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Watching Your Wallet: Credit card programs

Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 10:02 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - 16 percent of all credit card holders are having trouble paying their minimum monthly bill right now.

Most have tried entering a hardship program.

Credit card hardship programs can certainly provide some financial relief if you are having trouble making payments, but they do come with some risks.

These programs can offer payment deferral or avoiding interest charges for a period of time, but a survey by our partners at the financial website Nerdwallet found-- the majority that entered these programs had adverse actions taken on their accounts after enrolling.

Most saw a reduced credit limit, other accounts were frozen or even closed.

A fourth of those surveyed said the negotiated terms weren’t followed and their accounts were flagged for financial review.

If you do enroll in a hardship program, make sure you follow the guidelines strictly. Turn off any automatic payments coming from your bank account. And check your credit report a month after you start a program like this to make sure no negative reporting has happened.

Credit Card Hardship Programs are meant to be short term solution. If it’s going to take more than a few months to fix, consider sitting down with a credit counselor.

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