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Hardship programs


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109 replies to this topic

#26 ts8586

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 09:42 AM

I have never been late on anything and I was able to get into hardship programs with the following CC

(my husband died back in Feb- I was only 31, no life ins, tons of debt (charged by him in my name)

1- Citi bank- 5% for 9 months- Card NOT closed- (but is now b/c they want to raise me to 29.99% after Jan when the promo is up)

2- Citi Flex line of credit- 0% for 12 months- closed

3- BOA/MBNA- 5% for 5 years (pays off balance)- closed

4- Amex- 0% for 6 months on Blue card - Card NOT closed

Amex plat. card- 0% for 6 months- 9.99% after that - my monthly payment pays off my balance in 12 months- card NOT closed

5. GE money line of credit- cut my interest rate in half for 6 months- closed for the 6 months


I'm sorry for your loss, YW. But nice job on getting the CC companies to work with you. Maybe some of their employees do have souls.



#27 liquidlilac

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 07:58 PM

i called AMEX to ask if they have a hardship program for me. my account is closed but with a balance of $2900 but the APR went from 3.99% to 27.9% just 2 monthgs ago! it will be a negative on my file until the debt is paid in full. right now i'm at 0% APR for first 6 months, next 6 months will be 9.99%. i will make sure to pay it off by 6 months.

#28 queenmum

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 10:22 PM

I wanted to update what we got..

Chase is at 6% for 5 yrs and that will pay off balance. The account is closed.

2 Citi cards that are at 0% for one year and automatically drawn from checking each month. After the year they will go back to current interest, around 14 and be reopened. I believe after the 12 months we can reapply for the hardship program.

From my understanding a regular rep will not help you, you need to ask for the hardship program. They will transfer you, hopefully. If they say they have never heard of it don't believe them (for chase and citi anyway). If you do a internet search you can find the hardship numbers for the major banks.

I am interested in Junipers program, anyone else get a plan with them??

#29 PennyPinching

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Posted 18 December 2009 - 04:23 PM

Chase is willing to work. We got 9% on one, 12% on the other and 6% on another all without closing the accounts. They are time-bombed to expire in 9 months, 12 months, and 3 months.
I tried my US Bank credit card and they said no. They told me to contact a credit counseling program if I wanted to do that.
B of A was very reluctant and basically waived a late fee, but that was it.
Trying more now....

#30 PennyPinching

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Posted 24 December 2009 - 01:55 AM

Wow, looks like folks have taken a Christmas break from the Debt Mgt forum...
Well, I have successfully called and worked out deals with USBank (2nd attempt), Bank of America, and American Express, GE Money Bank (Chevron).
Wells Fargo told me there was nothing better they could do for me and they were a bit snide about the whole thing. Not interested, really. USBank did work out something with me and they were very pleasant too. I must have received a generic response on my first try. In the end USBank lowered my payments by $160 per month! Amex gave me 0% for 6 mos and 9.9% for the second 6 mos., Bank of America lowered my interest and my payment dropped only $10 per month, but it is a start. BofA was a stickler. They asked so many budget questions in what seemed like an attempt to make me appear to have negative income so they would not be able to do it. Interesting thing is, I called about the Bank of America mortgage modification program too and they did the exact same thing! I don't qualify for the mortgage program since my mortgage is too new, but after all these changes, I won't need it anyway. Chevron cut 25% off my interest monthly for 1 year and my payments are $30 with no possibility of any late fees, even if I miss my payment date. Interesting program. They too were actually very nice. So, Bank of America and Wells Fargo were the least helpful so far, but Bank of America did come around after a long time on the phone. I think they dropped my interest to 7.4% from 28.9%. I just have to call Chase and my own DMP will be finished without fees to these so-called non-profit credit councilors! Thanks Creditboards members for the encouragement to go it myself! I'll let you now how it all works out...

#31 DaddyO

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 07:07 AM

Wow....very informative thread.


I have most of my cards with Chase. Chase seems to be the less user friendly. Correct me if I am wrong.


Also, how does this work when an account has been moved to collections ? We bought Furniture at Levitz on that No interest for 18 month deal. The store has closed and we didn't have the balance paid off. The accounts were given to HSBC, but now sit with a collection agency. Is there any suggestions on what i can do hear ?


Thanks in advance !

#32 Rawhide

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 07:16 PM

This might be a good way to help us out of the mess that we've gotten into. I read how one person was asked for salary, mortgage, minimum credit card debts, auto loans as a basis for whether they qualify for hardship program or not. Is this typical? Doing quick calculations, I figure that we are at 50% for those items. Would that be worth us trying to enter hardship programs?

When the accounts are closed, will they report it as closed by you or closed by creditor? I want for my husband's credit to not be harmed.

#33 PennyPinching

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 01:17 AM

This might be a good way to help us out of the mess that we've gotten into. I read how one person was asked for salary, mortgage, minimum credit card debts, auto loans as a basis for whether they qualify for hardship program or not. Is this typical? Doing quick calculations, I figure that we are at 50% for those items. Would that be worth us trying to enter hardship programs?

When the accounts are closed, will they report it as closed by you or closed by creditor? I want for my husband's credit to not be harmed.



Well, the only one that gave us grief for having too much debt was Bank of America. As long as you are not negative in debt to income ratio, you will be fine.
I had several, hum... if not all... ask me for this income and debt info. Chase had to have it "approved" which took a few days, but the rep told me right there on the phone it would likely be approved anyway, and it was. As for closing the account, I think that is case by case. I have several they left open but on hold so I cannot use them, and it will not report on the credit bureaus that way, only as opened. I did have to close a couple, and I am not sure how those will appear. I'd like to know as well!

Oh yes. DaddyO, in the end, Chase was one of the nicest to deal with, oddly enough. I thought they would be a bear and Wells Fargo would be accommodating, but I was wrong, it was the other way around. In the end, I didn't even modify my Wells Fargo because they would not make any real changes that would help.

Edited by emtownsend, 30 December 2009 - 01:19 AM.


#34 BKinSM

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 12:40 PM

I have questions...
After the hardship program, and you paid down the balance to zero..are you pretty much blacklist with these banks? Can you reapply their product in future?
How does this impacting your credit score?

most of my credit cards are with credit unions (USAA and NASA). Nasa recently increasing rate for me from 9.9% fixed to variable 13.9%. I want to keep them because they give high limit, but i really in the quest of paying down my debt.

#35 PennyPinching

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 11:23 PM

I have questions...
After the hardship program, and you paid down the balance to zero..are you pretty much blacklist with these banks? Can you reapply their product in future?
How does this impacting your credit score?

most of my credit cards are with credit unions (USAA and NASA). Nasa recently increasing rate for me from 9.9% fixed to variable 13.9%. I want to keep them because they give high limit, but i really in the quest of paying down my debt.


I'll let you know for sure when I get there, but what each card company told me was that when the account is on hold, nobody knows as long as the payments are on time, then after the hold period (like 1 year), the card is re-opened for use as normal. Amex requires a phone call in a year to re-activate the account. I think that is to make sure you did as agreed on the plan. I don't think they blacklist you unless you flunk out of the agreed on program. Also, I think the credit unions are the most flexible for programs and the least likely to just blanket blacklist you. Also, they may not put you on the hardship program unless you can show income vs debt problems. In other words, just wanting lower interest and to pay it off faster is not going to qualify. But, if you can show you are having problems with debt then they will likely work with you in a better fashion than the credit counseling folks would.
After calling all my creditors, I have shaved just over $300 off my monthly payments and my interest has dropped from a range of 15%-29.9% to a range of 0%-6%. Plus I can put the fees that credit counselors would charge me into more debt payments. It's still going to be tough, but at least I now have some discretionary income whereas before, all went to debt.

Edited by emtownsend, 30 December 2009 - 11:25 PM.


#36 queenmum

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 08:54 PM

So after we did my husbands Chase and Citi I did my Chase cards.I recieved a better deal. I had 3 cards. 2 used to be WAMU. They put it down to 2% for 5 yrs. They did close the accounts. I did not care because they were at the limits and they report voluntarily closed. The money I will save in interest is huge so I am happy! Initially they said 6%, but the guy I spoke with said a supervisor would have to look at it for the 2%. After few days I called back and it was approved, nothing on credit report about repayment program just that I closed them.

#37 papertrail

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 02:51 PM

Thank you for all your information regarding hardship programs. I am looking into these due to all my credit cards at the default interest rate. Couple of questions:

1. I would like to write or e-mail, not talk over the phone. I want to make sure it is in writing so I can make sure as to what they are offering. Do I outright ask them to be put on their hardship program because I can't keep up with the monthly payemtns?

2. I read from one poster, you do not have negative income-debt ratio? Why not?

3. Do they take into consideration your spouses income and bills?

4. What debt do they ask you for? House, utilities, credit cards, cars? Do they take every debt or just the major ones?

Any advise you have for me would be great. Thank you in advance.

#38 queenmum

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 03:30 PM

All I can speak for is Citi and Chase, but they did not really ask for too much. I told them our income was reduced and that we had another child. They were very nice and did ask for paperwork, just took our word. Citi is only for one year and then the accounts are reopened and return to regular rate. I think if after a year you can still not pay, you ask to be put in the program again.

#39 papertrail

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 03:59 PM

All I can speak for is Citi and Chase, but they did not really ask for too much. I told them our income was reduced and that we had another child. They were very nice and did ask for paperwork, just took our word. Citi is only for one year and then the accounts are reopened and return to regular rate. I think if after a year you can still not pay, you ask to be put in the program again.



I'm trying to work with Citi, one card that have me at 13% and the other they jacked up to 29% because I went over the limit. I can manage the first one, but I can't the second. Hopefully they will work with me on one card.

The other company I really need help with is US Bank, customer service gave me the address of that department. I read one person had luck and one didn't. This is the card with the $500 month payment, its killing me.

I would hope they would work with me. Thank you.

#40 Meatz

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 12:50 PM

How does a hardship program effect your credit sorce; if they close the accounts?

#41 queenmum

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 08:05 AM

It will affect your credit by the account being maxed and reduce your debt to available credit ratio. Chase said it is reporting closed by customer so once it is paid off it will affect it much less. For me I will be saving 1000's in interest and they will be finally paid off so it is worth the points lost. I do have other cards and hope they do not raise those rates, but we'll see. It would take much longer than 5 yrs paying the minimum on these cards.

#42 ts8586

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 08:30 AM

How did you folks get the credit card companies to work with you? They won't budge for me. I was late with a few of them this past month. Caught up on all of them except Crapital One. Bank of America says they only work with you if you use a DMP company like Greenpath or Take Charge America. Do you have to get really, really behind before they do anything?

#43 queenmum

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 08:47 AM

From what I understand a regular CSR won't help, you need to say the words hardship. Try googling hardship programs for credit cards and there are some direct numbers given. With Chase you call the number on your card and ask to be transferred to hardship. Citi there is a number..try googling. The other banks I am not sure about.

#44 kw79

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 11:22 AM

For Chase, call 1-877-890-2941. The recording talks about a letter you received (just ignore that part), then it says if you would like to discuss your letter press ___ (0 or 1) and that will get you to someone that can help you. They will explain the BLP (Balance Liquidation Program) to you, and if you are interested in "applying" for it, then they just ask you your income, and what your total bills are. They put you on hold and then come back and tell you if you are approved or not, what the payment would be, what the interest is etc...

If you accept, the card will be closed, and they will want to draft your first payment from your account (you can date it any day from today until your normal due date). After that you are responsible for paying it either online, or via mail.

Quite simple and took less than 10 minutes and saved me 1000s. Sure I lost a card with a really high interest rate (no loss there) and I will take a credit score hit but that will bounce back when I pay it off (I can actually say that now because at the old rate, I never would have).

#45 Meatz

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Posted 07 January 2010 - 04:16 PM

How bad will your score drop say like if you had a 600? A few points or more like 25 or 50, for maybe like 6 or 7 (CC) hardships.

#46 Golden Krust

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 06:50 AM

All I can speak for is Citi and Chase, but they did not really ask for too much. I told them our income was reduced and that we had another child. They were very nice and did ask for paperwork, just took our word. Citi is only for one year and then the accounts are reopened and return to regular rate. I think if after a year you can still not pay, you ask to be put in the program again.


Thank you so much for this thread! I am crossing my fingers and hoping that I'll be accepted into this program for two of my credit cards with extremely high APRs.

Question for everyone who has successfully been granted hardship- did you have to make a payment on your card immediately, or would your new amount reflected on your next cc bill? Thanks in advance.

#47 kw79

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 11:47 AM

All I can speak for is Citi and Chase, but they did not really ask for too much. I told them our income was reduced and that we had another child. They were very nice and did ask for paperwork, just took our word. Citi is only for one year and then the accounts are reopened and return to regular rate. I think if after a year you can still not pay, you ask to be put in the program again.


Thank you so much for this thread! I am crossing my fingers and hoping that I'll be accepted into this program for two of my credit cards with extremely high APRs.

Question for everyone who has successfully been granted hardship- did you have to make a payment on your card immediately, or would your new amount reflected on your next cc bill? Thanks in advance.


I did it with Chase. I called on 1/6. My original payment was due 1/16. They said I needed to make my new payment over the phone the day I called, but could have it post anywhere from the day I called until my original due date. That would count as my first payment in the program and my next payment would be due 2/16 and I would have to pay that one online or mail it.

#48 ts8586

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 11:51 AM

Thanks for the info as well, kw79. Can I ask how you got to the point to where they accepted you? Were you consistently late or several months behind?

#49 PennyPinching

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 02:55 PM

I was late with Chase, then caught up and went on the program. I think either way is OK, but you have to mention "hardship program".
Important to keep in mind: Chase told me the program does NOT start until you make your first payment. So, even though you might be accepted, you are not fully in the program until that first payment is made. Also, Chase had me setup auto drafts for the first 12 months. They made it sound like it was a requirement for the first year of the program.
American Express, Chevron, and a few others allow me to pay online.
US Bank did auto debits as well.
Bank of America and Wells Fargo are the only tough ones to get onto a program with. In fact, I opted to NOT get on with WF because my payment would actually increase.

#50 kw79

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Posted 08 January 2010 - 09:38 PM

Thanks for the info as well, kw79. Can I ask how you got to the point to where they accepted you? Were you consistently late or several months behind?



I was actually never late, always paid on time and as much over the minimum as I could. The interest rate of 24% finally got to me though and I just wasn't paying down the balance. I told them I was looking for an interest rate reduction and was declined then I asked about this program as I told them I would like to apply.




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