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- Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:53 pm
- Location: USA
I haven't done a balance liquidation program or a hardship program (they go through the same sort of department) with Chase, but I have completed a hardship program with Citibank before and was offered the chance to do another one (and I had absolutely no need for it) last year when Citibank was doing its balance payoff promotion.
Before I say anything else, I would suggest calling Chase themselves and simply asking or, if you would like, go to a Chase branch bank and speak to a financial advisor there. Each person's situation is unique and it is entirely likely that what happened to one person may not happen to another person.
That said, this is what my own program entailed:
- I called in to Citibank and informed them that I was encountering sudden unexpected financial hardship and was wondering if they had any programs that might help me. I wanted to keep paying on time, but I was afraid that my APR would really kick me in the ass because I was suddenly carrying a much higher balance.
- I got transferred to their I forget which department - debt collections or something similar - and I got told that in order for my account to 'qualify', it would need to be delinquent and defaulted.
- The hardship program I was given was this: 6 months to pay a flat X amount each month of my choice (I believe, though, that the amount had to be $100 or higher, or rather, it only made sense if you paid off a bigger chunk at a time) with no additional interest charges or fees collected/added on for the duration of the 6 months. In return, my card would be frozen for future purchases and only upon successful completion of the program would my account be reviewed and then reactivated. Basically, when I look back to it, it was sort of like a BT offer except my balance was staying with Citibank and that I was paying a set amount every single month directly drawn from my Citibank checking account.
- Once my payment plan was completed, my account got reviewed and I got welcomed back with my account being reinstated to the way it used to be MINUS the delinquent strike that had been required to make me eligible for the program and MINUS a bit off of my older APR (w00t!).
When Citibank was offering the account payoff program last year, account delinquency was not necessary, but I don't believe the interest rate decreased any, either.
That said, I believe that you will have to have your accounts go into delinquent status before you can be eligible for such hardship/payoff offers that involve either nixing your APR for a while or lowering it substantially. BUT PLEASE FIRST CHECK WITH CHASE AND DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.
The reason the delinquency is required is because the company is basically giving you something akin to what you might get with a promotional BT transfer offer.
Where the companies want to be paid back, they also aren't earning that higher APR interest and/or late fees from you and so don't want their customers to be treating their hardship plans or payoff plans like promotional BT offers. I mean, if there weren't any negative points to participating in such a program, you can imagine that there would be plenty of people who would try to abuse the system.
In exchange for the super low or 0 interest accrued for the time of the payment program, you have to pay it back with your account going delinquent which results in a strike on your credit report, your account being frozen for purchases which is inconvenient for you, and your account being subject to future further review which might result in the shortening of your credit line.
Basically, you have to prove to them that you're willing to sacrifice something in order to get your finances back together and that you aren't just tricking them/taking advantage of their program that was designed to help people (like you and me once upon a time) who suddenly find themselves struggling.
It might be different with Chase for all I know, but from what I have learned, it is most likely going to be something similar.
Best of luck with your inquiry with Chase and remember - don't assume anything!
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