What is Synchrony Bank's Hardship Program?

George Simons

February 22, 2022

Summary: If life has thrown you a curveball and you're struggling with debt, Synchrony Bank's Hardship Program can offer relief. If you've been sued by Synchrony Bank, SoloSuit can help.

Synchrony Bank's Hardship Program is a credit repayment plan that helps account holders manage a difficult financial situation. The bank is renowned for issuing retail credit cards for popular brands like PayPal, Walmart and Amazon.

Unexpected life events can have a detrimental effect on your finances, causing you to fall behind on your credit card payments. In most cases, credit card debts become a burden to debtors and can harm their credit report in the long run. However, a credit hardship plan can stop that from happening and help you adjust to any new financial situation.

Even though a credit hardship plan may affect your creditworthiness, it may be a better option than other financial solutions. Find out more about Synchrony Bank's Credit Hardship Program below.

What is a Credit Hardship Program?

A credit card hardship program is a repayment plan you negotiate with the issuing bank to adjust some parts of the original agreement when facing a difficult financial situation. For example, the bank may evaluate credit limits, accept smaller minimum payments, waive fees, adjust a payment schedule, or lower interest rates for a short period to help you afford your debt installments.

Not all lenders offer this program to debtors. It is also less advertised than debt management plans and involves no intermediaries during the negotiations. Synchrony Bank is one of the many financial institutions that offer several credit hardship plans under this program.

Circumstances That Qualify for a Hardship Program

Financial institutions offering these programs may be specific on what they consider 'financial hardships'. Here are some commonly acceptable circumstances:

  • A natural disaster has affected your livelihood and source of income
  • Divorce
  • Family emergencies
  • Job loss
  • Wages cut
  • Serious injury that prevents you from working

The bank may need proof of these circumstances before allowing you to sign up for their hardship program. Therefore, ensure that you gather all the documents, such as medical reports or employment termination letters, before contacting the bank.

How to Get a Credit Hardship Program With Synchrony Bank

Synchrony Bank offers several hardship programs to its account holders. However, because the bank partners with dozens of stores to issue credit cards, the terms of these programs may differ depending on the business terms with the different partners.

The typical process of enrolling into a hardship plan starts with contacting the bank to know the options available. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for these negotiations.

Adjust Your Budget

Before you enroll in a hardship program, consider adjusting your budget to match the changes in your finances. This decision will help you cut unnecessary expenses and save more money to settle your bills.

Adjusting your budget will help you explain your financial situation to the bank during negotiations. In addition, you can use your new budget as the blueprint for customizing a suitable hardship program if the bank accepts your request.

Contact The Bank

Since Synchrony Bank offers hardship programs, they have a specific department that handles requests from account holders. All you need to do is call the bank and request to speak to someone from the credit hardship programs team. Once you reach the right representative, explain your financial situation and find out how they may help you.

The bank representative will discuss a few options depending on the type of credit card and your financial situation. Keep in mind your budget and the amount of money you have at your disposal and compare with the options offered by the bank.

Discuss The Terms of the Options

The bank representative will most likely persuade you to accept the terms of their plans. However, not all options may be suitable for your budget. For example, if an option offers a lower interest rate than what you currently have, calculate how many monthly payments you'll need to pay under the plan. You may find out that you'll eventually pay more than you can afford, causing you more financial frustrations.

Sign an Agreement

When you finally find a suitable plan, you'll be required to sign an agreement to enroll in the program. Ensure that you're up to date with payments to avoid breaching the contract and damaging your credit.

Effects of a Credit Hardship Program on Your Credit

Enrolling in a credit hardship program has no effects on your credit score. Instead, it shows that you're taking the right steps towards clearing your debts rather than skipping payments. However, there are a few actions that can potentially affect your creditworthiness.

For example, Synchrony Bank may indicate on your credit report that you participated in their credit hardship program. Unfortunately, some creditors may interpret this entry as a poor credit history and reject your request for credit.

Some hardship programs also have harsh terms and conditions. For example, if the agreement includes suspending or closing your credit card until the program ends, you won't be able to use the card for a long time. Additionally, closing a credit account may increase your credit utilization ratio, thus, lowering your creditworthiness.

On the brighter side, a successful hardship program can improve your credit score. At first, you may notice a drop in your credit score when you enroll in the program due to factors like a shortened credit history or a higher utilization ratio. However, if you complete the program, you will notice positive changes in your credit report.

The bottom line

Financial hardships can lead to crippling debt if not properly managed. However, you can avoid such headaches if you approach your creditor to negotiate a credit hardship plan sooner. Failure to work with the credit card company to find a solution could result in the debt being sent to collections. When that happens, it'll hurt your credit score and damage your credit history for several years. And that's not all—debt collectors can file a lawsuit against you and obtain a default judgment if you fail to respond.

If you're sued for debt, make sure to respond to the lawsuit in court with SoloSuit in order to avoid losing by default.

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.

How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.

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