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ISSUE #174

Email Newsletter  

  April 16, 2008  


Scott Bilker
Signature
Scott Bilker, founder of DebtSmart
  

Hi

As you can see, I've redesigned the email newsletter. I'm hoping that this will be easier for you to read. Easier to find the information you want and easier to review promotions. Elements that I may have included in the old Letter from the Publisher section will be included as briefs in the text below along with articles, cool quote, Household Math, and other standard features. Advertisements and promotions will be featured in the right column.

Please let me know what you think about this new format by completing a survey here after you're done reading this issue.

Thanks!

Best,
Scott


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COOL QUOTE

"If the American people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there would be a revolution before morning."
--Andrew Jackson

More cool quotes from past issues


New Reader Comments

"I love DebtSmart and wish for more practical tips on managing this nightmare problem in our life."
--Chris Johnson

"I always look forward to your newsletter."
--Peggy Charbonnet

"Great job and love this website!"
--Chris Johnson

More readers comments


MORE: Lower Interest Ratө Success Story

Scott,

I have another one for you.

I just got off the phone with Chase. I also complained to the Better Business Bureau about my two accounts with them. As the story goes...

I have three accounts. Rates are 29.99, 24.99, and 7.99%. The 7.99% is because there was a change in terms a year or more back, and in order to keep the rate, I had to close the account. The other two accounts had similar situations where I was mailed a change in terms letting me know the rates would go up. However, I did not want to close the accounts so I went the regular route of periodically asking for a lower rate. Each time, you know what the answer was. I just got so frustrated so I complained to the BBB.

Back to my phone call this morning...The person called and, to make a long story short, offered to give me a promotional rate of 9.99% for the life of the balance. WOW! I was surprised. This way I didn't have to close my account either. Any additional purchases would be at the higher rate, but who cares? I'm not using the card anymore.

It's unfortunate that I had to go so far as to complain to the BBB, however it works. These banks obviously don't want these types of complaints...Please feel free to add this to the last story I shared with you. Maybe if enough people do this, then these banks will start listening.

Sincerely,
Jeremy E. Portnoff


Another DebtSmart Reader consumer tip

Hi Scott,

A couple of weeks ago, trying to get something fixed by a tech aid at AOL, I complained so bitterly that they changed the monthly service cost from the senior discounted fee of $23.95 to $10 a month. I get the same dreadful service for a lot less! Just today, I heard that they now have free service, so when I recover from a recent business trip, I'll call them to change to their free service.

Marilyn


Balance transfer checks
by Scott Bilker

Scott

First of all, your site is great! I received a blank check from my credit card company that can be used for either cash or purchases. It is a low 3.99 percent rate for life of the loan. The balance on my credit card has a variable 8.99 percent rate. Would I be able to write a check out for the balance on the credit card, deposit it in my checking account, and then turn around and send a personal check to the credit card company for the balance total thus lowering the rate from 8.99 percent to the 3.99 percent? Thanks in advance.

MW

Finish reading this article


Family Fights Bank to Keep Home
by ABC News

Amid charges of banking violations, one NY family turns foreclosure around.

Watch this video


"Had I not asked to speak to a supervisor, I would have hung-up, defeated..."

This is an email I received from a friend whom I helped reduce his credit card rates and do a balance transfer. Total saved that day was $1,821.00!

Yo Scott,

So I called Capital One back with the "special" number they gave us. The girl I spoke to (who announced she'd be my "account specialist" today) informed me that there was nothing she could do to lower my rate. I related to her that I had spoken to customer service yesterday, and they had told me they could lower my rate, but I'd have to call back today (Sunday) because the "specialists" had gone home at 8 eastern. She said that was strange because there weren't any notes on the account indicating the discussion I described. She said the rate couldn't be lowered and there was nothing she could do to help me. So, I asked to speak to a supervisor.

After holding for about five minutes (the hold music was appropriately: Smokey Robinson--"You Really Got a Hold On Me"), I "got a hold" of the supervisor. He said he could lower the rate to 15.8% (from 19.9%) and that the new rate would take effect within 24 hours. This was good news. I asked why the previous "account specialist" told me she could not lower the rate. He responded that only supervisors and not "account specialists" have the authority to lower rates. Had I not asked to speak to a supervisor (which I obviously learned from you), I would have hung-up, defeated, having been mislead about my options. Thanks again for setting this up.

Mike C.

Learn how to "Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt"


Household Math (TM): Early Mortgage Payoff
by Scott Bilker

Assume a person is buying a $150,000 home at a rate of 7% interest on a 30-year loan, with the usual 20% down payment (so the loan would be $120,000). This person also has $20,000 in cash reserves. In which of these two scenarios would this person end up paying less money over the course of the loan?

Answer this math problem


STATISTIC: Comfort Level

More than half of Americans who carry monthly debt (54 percent) admit they worry about it somewhat, but say they can manage it. One in 10 Americans who carry monthly debt, however, are really worried and are unsure how they are going to pay it all back. About one-third (35 percent) say they don't worry at all about the amount of debt they carry each month.

More credit card and debt statistics


Instant Grati Syndrome
by Harrine Freeman

As a baby when you cried, your mother or father came running to take care of you. As a toddler when you cried, your parents hugged or talked to you until you stopped. As a teenager when you wanted something, you talked really nice and sweet to your parents to get it. Throughout your life, you may have received gratification instantly. So as a grown up, it is only natural for you to believe that you should continue to receive this treatment. Unfortunately, this attitude affects every aspect of your life, even your spending habits.

Finish reading this article



The author(s), Press One Publishing, and DebtSmart.com shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused, or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly by the information contained in this email newsletter and/or at the DebtSmart.com website. The information, methods and techniques described may not work for you and no recommendation is made to follow the same course of action. Every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of all content contained herein. However, there may be mistakes; typographical, mathematical, or in content. This email newsletter and the DebtSmart.com website have been created for your entertainment only. You must always seek the proper professional advice before taking any financial or legal action. You have been warned. Copyright ©2008 Press One Publishing. All rights reserved. Please do not reprint, or host on your web site, without explicit permission. However, if you found this newsletter helpful, we grant you permission, and strongly encourage you, to e-mail it to a business associate or a friend. Thank you.

The DebtSmart Email Newsletter, ISSN 1538-6740, is written and published by Scott Bilker and edited by Larissa Bilker and Denise Troy. Please contact comments@debtsmart.com with any comments, problems, or concerns. (See the very bottom of the email to make changes to your subscription.)

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