Review of "Credit Card and Debt Management" by Scott Bilker
by Sue Seppo
|Staff Writer at theWhiz.com
With the holidays a mere memory and the New Year just
starting out, is your mailbox stuffed with bundles of bills instead of
letters? Did you get enticed with the holiday spirit to bring forth your
plastics with their eternal chant "buy now, pay later"? Well this book,
Credit Card and Debt Management, is written for you.
Although this slim book has only 140 pages, including the index,
don't expect to read and digest this in an hour. To become a debt manager, you must do
more than read this book, you will have to actually do the work! There's that awful
word: work. It gets worse, you'll actually have to do the math problems to get
a basic understanding of what is involved with credit cards and debt management. Believe me, it's worth the extra time and effort of working the problems in
Bilker starts off with discussing the importance of managing
one's financial affairs. Did you know that according to the Nilson Report, in 1992
the national credit card debt hit $273.4 billion? Credit card debt is
rising and banks are competing for your business. The average credit cards per
person---almost ten cards! With all this credit and borrowing going on, you will
have to know where you stand financially and nobody can do this better than you.
However, discipline is the key to financial success.
Defining the terms with an in-depth explanation, Bilker goes on
to talk about the types of credit and how to get a good credit rating by starting out
small and going on to bigger and better things. Often times this is where people get
themselves into trouble. There is a list of questions for you to answer to get an
idea of your debt status. Also, questions to which you must supply the
answers that will help you to know your exact financial barometer.
There is a list of "must-have" supplies to become
organized. I especially liked his set-up for an organized financial filing
system. Incorporating some of his system has made mine much more efficient. It's amazing the amount of time I will be able to save just filing away the
bills faster using Bilker's system.
Next comes the blank forms that you will fill in with your own
financial data. This will be helpful as you can keep track of all your credit
information on one single piece of paper (hopefully). I haven't been able to work
this far, but from what I see, the worksheet will come in handy when comparing interest
rates between credit cards. Also, when calling a credit card company, all the
information will be on one fact sheet. This eliminates hunting around for different
papers with the various credit information.
A whole chapter is devoted to math and money. He gives
possible math problems regarding the principal, payment, time, and APR. You must
master this chapter if you are to become a master of your money. Bilker goes through
each problem step-by-step. It is easy to read and very detailed and concise. However, what to me was time-consuming was working out the problems that Bilker
gives. You don't have to be a math whiz to understand this chapter, but you have to
do the work as he takes you through the process.
A very helpful chart is the blank payment schedule which is
included. This way you will know precisely where you are financially at all
One feature that I especially liked was the Time Remaining on
Loan charts at the end of the book. This figures from 6percent to 15.5 percent, and
this makes it easy to see how much time you have left on any given payment within the
above percentage rate. He also does a balance and payment factors sheet to make
figuring out easier for you.
I recommend this book, only if you want to become a master of
your credit cards, not a slave to them.