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Get Ready for After the Buying Season 

November 25, 2015
Plain English Version


Many people find that they owe too much money after the holiday season. Experts say that if this happens to you, do not think that all is lost. This may be the right time to bargain with the companies to which you are in debt. It is called negotiating.

It is surprising how many companies are willing to reduce their bills. Many, such as credit card, cable and health care companies, will bargain with you. Here are some ways for you to try to reduce what you owe.

Credit cards. Most people do not know that credit card companies may be willing to waive late payment fees. They sometimes also will increase credit limits or lower interest rates. Usually, all you need to do as a cardholder is to is pick up the phone and talk with them.

Medical bills. People do not know how much they will owe until after they have received medical services. Experts say to ask for detailed bills. Look carefully at bills for mistakes. Call the provider to try to lower the bill. Some will accept reduced amounts. Many providers will work with consumers to work out a monthly payment plan.

Cable companies. Cable companies try to get new customers by offering lower cost plans. You should call the company to complain if your bills are too high. The company may waive fees such as the charge for the cable box. They may provide free premium services. Watch out for hidden costs if you decide to leave the company.

Companies watch for how customers behave. They know if they are trying to take advantage of them. However, they do not want unhappy customers. The best advice is to try to get your bills reduced. Use your bargaining power carefully. Above all, try.

Source: The Washington Post November 16, 2015

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