Bargain down your bills to help with debt consolidation

Consumers should not be afraid to negotiate their bills, even at the doctor With the recession pinching the wallets of consumers across the country, many have had to find alternate ways to consolidate debt and reduce their spending.

To help them stretch their dollars even further, gave consumers a few tips about bill consolidation, showing them that negotiation can work even in unlikely circumstances.

One way for consumers to reduce their bills is by negotiating with their doctors and dentists, the article advised. It is reasonable to ask for a 10 percent or 20 percent discount if paying upfront, something that the healthcare provider may often accept to avoid dealing with the insurance company.

In addition, consumers can bargain with their dry cleaner, more so if it is an independent shop than a large chain because small businesses are feeling the pinch just as much as consumers are. The best strategy in this case, the article advised, was to "use your clout as a regular" by adding up your monthly bill and asking for a 10 percent to 20 percent discount.

In addition to small businesses, those in the tourism industry were hit particularly hard by the recession, making hotels a potential bargaining opportunity. Those in frequent-stay programs will also have more leverage, the article noted.

Many businesses are having just as difficult of a time with bill consolidation and other financial woes as are many consumers, especially when it comes to cash flow. Therefore, consumers should not be afraid to stretch their dollars when they can, as companies will be happy to receive the business.