It is not a good experience being in debt. If you are in debt, it is likely that you will be using sizeable part of your income to pay off the debt thereby leaving you with little money to meet your obligations. Besides, the thought of having debts hanging on your neck could be devastating. The situation can become worse if the case has been transferred to a debt collector. If you should have a review of how your debts have remained at that levels, you will realise that it is not because you have not been making payment towards paying down the loan. The main reason you are still in debt after all the money you have been paying on a monthly basis is because of the interest and other fees such as penalty fee for late or missed payments. Imagine there is no interest or fee that you need to pay on the debts, possibly you must have been out of the debt completely by now. Even if you still have a balance outstanding, the amount won’t be as high as it is now.
You don’t have to remain in debt for so long. The more you remain in debt, the more interest you will need to pay to service the debt. Of course, credit card companies like people like that. That is why they will encourage you to make just minimum payment every month. So, just to save your time, I want you to try the option of asking your creditors to lower your interest rates and at the same time waive your late payment fee. You may think this option may not work out until you give it a try. The consumer debt in the economy is becoming too high. Credit card companies are aware of this and they know the implications. It will get to a point that a lot of consumers will find it difficult to pay off their debts. And this will become a loss to the credit card companies. So, if you approach your creditors and ask them for lower interest rates in order to enable you pay down you debt, they may gladly accept your request. However, before you make this move, you should be able to convince them about your plan on how to quickly pay off the debt.
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Let me share this experience of mine with you. When I was a young graduate, I went for an audit exercise in a particular government agency. The policy of the organisation then allowed monetization of benefits. So, when I arrived there, they provided me an accommodation in the best international five stars hotel in the city. It was a nice experience for me and I actually enjoyed the comfort. But something happened along the way. They brought my bill for me to sign so that they could debit the account of the organisation. When I saw the bill, the amount was so staggering but I tried to hide my feeling. When I resumed in the organisation to continue with my audit work, I sought to discuss with the Head of Finance. When he I entered his office, he thought maybe I wanted to discuss some of my observations with him. But he was totally wrong as the discussion was on a different matter. Can you guess what the subject matter of the discussion was? It was about my accommodation. I told him the amount of the bill I signed at the hotel. He smiled. He was used to that kind of bills. I told him if he could monetise my hotel and feeding allowance for me. What gave me that courage was that, I had seen few payment vouchers like that in the course of the audit. Surprisingly he accepted! He mentioned further that he was expecting me to ask him the first day I came. Since I was silent about it, he decided to provide me with the accommodation. He said something that struck me and it has remained with me till today. He said, “there is no crime in asking, the worst answer you can get is ‘no’. He approved my hotel and feeding allowance and I was paid immediately. Although the amount based on my grade was a bit lower than what I incurred at the hotel, it was still very substantial. I then found a very good hotel, paid and made huge savings for myself.
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So, I am saying the same thing to you today. There is no crime in asking. The worst answer you can get from your creditors is ‘no’. Even if you get no as an answer, you must have satisfied your conscience. If you are tired of being in debt, taking that step should not be too difficult for you. But you should be able to convince your creditors that you have prepared to pay off the debts aggressively if the interest rates are lowered and the penalty fee for late payment are waived. I am looking forward to hearing your experience.