We’ve all got bills to pay. Between car insurance, credit card payments, and utilities, it can easily become overwhelming. One minute you’re having a great day and the next you’re frustrated because you forgot to pay the phone bill and your service has lapsed.
Most companies now offer some form of autopay where they’ll automatically debit your bank account or charge your credit card each month. Yet all this automation creates another problem. Now you’ve got a huge list of charges happening each month without any involvement on your part.
Add to the list subscriptions you’ve signed up for, like Netflix and HBO. And let’s be honest, most of us don’t thoroughly read our credit card statement each month. A subscription could easily increase and many of us wouldn’t notice at all.
Enter Ask Trim, also simply known as Trim. Started in 2015, the online-service began by helping people with the small stuff, like monitoring and canceling subscriptions.
Fast forward and Trim is now a robust financial health service. To date, they’ve saved their customers over $40 million. Keep reading this review to find out if you too could potentially save yourself some cash with Trim.
Ask Trim Features
Ask Trim includes a variety of features. These include subscription monitoring, bill negotiation, bank negotiation, and more. We will take a closer look at all of Trim’s features below.
Did you know the average American spends $237 per month on subscription services? What’s even more astounding is that 84% of us underestimate how much we actually pay for subscriptions.
Trim’s solution to this issue is its subscription monitoring service. You begin by first providing Trim with your bank accounts and credit cards. Don’t worry, Trim utilizes 256-bit encryption, secure databases, and two-factor authentication to keep your information safe.
After providing your financial info, Trim performs an analysis and finds the subscription charges you have spread across your bank accounts and credit cards. It then compiles a report so you can easily see the amount you spend for each service.
See some services you’d rather not pay for anymore? Don’t worry, just let Trim know which services you want cancelled and it takes care of the rest.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of paying whatever a company tells you to pay. When you go to the grocery store, you don’t haggle with the cashier over the price of a gallon of milk. But the great thing about services is that the price is almost always up for negotiation.
Cable providers are notorious for hooking you in with a reasonable sign-up offer and then jacking up the price months later. They hope that you simply shrug your shoulders and continue to pay, or, even worse, that you don’t notice the increase.
All Trim needs to begin negotiating the cost on your behalf is a copy of your bill. You can easily upload it on Trim’s website or shoot them an email with it attached. After that, you’re set. Trim claims it can save you up to 30% with any cable, internet, or cell phone provider.
Banks can be intimidating, even for those of us who are financially experienced. We give them our money and they have the ability to assess all sorts of fees and charges.
Take overdraft fees for example. In 2017, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) says we paid $12 billion to banks just in overdraft fees! How much of that could have been refunded by negotiating with the bank?
While Trim is not a dedicated banking app, like Chime Bank, they do have your back when it comes to overdraft fees. They let you know when you’ve been assessed one. Then, choose a day and time and Trim will initiate a phone call with your bank to attempt to get the overdraft fee waived.
Trim will also work to remove other bank fees you might have been assessed. They will even make an effort to get your credit card APR lowered if you ask them to.
Medical Bill Negotiation
It’s an unfortunate fact that medical bills contribute to 60% of bankruptcy filings. Yet medical bills are almost always negotiable.
In fact, many hospitals and clinics are able to offer significant discounts and/or interest-free payment plans. That’s exactly what Trim tries to negotiate for you.
The process is a bit more complicated than the regular bill negotiation. You must submit a few consent forms so that Trim can directly contact your healthcare provider.
Once you do so, Trim will begin the negotiation process and attempt to get you a better deal. It’s important to note that they will not agree to any payment terms without your specific consent.
Credit card debt is notoriously easy to pile-up, but pesky to pay-down. Trim may be able to help you out if you find yourself saddled with credit card debt.
Essentially, you decide on an amount for Trim to automatically withdraw from your bank account each week. Trim then makes an extra payment each month to a credit card of your choice so that in time, you can have the satisfaction of seeing a zero-balance on your statement.
Keep in mind that if you elect to utilize this service, you’ll have to continue to make the minimum payment each month yourself.
Ask Trim Cost
If you’re not willing to pay for Trim, the site does allow you to use its subscription and overdraft-fee monitoring services free-of-charge.
Bill negotiation will set you back 33% of whatever Trim saves you for the year.
For example, if Trim saves you $100 for the year on cable, then you would owe Trim a $33 fee.
Trim claims to work with any cable, internet, or phone service company. Whether your service provider grants a discount is dependent on the specific company, but it’s nice to know that Trim doesn’t discriminate.
It’s also a big plus that Trim offers some services without charging a fee. That allows you to test out their services before you commit.
The job also doesn’t end for Trim regardless of whether or not your service provider agrees to lower your bill. Trim will continue to re-negotiate your bills on an ongoing basis.
Some people may see the irony in paying for a subscription that’s designed to eliminate subscriptions. It’s not too far-fetched to see how Trim could easily become yet another recurring charge you see on your statements.
In fact, you might just as easily negotiate your own bills. There’s nothing stopping you from picking up the phone and chatting with a customer service representative for a while to lower your own costs.
What’s more, Trim does not offer an iPhone or Android app. That could become a nuisance for people who are used to handling their finances on their phone with well-designed apps.
Ask Trim Competition
If the lack of a mobile app is a dealbreaker for you, then maybe give Truebill a look. The app so far has received over 16,000 reviews on the Apple App Store.
Similar to Trim, Truebill compiles a financial snapshot of all your linked accounts. It even creates an easy-to-read list of all your subscription services.
When it comes to cost though, that sleek mobile app is going to cost you. Truebill charges a 40% fee compared to Trim’s 33%.
Penny-pinchers will appreciate the fact that Clarity Money is completely free. The service also displays your linked financial accounts in an easy-to-read format.
Unlike Trim and Truebill, however, Clarity Money will not cancel subscription services for you. Rather, the app provides you with contact information for the specific service so that you can cancel it yourself.
Conclusion: Ask Trim
With all of the services and accounts, we maintain these days, it’s easy to see how a person could lose track. Give Trim a shot if you find yourself in this category.
At worst, it turns out to be another service you end up cancelling. At best, Trim could potentially put you back in the driver’s seat and help you regain control of your finances.