My wife and I are very different people (in the good way I promise!). I am more upfront and willing to ask a curly question to a bank or sales person in order to get a better deal, my wife however is more so willing to go with the flow and not put herself in awkward situations.
It is quite the art form, asking a question that you think you know the answer to – you worry that the person will laugh at you. What if I told you that by asking the unbelievable I was able to save myself thousands of dollars in interest, consolidate my debts and get interest rates that you will never see advertised anywhere? Much like my wife, you may be thinking it impossible. To the contrary, let me show you how I asked 5 questions that resulted in me getting a better deal than any other consumer in Australia.
If you don’t ask, you won’t get – here are the 5 areas you can save thousands on by simply asking some at first awkward questions.
Get a lower home loan rate
I rang my main bank, told them I had a loan with a non-bank lender due to their great rates and bluntly asked them – can you do me a better deal? If so, the business is yours.
The outcome was the bank offering me an interest rate that was lower than any of the advertised rates they have on the market – it was as if I skipped the line of general consumers and got offered a deal that would win my business firstly and make me defect from my current lender.
Seems strange doesn’t it that you can simply ring and ask for a better deal and they will gladly except. What you need to know here is that home loans are fiercely competitive in Australia – meaning the banks are willing to do whatever possible to get you to join them. Ring and ask them now, even if you already have your home loan with them – tell them you are considering moving as their rates aren’t competitive – watch them crawl all over you and compete to make you stay.
Improve your credit card situation
I have been living credit card free for a number of years now, although recently had to take out a card to help pay for a holiday. This means I have a debt, at a low interest rate and am now 100% focused on paying it off.
I rang my credit card provider, told them I wanted to transfer my debt to another company as my interest rate was high (it was actually one of the lowest) and that I wanted an interest free period to help me get on top of my debt.
The outcome? They gave me an interest free period on my debt, much like I would have got should I have refinanced with another company. That is big money saved.
Quit paying fees
While I was on the phone to my bank previously, I also mentioned that my everyday accounts all had monthly fees. I explained to them that a major bank was willing to waive these fees by simply depositing a minimum amount of money per month. My bank obliged and in turn matched that deal – I am now banking fee free with my bank of choice.
Making a big purchase (or a little purchase for that matter)
After coming back from my holiday, I needed to replace a camera accessory that I unfortunately broke. I went into JB Hi Fi, found the item (valued of $280) and told the sales person I am willing to buy right now if they can give it to me for $200. Sounds stupid right? They conceded and processed the sale. A saving of $80 in just 15 seconds, not a bad saving!
The moral of the story?
If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Take a second to evaluate your finances, chuck a sick day and spend the day trying to improve your finances. A few phone calls and practice at asking the unthinkable can result in some big savings.