I just saved hundreds, all because of my clumsy fingers!

@dragon54u (31617)
United States
May 18, 2010 12:38pm CST
I had an emergency appendectomy last May and I've been paying down my portion of the bill at $53 per month. I made an online payment a couple of weeks ago but accidentally entered $535 instead of $53. Oh, I was upset with myself!! So I called today when I found out about it by checking my credit card statement and talked with a rep who spoke to her supervisor. She said they could credit me $477 or I could leave it as is and they would write off the rest--$581.01!! It took me two seconds to say yes! By making that large payment and letting them keep it, they are marking the bill as paid in full and will send me documentation of that. WOW!! So all of you who owe bills like this, see if you can make a lump sum payment and have them write off the rest. I imagine it's economical for them to do so rather than the expense of posting monthly payments, all the paperwork and data entry and stuff. I'll be penny pinching for a couple of months but that payoff is fantastic!
4 people like this
15 responses
@bellis716 (4806)
• United States
19 May 10
I worked for 20 years for the local Methodist Hospital system. Such write-offs were routine for them. Don't know about "for profit" hospitals.
2 people like this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
19 May 10
I don't think there are many "for profit" hospitals left! I guess the write-off is more lucrative than the payment plan--they saved about 19 months of payments and the cost of processing them. They actually pay someone to process their accounts receivable! There's a big chunk right there.
@Thoroughrob (11750)
• United States
19 May 10
I am glad that you came out ahead. Although if I did that, we would be in big trouble. It is nice that you will not owe them the rest though, but in the longrun, you are really farther ahead. Call it a good mistake.
2 people like this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
19 May 10
It's not easy to drop a big sum like that all at once but if I spend a couple months cutting back it won't be so bad. It was a wonderful mistake! If I have to sacrifice to make it work, that's okay. It's such a shame when something like this can impact a person or family so much--not the debt write-off but the pinching pennies that comes after.
@savypat (20246)
• United States
18 May 10
It never hurts to ask. Hospitals have to write off so much that they are often the most forgiving if you can pay most of the bill.
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
18 May 10
I didn't even have to ask, I had no idea that they would do that! I guess a lot of people are defaulting and they take what they can get while they can get it. It certainly made this a good week--and I still have 5 days to go till the week is done!
1 person likes this
@maezee (32283)
• United States
18 May 10
I wonder if a company such as Citi Cards would do this? I owe about the same amount (a little over $500) and have been paying off usually the minimum payment per month. I'm just such a bad arguer, which is usually what it takes to get the call center people to make these deals with you. I have a friend who had over $100 in over-limit fees on one of his cards, and he agreed to pay the balance in full ONLY if they would drop the over-limit fee. And they agreed, amazingly enough! But it feels wrong of me to do this. I don't know why. I am bad at haggling, I guess. . That's an awesome mistake! I ten-key (type using the 10 key pad numbers on a keyboard) for a living (in data entry) so rarely do I make these kinds of mistakes.. Besides, the amount would probably be declined for insufficient funds if I did it that way . Well, that's awesome! At least now you don't have to worry about it for a while, not to mention all you saved in compounding interest and APRs and whatnot. Maybe I'll throw $400 and some at Citi Bank from my next pay check, and see what happens!!! Congratulations!!
2 people like this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
18 May 10
I've done 10-key also and I'm pretty good at it, which is why I was so mad at myself! It can't hurt to call the people you owe and ask them to settle for a lump sum. Since this was a hospital, they weren't charging me interest and your credit card company is making a mint off you! But still, the economy isn't getting much better and they might figure they'd be better off taking a lump sum than taking the chance that you'll default as so many people are doing right now. Try it!
1 person likes this
@buenavida (8016)
• Sweden
19 May 10
Congratulations! It is always a relief to get rid of debts. I got rid of at least one debt, my study loan - due to "old" age. I have been paying it about $40 a month for many years, but now it is gone. I knew it would disappear when i became 65, but I thought I would have to wait until the month I was born. But no, they took away the loan on January 1st - at least this is one advantage of getting older.. If I get wiser - that is another story..
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
19 May 10
You must have been paying that debt off for a long time!! I hope you got some good out of it. When I was young and stupid I had a student loan but the school turned out to be unaccredited and I dropped out--they kept the money so I had to pay it back! We are so dumb when we're young. I'm glad you're rid of your loan!
1 person likes this
@buenavida (8016)
• Sweden
19 May 10
Well, dragon - we all make mistakes when we are young, and sometimes when we are older too.. Anyway, I guess it would not be possible to get a study loan if the school would not be accepted by the loan givers. I used the loans to study languages - Finnish, my first language, English and Spanish. It has been useful to be able to talk with people with these languages. Maybe it helped to get jobs as teacher even without formal education. I am still learning a lot English here in myLot, and I think this is a good place to learn to express our thoughts in written form..
• United States
18 May 10
Oh wow! That's quite a keystroke of luck you've had there! Can you work that kind of magic on a car payment or on my mortgage? I'd forever Dragon!
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
18 May 10
I wish I could! If you have any extra--I know, ha ha fat chance!--add ten or twenty dollars to your payment to be applied to the principle. That will have it paid off much faster and you won't pay as much interest. I'm so blessed that my car got paid off as part of the divorce. I'll probably not buy another, either, as I hate having car payments and I don't drive more than 150 miles a month anyway.
• United States
18 May 10
I know I used to work in a bank. Though with our budget doing things like that aren't always the easiest to do. But I do try to put $5 extra on the mortgage, wich I know isn't much BUT over 30 yrs time yeah $5 will save you alot in the end. I don't drive much either. Most everything is within a 3 mile radius except the Dr & family of course. I'm looking fwd to putting the amt of miles you put on Starting in Sept when my kids take the bus to school!
1 person likes this
@SomeCowgirl (32270)
• United States
12 Aug 10
My husband and I, with the help of his grandparents, paid off a debt I had accrued. We did this before we got married. In any case I was advised to call the debt agency and I did, and we started making payments. I was told one day that I called about a way to pay the thing off faster, and I believe I also got a deal out of it by not having to pay the whole thing off. I forget exactly how much we paid in the end but we have documentation as well to say that it was paid off. It seems like your clumsy fingers paid off this time, congratulations!
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
12 Aug 10
Businesses are willing to take a bird in the hand these days instead of two in the bush--things are bad. I'm glad you got a deal, too!! It's nice when we get these unexpected windfall blessings.
@firemom31 (599)
• United States
17 Jul 10
I have negotiated settlement amounts in the past, and although it did pay off the debt, it had some unfortunate consequences. The settled debts showed up as bad debts on my credit report. They showed up paid, but at a reduced amount, which is a negative thing on a credit report. I have since declined any offers to settle debts at a reduced amount. You may want to check with the hospital and make sure this won't be the case with yours.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
17 Jul 10
Good point, but that was one of the first things I made sure of. I'm not worried about my credit because I don't borrow for anything, I save up for it. But I'm sorry that happened to you and it's wrong. Seems like even when we get a break there's a price to pay.
• United States
9 Jun 10
Wow! That's really great congratulations! Now were you paying your credit card bill or the hospital bill? Maybe i'll give this a try?...hmmmm...
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
10 Jun 10
This was a hospital bill. I never carry a balance on my credit cards, thank God. They are such ripoffs! I was surprised by the hospital's offer and very, very pleased with the results of my mistake! It was tough for the next month and I had to cut a lot of corners but it was worth it!
@cutepenguin (6457)
• Canada
7 Jun 10
That's awesome! I wish that could happen with my bills, but I don't think credit card companies would do this.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
10 Jun 10
Credit card companies are doing this! Go to clarkhoward.com There is a lot of good information there. He's an economist that has had a radio show for years and he advises people who are overwhelmed by bills. His motto is save money and don't get ripped off. I've heard people call him back and say his advice worked when he told them to call their CC companies and tell them they can't afford the entire balance but will pay a certain amount if they'll write it off and it works. This is a horrible economy and they'll take what they can for a lot of people. He has a lot of good advice. This was a hospital bill. I don't carry a balance on my credit cards, ever. I hope I never have to but many people do these days, just to get by.
@peedielyn (1210)
• United States
28 May 10
That is so awesome! Who knew clutzy fingers could do such a great thing? By paying that off, it goes on your credit history as paid in full, so in the future that looks good on you if you want to get a loan or need something serviced and don't have the funds immediately. I hope things get better for you and many other places do this too. You can call up your credit card companies (after you have had the account for 6 months or more) and do the same thing. It saves everyone time and money later.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
28 May 10
I have avoided credit card debt like the plague! In fact, my credit card pays me to use it. I get 2% cash back, no fees of any kind, and I pay it off every month. My credit card hates me!
@cher913 (25891)
• Canada
26 May 10
good for you! there is actually a website that is called fat fingers and it lists things on ebay that are misspelled and sometimes it is a good way to save money.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
26 May 10
It's nice to be rid of that bill, and I did get the documentation that states it's paid in full! Hooray!! That's a very interesting site you mentioned, I just had a little fun with it!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
19 May 10
I think paying in full is always best than paying off thru credit card monthy because you pay doubled interests. I'm sorry to hear about the appendectomy I went through it too and it wasn't easy because mine was raptured. I understand the bill part. Geez I spent more than $2000 for my surgery... and had to really scrimp.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
19 May 10
I was very thankful that I had insurance, otherwise I'd be paying for years!! I know people who put medical expenses on credit cards but I would never do that because of the ridiculous interest rates. That's why I have a savings account and squirrel away every cent I can! I'm sorry to hear about your rupture. My sister in law had that happen--the doc kept telling her she had the flu--and she had to have two surgeries and netting in there to hold her insides together. She's fine now, thank God. Medical bills are hard to deal with, they are nearly always unexpected. I'm glad you've paid yours off! Now I only have $115 left to the surgeon and I'm done!!
@qamarep (4450)
• Pakistan
19 May 10
how is your appendectomy doing now.. its such hard to get a surgery
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
19 May 10
It took a long time for the infection to go away and I had no help at home as I live by myself so I had to do all the cleaning, medicating and bandaging. But I got through it, as I do everything! Now, a year later, I can hardly tell it ever happened except for the icky scar. And now I got a discount on it!! Thanks for asking!
@coffeegurl (1470)
• United States
19 May 10
Congrats! I'm still a a little confused as how the hospital is ok with this. The credit card company is able to write off a hospital bill?
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31617)
• United States
19 May 10
I called the hospital directly after seeing the charge on my credit card bill. I had thought about disputing the charge and explaining my mistake but thought I'd make more headway with the hospital. I was right! I think they are taking what they can get at this point instead of taking the chance that people will default. There's a lot of defaulting going on these days!