Discover may settle debt for 30% to 60% of the original balance, according to our research. The percentage will vary based on whether the debt is still with Discover or in the hands of a debt collection company, as well as the financial situation of the person who owes the debt, and the age of the debt. Refer to the most recent notice sent regarding the debt in question to determine whom to contact about settling.
If your Discover Card debt has not been sold to a collection agency, Discover offers a few methods of debt assistance. These options are most similar a debt management plan, rather than debt settlement, as Discover will work with you to reduce your monthly payment and interest. You can pursue this by calling customer service at 1 (800) 347-2683 or by reaching out to a representative using their online help center.
However, if you are determined to pursue debt settlement, you can ask for that option instead. Just bear in mind that Discover has no obligation to settle and will likely only do so if it means getting more of a payment from you than they could reasonably expect to otherwise.
If your account is over 180-days past due, you will probably negotiate with a collection agency. If this is the case, you will communicate the monthly payment and lump sum you can afford directly to them.
It’s also worth noting that the older a debt is, the more likely it is that creditors will view it as uncollectible, which may increase the odds of a favorable settlement percentage. For debt collectors, getting some of the debt repaid is better than nothing. Just remember that while an older debt increases the chances of a favorable settlement outcome, it comes at the expense of your credit due to more missed payments. You can learn more about how debt settlement hurts your credit in our guide.
Before you begin the negotiation process with either party, prepare for the initial conversation. Questions about your finances (including income and expenses) as well as the situation that caused your inability to pay are inevitable. Additionally, do the math on what settlement you can afford, both as a lump sum and in terms of monthly payments. Only sign a debt settlement agreement letter if you are confident you can afford the settlement.
It’s also a good idea to use your Discover Card only for essentials and to attend a credit counseling session to learn about other options. This will show the creditor that you have explored all options and are only pursuing debt settlement as a last resort. That will improve your chances for a more favorable debt settlement.
To learn more about the settlement process, you can read our guide on how credit card debt settlement works.
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