit charging the late fee and agree to a monthly payment that I can meet? Are there still such things as “good faith” payments?


Any time you pay less than the minimum payment due, you’re likely to be charged late fees. And if you fall sixty days behind on your credit card, the issuer can raise the interest rate on your existing balance to a “default” interest rate which can make it that more difficult to dig out from under.

Every creditor handles delinquent accounts differently. That’s why I thought it would be helpful to run your question by experts who are “in the trenches” working with consumers in trouble. So I asked three debt negotiation experts to share their experience with Capital One, as well as their advice for your situation. They all seemed to agree on one thing: your small “good faith” payments may be backfiring on you, and preventing you from getting into a true hardship plan that would give you the relief you need.

Here’s what they had to say …

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  • Michael Willy

    i think the best solution for your problem is to write a letter to the president of the credit card company and explain them your situation and they’ll be able to wave those fees for you….

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  • Diane

    if you have been paying a credit debit since 2005 to present should you be paying late fees, on it? well i have a credit card that is paid bi-weekly since 2005 100.00 bi-weekly and the vendor hit me with still owing $ 8762.00 on a 10,345.00 debt is this possible???


    • Gerri Detweiler

      I am sorry Diane, but I don’t quite understand your situation. Are you paying the credit card company in a hardship plan, or a debt collector? Have you been getting statements? Did you have a written agreement about the payment plan?

  • http://www.Credit.com/ Gerri Detweiler

    I am a little confused. Can you explain exactly what you mean by charged a cash advance fee each month? Are you sure that’s not interest on the cash advance portion of the bill?

    At any rate if the account was charged off and closed then your payments probably aren’t doing much for your credit. You might be able to negotiate a settlement if it goes to collections, but it’s also possible they could charge you collection costs that could raise the amount owed.

    • Antoine Finch

      They have not charged off account just closed it my statement has a 14.00 cash advance fee each month called them and they said it would be charged each month until it’s paid off

      • http://consumerrecoverynetwork.com/ask-a-question/ Michael Bovee

        It is important to pay this account on time each month if you do not want late pays to bring down your credit score, and blemishes on your credit reports.

        Are you no longer able to keep up even the minimum payment?

        • Antoine Finch

          i make 40 or 50.00 a month payment(the min is 24.00) and credit monitoring shows navy federal showing on time payments. The account was closed when i got sick and behind last year even though i called them they have no record of my call? I got 90 days behind and was told i didn’t have credit protection when i asked for. have not missed or been late since Jul 2014 to present. I just found out the account was closed in Feb 2015,Even though they say it been closed since Feb 2014?

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