How to write a letter to your creditor

Here are some tips for writing a letter when your debt becomes overwhelming.

According to Consolidated Credit, the average credit card debt per household is $6,600. Total consumer debt per household is $16,046. In addition, 26 percent of Americans admitted they don’t pay their bills on time. It is no surprise when looking at the above numbers how credit card debt and total consumer debt can cause serious economic fallout, not only for individual households but for the nation as a whole. If the fallout happens to you, knowing how to write a letter to your creditors could be very beneficial.

There are many different types of letters pertaining to various credit issues available to send to creditors. One place to start is the website National Debtline. National Debtline has numerous sample letters available for your use, depending on what subject you are broaching with your creditor. Such subjects include negotiating, asking for information about your debt, payment instructions and complaints.

When writing a letter, there are a few things to keep in mind. Be honest and state facts concerning your issue or concern. Don’t blame the credit company, and instead take responsibility for your actions. Remember you are contacting them for assistance; you don’t want to alienate them by blaming them. Make sure to provide all relevant documentation surrounding your request. Lastly, make a promise to never make the same mistake again, and let them know you have learned a valuable lesson. 

Michigan State University Extension has financial coaches on staff to assist with the difficult process of financial issues. To find a counselor or coach near you, visit MI Money Health or call your county Extension office. MSU Extension has released a new toolkit for homeowners who are experiencing or have previously experienced foreclosure. This toolkit will equip these individuals and families with tools to help them recover their financial stability, in the case that a recovery of their home is not possible. The toolkit is available to download free at MIMoneyHealth.org.

Michigan State University Extension offers financial management and home ownership education classes. For more information of classes in your area, go to either http://msue.anr.msu.edu/events or www.mimoneyhealth.org.

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