Archives For Jon

Ah, medical bills.  We all hate them but they have been part of our life since birth.  As the old, wise saying goes, “there is no such thing as free lunch.”  Oh how that is especially true with medical bills!  I was just at the doctor’s office for a typical check-up and it cost me $20!  no treatment, no nothing, but it still costs me money.  I guess I should be thankful I’m not paying thousands because of cancer treatment!

However, my point here is that medical bills are part of life and the sooner we accept that, the sooner we can properly manage them.

If you find yourself in a position where you have a gigantic medical bill looking back at you, what do you do?  I know you didn’t ask for a big medical bill but sometimes real life can be quite the shocker.

I want to share with you some tips for lessening the burden of a medical bill.  Some of these tips might surprise you because hospitals and pharmaceutical companies simply don’t want you knowing about them!

Never pay full price

Did you know that you don’t have to pay full price for your medical bills?  If you’re surprised, you’re not the only one!  Hospitals assume that you will just pay the price tag of whatever treatment you had.  It amazes me how people blindly walk into medical bills and write a blank check.  Stop forking over money for the full bill!

Hospitals understand the economy and are typically willing to negotiate bills.  Another thing you should consider is negotiating the price of a medical procedure before you get the bill.  It’s not uncommon for hospitals to slash their price by 25% or more to retain your business.  Remember, hospitals and medical companies are run like a business; they don’t want to lose you and your family’s business!

Don’t assume the bill is correct

Medical bills are like traffic tickets, there are typically errors that can lessen the amount of the bill.  Did you know that the average medical bill passes through five sets of hands?  It can actually be more than that for certain hospital organizations.  Because of this arduous process, you need to make it  a habit to double check medical bills.  Hospitals could care less if you overpay for something that is not correct.  You care because your wallet cares!

How to handle medical debt

Medical debt is never fun, but sometimes it happens.  A great example is someone who goes through cancer treatment and their insurance only covered 50% of it.  If the rest was taken out on credit, you will need to tread carefully.

Most medical organizations will not request the full amount owed.  Instead, you can negotiate payments and end up paying the price in full.  For a hospital to go to collections is quite the process and can be spendy for them.  They are typically extremely open to negotiating with you.

Going forward…

After reading this article, hopefully you are more self-aware and will be better prepared for medical bills in the future.  Taking action and learning about these things will benefit you down the line especially if you feel it doesn’t matter now.  Don’t assume these situations will never happen to you.  You never know what the Lord has planned for your life, and as Christians, we are called to a standard of wisdom and not simply following the Lord blindly through life.  Be prepared for the worst and the Lord will take care of the rest!

Top 5 Mortgage Mistakes

Jon —  April 19, 2012 — 6 Comments

As someone who is looking forward to purchasing a condo next year, I have been doing a crazy amount of research on mortgages.  Honestly, I keep stumbling upon mistakes that people have made with mortgages.  Since I don’t want to be someone who makes a mistake with their mortgage, I’m planning on soaking in all useful advice and attempting to make the wisest decisions I can going forward!

So, what are the worst mortgage mistakes one can make?  Well, I’ve compiled the top five mortgage mistakes and hopefully you can learn from what other people have done wrong and not make the same mistake!

1- Taking out an adjustable rate mortgage

Can someone say 2008?!  This is what caused our most recent recession among some other things.  An adjustable rate mortgage plays into the greedy side of Americans and allows you to buy a bigger house than you can afford.  The first few years, you’ll have a really low interest rate but then this rate ends up shooting up over time.  The problem with this is that you’ll end up drowning in interest payments and more than likely lose your home!  Talk about humiliating…

2- Settling for a reverse mortgage

For the crowd of age 62 and older, a reverse mortgage may seem inviting but it’s designed to bite you in the butt.  What a reverse mortgage does is provides a stream of income by pulling out funds from your home equity.  This can be paid out through an annuity or monthly payments.  It’s up to you what poison you pick because either way, you’ll be faced with hefty fees and you will slowly lose ownership over your home and have to hand it all over back to the bank.  Does not sound like fun to me!

3- Skipping the down payment

If there is one thing you need to remember from this article, it’s that you NEED to put down a down payment!  Why you ask?  It’s not unusual to find yourself upside down with your mortgage if you don’t.  You can end up owing more money than your home is worth.  At this point, it’s flat out painful.  You want to avoid this situation.

4- Can anyone say exotic mortgages?

I bet you’ve never heard of these bad boys.  Exotic mortgages may sound enticing but they are dangerous financial vehicles!  Instead of building up your equity, exotic mortgages produce negative equity.  Yes, you’re naming your payment price, but at some point, all the debt you took out for your mortgage is going to come due.  As the years go on, you are increasing the amount you owe.  It’s counter-intuitive and I advise that you avoid this at all costs.  Owning a home is not worth this risk!

5- Liar, liar, pants on fire: liar loans

Liar loans make me sick just thinking about them.  Not only are they irresponsible to take out but they can ruin your financial life.  At the core of a liar loan is that you don’t need to produce any verifiable documentation in terms of income and job stability.  In theory, people can lie on these loans and the bank will just assume you’re telling the truth.  Because you lied on your income statement, you will soon find yourself not being able to make the monthly payments.

Don’t fall for these mistakes!

In conclusion, don’t fall for these bad decisions.  While they may seem cool and unique, they are designed for your failure.  There is something to be said about ethical mortgages and choosing responsibility over showing off a big house.  At the end of the day, you should only be buying enough house for your needs.  It’s anti-American to do that but times are changing!