Medical debt affects millions of households around the country and can often be debilitating on the quality of life for those struggling to pay off medical debt while still managing the household and all the expenses of raising a family. There are ways to work around your medical debt that will pay off the debt as well as protect your credit rating and score. To find a way of dealing with medical debt before it goes into extreme financial consequences, like garnishments and collections, you should consider the possibilities of debt negotiation and other credit counseling services. Debt negotiation is a form of debt management that allows you, or a representative for you, to negotiate with your medical creditors for a lower pay off amount, lower monthly payments, or lower interest rates. The art of debt negotiation can be learned and you can take control of your own medical debt or if you feel unconfident about the process there are credit counseling organizations who can negotiate your medical debts for you. Before you start calling your medical creditors, you need to have a handle on all your medical debt to know how much you owe to whom and what the terms of the loan or account are.
To know this you need to get a copy of your credit report and take note of the amount you owe, the creditor’s contact information, and the age of the account. Highlight date the account was reported and the balance for each debt, these two items will be your main bargaining chips when you call. There are a few key things to know before calling to negotiate your debt.
You must speak with someone who is authorized to negotiate or make changes to your account. If you only speak to the first person who answers or a customer account representative, then you are wasting your time and potential negotiating power in the future. Specifically, ask for someone who can negotiate your account and wait until the right person is found. The best negotiation you can use is offering a lump sum payoff to pay the account off at a lower rate than the current balance. If you have money to work with, this is your best course of action and can work great with medical bills. While the creditor will be losing out on potential interest, they will be getting a guaranteed payment. If you are unable to convince the creditor to take a settlement amount, the next best thing is to talk down the interest rate. This can save you hundreds, even thousands, off the life of the loan depending on the amount and length of the initial loan. Both of these methods can be extremely powerful ways to handle medical debt and should be considered before taking a more extreme approach, like bankruptcy. Your medical debt can be managed and you can find a way to get out from under the suffocating medical debt you face. Debt negotiation is a great way to take control of the situation and not allow creditors to push you around while still respecting the role they play in the financial world and to your credit rating.
Debt is an ugly four-letter word, but a reality in every household across the country and around the world. Donít be intimidated by your debt and be paralyzed by fear, instead find confidence and take control of the situation. You will find your self on your way out from under medical debt and toward a brighter financial future.