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I am two months past due and been sent a letter. Should I call them back? or write?


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Hi everyone, I have just wrote a long post explaining my situation and it got deleted before I got a chance to post it. =( First, I'd like to apologize if there's already a thread similar to situation. I've tried to search for it, but I am very new to credit cards and not quite familiar with it yet. I am 19 years old and having a credit card is the worst mistake of my life. I admit that I've made a lot careless mistakes and decided that it's time to own up to it. I really need you guys' helps and advices on this one.

I first opened a Citi Card Platinum Card in 11/2008 and at the time I had a full time job and full time school and small babysitting job on the side that pays $40-$50 a week. These are my only sources of income and also including a financial aid check that I get from my school. I first opened the card with the intent that it would be easier to pay for my expenses and use my financial aid check to help out my parents. Again, this is the biggest mistake of my life.

On January 2009, I quit my job to go to school full time. By this time, I had already accumulated quite a balance on my card and I thought I could make the minimum payments with small babysitting that I still kept and eventually pay it all off when my financial aid check comes.

To make long story short, my financial aid came in VERY late and I keep getting calls. By the time it came, my minimum payment was already too high and I did a payment plan that they offered which was to pay $187/month for 3 months. I used the little money that I had left and was hoping to pay for the last month with the baby sitting job money. I successfully made the payments for the first two months but when the last month came, the family that I babysat for had lost his job therefore no longer needed my services and I couldnt make that last payment.

I've tried to look for a job but havent been lucky and my financial aid check was supposed to come but they came very late and JUST TODAY, I received two letters. One from my school saying that I'm not eligible for financial aid because my dad makes too much money, but he's in so many debts, he cant even make his own ends meet and cant even provide for me. Then I received another letter for CitiCards saying:

"Balance: $1,125.61

Minimum Due: $498.52

Dear Monica: Your Account is past due and at risk of being negatively reported to the national credit reporting agencies. Avoid letting your past due account damage your credit record by making your Minimum due of $498.52 today."

Then they wrote for me to make an immediate payment by phone with my checkbook available for preference.

I've been reading that I shouldn't call them or that I should write them in writing instead. I am not sure which one of these I should do and which one applied to me.

Do I call them? If I do, what do I say and what should I expect?

How can I negotiate with them that I can barely make a $20-$40 a month until I find a job?

If I should just write to them, what do I write?

Please, Please, Please help me! I don't know who else I can ask for support. It would be greatly appreciated!

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Welcome to the real world. Sorry that your entry into credit experience has turned out to be somewhat of a negative one. Here is the good news--you can fix it, but it is going to take some work and you are still young. If you work a lot and hard, 1200.00 can be paid off fairly quickly. First of all, do your parents know that you have a credit card and that you have accumulated a balnce on it? If not, the best thing to do is let them know and maybe, if they can, they will help out. Then, you can pay them back over a longer period of time. Remember one thing--it is your credit card, not theirs.

If not, my suggestion is to tear up the credit card, cancel the account, quit school for right now, get a full-time job, or more baby sitting clients and start making as big of payments as you can afford to and pay the balance off. Write the credit card company and let them know that you are attempting to pay the balance and what you are going to do to pay it. If you work full-time, or get a lot of baby sitting clients it won't take long and you can pick up where you left off in school in a semester or two.

I am not trying to sound harsh, having good credit is very serious and demands huge responsibility. I don't beleive there is any magic bullet--just a lot of work in your situation. The good news is that it is not that big of a balance. You can do this if you apply yourself, and if you want to maintain good credit. Good Luck!


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Thank you very much for your reply. It gave me a little bit of peace of mind, although I still understand that any debt is a bad debt. I've been trying to hide this from my parents and just yesterday they found out about it because my dad opened my mail. He was very disappointed because he himself has a pretty bad credit because he foreclosed our house two years ago and and he's about to declare bankruptcy. He was hoping that with my credit history, he can eventually buy a house with my credit history in the future to help them out and obviously that dream seems like it's been crushed.

I recently have been called for an interview and still trying to find a full time job. I do plan on quitting school for a while to pay this off, so thank you very much for the suggestion.

One more question, so should I call back the number that they provided on the letter to let them know about this or should I just not call and send them a letter? Is there anything that I should and/or shouldn't mention on the letter?

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Absolutely call them, you are not in collections and if you ignore them they will send you to collections.

Ask for a supervisor, explain your situation, and ask for a hardship plan.

Whatever plan you promise to pay on stick to it ....

and don't agree to a plan you can 'try' to do,


agree to a plan that you know you can do.


don't let family members piggy back on your credit...

They have already proven they cannot handle credit....

they can get build credit on their own, and they can get repair advice

from this board...

most everything drops off after 7 years anyway...

The fact he is opening your mail is a very bad sign....

I would

sign up for a monthly credit alert service because

I've seen too may parents sign up for credit under their kids name,

with good intentions to pay

and then life happens and they stop paying

and next thing you know you are huge $$ in debt and have terrible credit and collectors calling you ...


you may have to file criminal id theft charges against them to get it removed.,

and if you had signed up for a credit alert,

that could have been prevented in the first place.

I don't mean to sound so paranoid, but like surfhn said, "Welcome to the real world."

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