Have you been making the same payments on a plan that you've had for years? Do you ever wonder if there is a better rate out there that could loosen your budget and free up more of your money to enjoy? If so, then it may be time to take a look at your current expenses and explore the ways that you can lower your costs with a new rate or loan program.
If you are ready to take a closer look into the current state of your finances so that you can find some better options, then the first thing you need to do is set a goal for yourself. What are you hoping to achieve? The answer is most likely more money that stays available to you and not put directly into your household budget. But you need to get clear on the specifics. Are you trying to save for a new house or to purchase a car? If so, how much money do you need and how soon are you looking to accomplish this goal? Perhaps you are wanting to be able to travel more and free up some financing for a vacation. Maybe you just want a better value for your money and feel like your current plans are taking advantage of you with a sky-high interest rate or premium. Whatever your unique situation is, it's important to have a clear and concise goal so that you know what you are reaching for.
After you know what you are trying to achieve, you need to sit down with your bills and papers and take a good look at the current state of your finances. Run the numbers and look into bills from past months or years. Has the interest rate or monthly payment increased substantially over time? Then you need to contact the company and inquire as to why that is. Sometimes, when you bring attention to increasing costs and ask for other options, they will work with you to put you into a different plan with a lower rate. It's worth a shot, but if you aren't happy with the numbers you are hearing, then continue to explore what's available.
Explore Your Options
Once you have some numbers in mind, it's time to get some new insurance quotes and loan terms that are tailored to your needs. It's common for your unique circumstances to change, so you shouldn't be paying the same price each year. If you had a child move out of the household, then you can adjust your car insurance to reflect one less driver that needs to be covered, and lower your families health insurance as well. Perhaps you have made some major improvement to your home to increase the value. Or, you have paid off a large portion of your mortgage. This could be good cause for refinancing and adjusting the terms to reflect the current reality.
Call your providers and servicers and ask to speak with a knowledgeable representative who can serve you and your family and offer solutions to your unique interests and needs. Even a change in your employment could qualify you for a reduced interest rate. Explain your situation and be prepared to provide proof of any changes and updates. Most times, your proactiveness will be rewarded and you will find a solution that works for you.
Apply for Loans or Services
After you have a good idea of your options and what you want, request the new service or plan, or apply for the adjusted loan. Ask questions to clarify any details that you are unsure of and work closely with your lender throughout the process. Be accessible in case further information is needed so you don't hold up the proceedings and are able to close the deal as soon as possible. Make sure that you read any paperwork carefully before you sign anything, and are fully aware of all of the new terms and conditions.
Keep Up With Your Payments
When your efforts have paid off and you have secured yourself a better rate, or more tailored plan, it's vital that you stay on track with your payments. This will protect your credit score, keep your account in good standing, and ensure that any further needs or requests that you have in the future will be received openly and have a positive outcome.
With a little time and some phone calls and inquiries, you can modify your budget and free up some of your hard-earned money. Whether you use that to pay off debt faster, or to put towards fun and entertainment, you are bound to be more satisfied with you life and happy with what you have achieved.