Citibank Hardship Program

What can you tell me about Citibank's hardship program for its credit cards?

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Bill's Answer: Answered by Mark Cappel

Credit card companies offer hardship programs to people experiencing financial distress. The Chase program is called Balanced Liquidation Program (BLP).

Credit card hardship programs

Which debt resolution option is the best for you depends on several considerations, including your income, your balances, your interest rates, and your creditors. The first solution would be to call your credit card issuer and ask to be placed on their hardship program and state that you want to keep making payments but you would like the account to be re-aged and the interest rate reduced so that you can get back on track.

Banks do not publish the terms and conditions of their hardship programs. Indeed, some banks will not even acknowledge publicly that they offer hardship programs. Therefore, the only way to learn if your bank offers a hardship program is to call the customer service department and ask. Some banks' hardship programs will close the account. Others will allow you to continue to use the account. Be sure to ask about this detail. Because banks do not publish the terms and conditions of their hardship programs, these programs may change at any time, and may vary by the customer and their circumstances.


Citibank, according to many readers, is notorious for being difficult to work with. It appears you may have to call numerous times and be insistent that you want information about Citi's hardship program. According to readers who have corresponded with me, Citibank offers a hardship program, but I was unable to locate information about it or its terms on the Citibank Web site. Citibank customer service representatives (CSRs) have a reputation for being reluctant to discuss hardship programs. Some may insist Citi offers no such program. Be persistent. Explain you are considering debt settlement or bankruptcy. If you have been told that you need to be delinquent, you need to weigh that against the credit score hit you may receive.


There are many options available to you. has many resources on debt from debt consolidation to bankruptcy. Review the resources available. Then call Citibank armed with information and persistence. Understand the first CSR you speak to may not have the authority to offer a hardship program. Ask for a supervisor. Write down all your conversations with CSRs and ensure you get the person's name. If you do arrange for a hardship program, make sure that Citibank sends the terms in writing.

Additional resources

I have answered other reader questions regarding Citi credit card accounts. See Renegotiate Citi Credit Card Settlement Agreement to understand your options if you have a settlement agreement with Citi you can no longer afford; Negotiate Citibank Debt to learn what to expect when negotiating debt with Citibank; Citibank Settlement for ideas on how to negotiate with a collection agency that owns a Citibank collection account; and Settlement on a Citibank Credit Card to learn how Citibank's internal debt settlement goals vary from time to time.

If you are unsuccessful, or the terms are too onerous, consider other options.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.



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Comments (13)

Guy J.
Vaughan, NC  |  April 11, 2012
Be careful. I am a customer of 28 years. I worked out a plan with them. They, Citibank, told me they would not show my account as closed while paying down the balance. Card would not be able to be used, but credit report would not reflect "closed" while showing a balance. Guess what? They closed it, showing my balance. Credit rate fell like a lead balloon. Now, other creditors are lowering my credit line to whatever my balance is. Oh, joy...
Chris .
October 01, 2010
I called the 866-444-4986 number directly without ever calling any other csr and plainly stated I was inquiring about the hardship program I researched on the Internet. I was told of two programs, the 1 yr 0% plan, and then a 5 yr plan to pay pay off the card. Very plain and simple, no denials... So please try if you are thinking about it and need help!
Lisa D.
Farmingdale, NY  |  January 22, 2011
Thank you for posting that information. I was trying for weeks with Citibank and kept getting the run around. I called the number you posted and within 10 minutes I was set up with a 5 year program. All the best!
January 24, 2011
Great news, Lisa. We are glad we could help. Thank you for letting us know that the information was useful to you.
Dave P.
San Jose, CA  |  February 11, 2011
THANK YOU for this. I also called this #, they transferred me to the Home Depot card group from there, and offered me 60 months 0% without issue (down from 29.9% on 15k). 5 minute conversation. I feeling crying, I'm so relieved.
February 11, 2011
Congrats Dave. We're happy to have helped you out in a tough spot. Hang in there and good luck getting debt free!
Michele S.
Tuscaloosa, AL  |  February 12, 2012
When they offered you the 5 year plan was it a 0% interest plan also?
August 08, 2010
See the resource Debt Relief Options: Which is Right for You? to explore the choices available to you.
Allie .
August 06, 2010
I was told by citi cards that I had taken advantage of four different programs in the past. I told them I had not. I figured that I had used the disability program in the past for two years, where the disability insurance had kicked in and paid my payments for two years. Then I told them I had a hard-ship case, they lowered my interest rate to 0% and I was on a payment plan for one year. That year was up in May. There was a residual payment of 130 dollars for the month of june. I thought YES, I can make that monthly payment.. and July rolls around, and now my payment is over 450 per month. I'm on SSDI and just had another brain surgery. I rec'd a call from collections, and I was in tears. They would not lower my interest rate from 29.9% and had no viable option. We don't plan to become sick or disabled. I had a very good job, and my credit card was racked up with living/medical expenses not covered by insurance. I'm now ignoring phone calls from Citi cards, and not sure what to do. I've just had surgery on the 16JULY and in recovery and there isn't a way to pay them now. It's possible that I will receive a settlement from a car accident, but this is the last thing I need. Any advice? Short of filing B/K.
Hez .
August 06, 2010
Nej - I am getting the same answer from Citibank. They insist they do not have a hardship program and say they can't help me because of the new legislation and because I have promotional balances. The funny thing is I received a letter from them a few months ago about the hardship program and when I called the number they said it was sent to me in error and they couldn't help me. Chase had no problem putting me on their BLP, and I had promotional balances there too. I am so frustrated!
Nej .
July 27, 2010
I am disgusted with Citibank Hardship 866-444-4986. I am unemployed. My husband is still working. I called them several times to work out something with our cards. Each time, I am given a different answer. They did a Match pay on our accounts for 1 month and I was told to call back in 10 days and they would work out a payment plan of 0% over 5 years(same as Chase's BLP). Well, I just called and was transferred to about 5 different reps with different stories *and* talked to them in chat online..looks like they are blaming the recent credit card legislation for not being able to work out this plan -they now claim they cannot help us due to our account having a previous promotional balance. I guess they found their loop hole. My only other choice is to file bankruptcy. Depressed.
John G.
Manhattan Beach, CA  |  May 21, 2012
I called that number and they said they won't work with me because I was on a progra with them a long time ago that doesn't work. If I'm charged off is there a way to get that removed from my record?
Jazzer .
July 03, 2010
For those of you who are afraid of citi bank, don't be. they have been the only company that has worked with my husband and I who are both disabled and unfortunately do not have the ability to supplement our income because of the injuries we have sustained at such a young age. We are in our 50's and there are no 2 other people that would like to work more than us. they put us on a plan for people in our bracket and it is paid every month and it is something we can deal with, however the others and I will mention chase, and GE money bank can't bring themselves to recongize that we want topay but can't pay what they are asking for. Like everyone else we were doing fine. Then gas went up, our kids lost their jobs and ended up moving in with us.. We didn;t get bailed out but the same people that aren't willing to work with us are the ones who did get the bail out... I rest my case and am just as lost as the next one. I need guidance too!!!. Have made no payments on the other 4 cards but we are paying citi bank faithfully...
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