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How long can I get away with paying less than the minimum on credit cards?

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I'll know in a couple of months whether I'll need to file for bankruptcy, or whether I can pull things around.

In the meantime, I'm not able to pay the minimum amounts on my credit cards.

Is it best to at least pay something... say 25% of the minimum?

And how long will that keep the credit card companies at bay (they're already calling on the phone 5 times a day - I'm not answering - after I paid a smaller monthly amount instead of the minimum about 6 weeks ago).

If I go bankrupt, so be it. I don't need good credit for a loan, mortgage or new apartment.

My situation is way past tightening my belt, getting a second income etc... I'm already doing everything possible (debt consolidation etc).

Thanks for any advice on paying a smaller amount, and how long before they take the next step (and what would that be?)

Thank you!

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You can pay a token amount but you are obligated to pay the minimum payment due every month. Whether you pay a penny or a penny short of the minimum, its still racking up lates with the creditors. If you're already late on everything, you likely won't get a debt consolidation loan. If you're looking for a debt management plan - well you can search on here.

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Don't waste your money. You'd be better off paying some the min and not paying others at all. At least then you keep some accounts current in case you're able to pull things through and avoid the BK. Or if you're pretty sure you will need to file, save your money for attorney fees and other expenses. 

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As suggested by others, paying less than your minimum has close to the same consequences as not paying at all.   You still incur delinquencies and if your account goes 3 full months in arrears, closure is likely.


The best bet is to handle the situation proactively, call the issuer, and request a temporary hardship payment arrangement, citing temporary financial circumstances.  This may result in temporary suspension of your charge privileges (not a bad thing in such circumstances), but in addition to reducing your minimum payment requirement for 3-6 months, they may also temporarily reduce the interest rate being assessed.


I realize your circumstances are dire.  Bankruptcy is available for those who need a fresh start, however, I suggest you not be quite so resigned to the possibility.  Recovering your credit access is a tedious experience, and you're likely underestimating your need for credit access 5+ years down the road.

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