Having bills to pay is one of the worst parts of life, especially around the holidays. And if you're extremely unlucky, you might also have to pay some hefty medical bills. This can put a heavy damper on plans, wants and needs. What's worse? The people that you owe money to are pushy and always bother you to pay in a more timely fashion, or worse, pay bigger premiums.
From the extensive medical bills that I've been paying over the last 6 months (thanks, stomach), I've picked up some cool social engineering techniques that you can use to pay your bills over a longer period of time, or even potentially get the bills removed completely.
- Strong will
- Decent writing skills
- Ability to think on your toes in a conversational emergency
- This is for everyone. If you live in fear of your name being sent of to bill collectors, ruining your credit forever, you need these techniques.
In order to do this, we need to manipulate the companies which we owe money to into giving us a bill extension. Contrary to popular belief, no matter what the company you're indebted to says, you can pay any amount of money toward your bill that you want (unless you signed a contract stating you couldn't). This means if you only pay a little amount, they have to accept the biggest payment that you can give them without refusal. What a great country the U.S. is, isn't it?
Send a friendly email to the person your are in debt to, similar to the one I used to my hospital.
To whom it may concern,
My name is ________, and I have an account (#xxxxx-xxxxxx-xxxxx) open with you that I currently have an outstanding balance for. Unfortunately, I have recently fallen into the ranks of the unemployed and have no regular income. I currently do freelance work to make money to get by. Due to this issue, I will be sending you payments of $15 to $25 on the 20th of every month, which is all that my budget allows. I am determined to square my debt off, and will return to sending higher payments when my income permits.
With this, you have physical documentation that you are doing your best effort to pay your bills and continue to make monthly payments. This prevents companies from sending your information off to a nasty bill collector, ruining your credit, and receiving obnoxious phone calls for the next thousand years.
Another great method is to call the business you are in debt to and give a similar story to the one above. Only this time, ask if they have any sort of payment assistance program. Many hospitals have programs that almost everyone qualifies for, that take care of medical expenses for you. You won't hear about those though, people don't like to give away free money.
Because of the pushy "I'm going to do this" nature, coupled with hard times, we play on the person's empathy and use forceful, determined tactics to get what we need.