Contact Your Lender


If you are having trouble making even the minimum payment on your credit cards — perhaps because you lost your job or you have unexpected medical bills — the first step is to talk to the financial institution that issued your card.

You want to work out a repayment plan that avoids late fees, potential rate increases, and potential default.

If you have made regular payments in the past, you may be able to arrange to spread repayment of your outstanding balance over a longer period, which reduces what you owe each month. The one downside is that taking longer to repay will increase the total interest you pay. But it's almost always worth it to avoid default.

One word of caution: Stop accumulating new debt. Use your credit card only in an absolute emergency until you have paid off your existing debt.
 
It's a bad idea to move debt from one card to another on a regular basis.