This is my first post here. I just found this site. I have been researching for two nights trying to find some answers to my questions. Hopefully someone here can help. First of all, let me say that our credit card debt is very high - about $60,000. We never meant to get that deep in debt, but a little here and a little there and before you know it... We have been late on most of our cards every month, but have never been 30 days late so as to not affect our FICO score. We have spit, shaken, and pinkie swore to never use the cards again and have taken a home equity loan to pay off some of these along with some money we recently made on a house flip. We have about $35,000 to paydown on these cards. My question is, if I call the credit card companies and can negotiate lump sum payments less than what our balance is, how will that affect our FICO? Our credit is decent right now -about 680. I don't know what would be worse, all the credit card debt or most of that paid off and some bad debt from the negative amount they discounted. Has anybody ever negotiated on their own? I would like to knock the majority of these out with the $35,000 if at all possible.