For most people, debt is a taboo topic, one that you tend to steer clear from on a regular basis, even though you’re either managing to get by with it or totally swamped by it.
No matter how you view debt, the fact remains is that everyone has some form of it, whether you’re talking about the standard mortgage or car repayment loan or mounds and mounds of credit card debt.
What debt does other than stress us out completely is prohibits us from saving money. We’re busy dishing out one minimum payment after another (as far as credit card debt is concerned) or have opted to buy on the high side when it comes to a car or home, and thus we’re left scrounging together what we can in order to save money.
The great equalizer when it comes to debt and expenses is the power of the spoken word, and far too often the general public simply accepts what they’ve been handed, not trying to save money by negotiating.
The most glaring example of this would be your credit card debt and the company itself and not having an open line of communication with them to talk through things like interest rate and how to perhaps get a better one. The other part of this is your debt specifically and if you’re struggling with it. You can negotiate a payoff amount with creditors and settle with a lump sum payment and eliminate the debt altogether. They’ll often take a 50 percent cut on the entire scope of the debt in exchange for a payment of half what you owe. For most creditors, this is only an option if you’re missing payments or are behind, but the idea that it exists and struggling consumers aren’t jumping on it makes very little sense.
From an expenses standpoint, think about things like cable television or phone bills, bank fees and other charges that you still want to keep but absolutely don’t want to pay if they’re not worth what you believe it to be. For instance, you can call the cable company and negotiate a better rate or plan with them, for fear that you might cancel or jump to a competitor. They have a reserve of plans for people just like you, who have taken the time to call and “complain” about your bill. In some cases, such as Comcast, they have an entire department for just such calls.
If you’re not asking, you'll never know the answer so don’t assume you’re stuck with a fixed number in any and all facets of debt or expenses. You might just be surprised at what you’re told simply by broaching the subject.
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