How to Get Started
One of the first things you’ll want to do when you’re trying to create a letter
to send to your bank or creditors is to gather all the bills you have from a specific
company so that you can include certain details in the letter. This is especially
helpful if your interest rate for a credit card went up substantially over the last
few months, or if you have since changed jobs or acquired other financial obligations
that have affected your ability to pay your debt on time. Being able to include
facts and figures in your letter is one of the best ways to let creditors know that
you do want to pay of your debt, but may not be able to do so right away.
Composing the Letter
You should start the letter in the most respectful tone, and should remind your
creditors of times that you have paid your debt consistently if you are only recently
starting to have trouble. It is best to contact your debtors via debt letter as
early as you can, since this will give you more options and will show your creditors
that you are serious about maintaining your financial integrity. Even though it
may seem awkward, make sure that you give details about your employment situation,
or that you provide information that will help your ‘case’—for instance, if you
find that you suddenly have to care for an elderly parent, or are putting a child
through college, these things can definitely take a toll on your finances, so be
sure to include these facts in the letter. The format or order for the letter should
be something like this: greeting (i.e. Dear Sir/Madam, To Whom It May Concern),
explanation for the letter, details about your outstanding debt, reminder of satisfactory
payment history, and a request that arrangements be made. You should also make sure
that you keep a copy of this letter in your financial records, and that you file
or document each of the responses that you receive from your creditors.
What happens next?
After you’ve sent your letter and spoken to a representative from the company you
are indebted to, you should request a copy of your credit report so that you can
find out just how much this debt is affecting your overall credit. During your repayment
process, you should keep in touch with your creditors and request one or two additional
copies of your report to see if your score is improving.