Credit card credit issues fall into two categories. One is the problem with too many open cards with too much of a balance. The other is a poor payment history. These can be together, but they are often separate. Both can create more problems than the average person wants to handle.
If you have too much debt on too many cards, it won’t matter if you are the best pay in the world. The will cause your credit rating to plummet. The banks are then going to increase your interest and increase the amount of the monthly payment. The idea behind this should be to get you to pay down balances and quit using the cards for a while. However, the real motive is to maximize the profits from a good paying customer. If they can increase the monthly outflow from your bank account, you will have to maintain high balances because of needing to charge things like phone bills and groceries.
As long as your balances stay high, they can refuse to lower your interest or payments because your low credit score allows them to declare you a high risk. They don’t care about you personally. You are a cash cow to them. If you quit producing cash flow for them, they will come after you. In fact, sometimes they will negotiate better if you are behind a month or two than when you are current. I don’t really suggest this as a technique, but it does seem to get their attention in a more meaningful way.
The only way you can get out of this vicious cycle is to find a way to increase income so you can quit charging. This will eventually cause your balances to lower to a point that the banks have to give you more favorable rates because of your climbing credit score. As your balances decline, don’t be afraid to pester the banks monthly to ask for better terms.
Even one card that works with you can improve your situation by $100 per month.
If you are a chronic late-payer, you need to break this bad habit it you can. If you are already in trouble with overdue amounts that you can’t catch up, you have two options. The first is bankruptcy. If you choose this route, then see an attorney and get professional guidance.
If you think you want to try another route, find a not-for-profit credit agency. You may need to interview 5 or more to find one you are comfortable with using. They can often negotiate up to 3/4 of your debt away. They will then set up a repayment schedule that will take from 1 to 5 years to complete. During this time, you will not be able to get additional credit. You will need to judge whether you can live with this or not.