If you are like most people, you love the idea of getting the best deal possible. In some cases, it is possible to enter into negotiations with a creditor and lock in better terms or lower the total amount owed. Even if you think that there is no chance of landing a better deal, it never hurts to try. Here are some tips on how to lower bills by negotiating with creditors.
Take a Good Look at Your Credit Rating
Part of learning how to lower bills involves doing some homework on the front end. Obtain copies of your credit reports and go over them carefully. If you see anything that is not correct, go through the steps to have the reports updated. A higher credit score and more accurate information positions you to seek better terms with certain providers and creditors.
Offering a Lump Sum Payment
If you are in a position to do so, find out if a creditor will provide a discount in exchange for an immediate lump sum payment. For example, if you have medical bills left over from a recent hospital stay, the hospital may be willing to discount a certain percentage if you pay the remainder at once. This approach could save you as much as a third of that balance. While it does mean laying out a lot of cash now, it also prevents interest from being applied every month to an open balance.
What About Credit Cards?
Credit card providers make money from customers who use the cards frequently and pay interest on any balances they carry from month to month. While you don’t mind paying interest on your balances, it would be nice to lock in a lower rate.
Contact the credit card company and let them know you are thinking about transferring the balance to a card with a lower rate of interest. Based on your history, they may match that rate and you will not have to transfer anything.
Always verify that the new rate is permanent. Doing so will prevent you from being shocked when your interest rate goes back to the old level six months from now.
Learning how to lower bills is not that hard. It basically calls for having your ducks in a row and asking for better terms. You may be surprised at how many of your creditors are willing to work with you.