After a certain number of phone calls, enough is enough. You’re ready to settle with your creditors.

But this brings up a whole different set of questions. How can you get the best deal? What do you need to say in order to persuade a collector to bring down the total amount? When is the best time to negotiate?

Here are a few tips that will help you get through the process with the best possible outcome.

The Numbers Matter

It’s a little-known fact that negotiating a settlement at the end of the month tends to yield the best results. Like many of us, debt collectors have a quota. If they don’t meet it, they’ll have to answer to their own bosses.

Since some of them are getting desperate, they’ll be amenable to settling for less than you’d think. So keep the timing in mind when you’re looking to settle your debt.

Also, try to pay in a lump sum if you can. If you pay right then, rather than agreeing to a monthly payment plan, the total amount repaid often be significantly less.

Get it in Writing

Documentation is vital to your protection. If a debt collector makes you an offer, be sure you get it in writing. Otherwise, it didn’t happen. If you send them money before they’ve put your agreement in writing, you could be passively agreeing to terms that you didn’t anticipate.

The same goes for your payment. Once you’ve sent money, be sure to get a confirmation of receipt. You may later need to provide proof that you made a payment on the account, and it’s always prudent to keep track of your financial exchanges. If you mail a payment, try using certified mail to ensure that it was received.

When it comes to debt collection, if it’s not documented, it didn’t happen. An attorney can help you to make sure you have all the proper documentation in order to proceed with your case. Don’t take the chance!