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Email Newsletter 7/20/2001

DEBTSMART EMAIL NEWSLETTER - Tools for financial success! 
A Free E-Mail Newsletter from DebtSmart Online and Press One Publishing.
ISSN 1538-6740
July 20, 2001 Issue 4 
Scott Bilker, Editor and Publisher, mailto:publisher@debtsmart.com
Richard Crammer, Editor, mailto:editor@debtsmart.com
For instructions to SUBSCRIBE, see bottom of this email.

=> Advertisers

=> Letter from the Publisher

=> CONTEST WINNER: Always Check Into Debt Consolidation Organizations

=> ONLINE AUCTION CORNER: Pay Off Debt with Your Clutter

=> Reader Feedback Tip

=> Saving for a Down Payment

=> Savings or Debt Reduction First?


=> Subscription Information

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Letter from the Publisher
by Scott Bilker

Thank you all for responding to the last email feedback survey! Also, thanks for all your entries to our first contest!

Congratulations to our contest winner, Christine, for her informative personal story! You can read her story below in this email newsletter issue. Christine will be receiving an autographed copy of my best-selling book, ďCredit Card and Debt Management.Ē

You can reach me with your comments at:

CONTEST WINNER: Always Check Into Debt Consolidation Organizations
by Christine

My story begins like most of the people in this country. My husband and I had a lot of credit card debt that was getting out of control. We made some foolish decisions at a young age and were at this point suffering the consequences. No matter how hard we tried, the debt just seemed to never go away.

One day we decided to do some research on Consumer Credit Counseling Services. At the time, they were the only organization that was recommended for debt consolidation. This seemed like our only hope because we wanted to purchase a house in the future. After doing our research, we decided to speak with one of the counselors and sign up for their program. Everything sounded wonderful.

They actually advised us that creditors would review our credit report in a more positive fashion since we were now affiliated with CCCS. Unfortunately that was not the case. Every month we made....

Read the rest of this article by clicking below:

ONLINE AUCTION CORNER: Pay Off Debt with Your Clutter
by Scott Bilker

You know all the stuff thatís filling up your garage, attic, or shed? Itís the same stuff that you want to sell at a garage sale if you only had the time. Well, those unwanted items may be able to help you start reducing your debt today!


By selling it all at online auctions like eBay.com. Although I have been recommending doing this for years, Iíve only recently started selling my unwanted household clutter online. Itís really not clutter itís stuff I donít want anymore that other people might need.

Since Iím just getting started selling at online auctions Iím also going to start letting everyone know about how Iím doing it and how well itís going.

So far, itís going VERY well! Everything Iíve put online has sold! Iíve sold an autographed Norman Mailer book that my father picked up at the library discard rack and a digital voice recorder. Total sales, $56.00 for two hours of work--thatís $23 per hour for creating more space in my garage! Pretty good deal!

To make transactions simple, you can receive payment from your auctions through PayPal. They allow your buyers to use their credit cards to pay. Setting up an account with PayPal is FREE, however, there are modest transaction charges.

Right now Iím auctioning off my Sony Handycam Video 8mm CCD-F33, videocamera. You can check out that auction at:

VERY IMPORTANT: Iíd like your opinion on a new service for DebtSmart Email Newsletter subscribers. This fee-based service is for listing your auction items online and in the email newsletter. Please let me know what you think of this idea by completing the survey at:

How can you get started making extra money today?

Look through your house for items you believe may be worth selling. Items that you can probably sell for $10 or more.

Next, research the value of your item. Go to eBay.com and do a search for your item. Check the current items for sale and the completed items. Look at the prices that your item has sold for in the past so you can get an idea of its true sale value. Also, read what other people wrote about that item so you have a starting point for writing your advertising copy (fancy way of saying ďsales pitchĒ).

Keep a list of your items and keep reading ONLINE AUCTION CORNER for more tips in the next issue of this email newsletter.

Reader Feedback Tip by Tom

I thought your (Scottís) advice on not cutting up your credit cards in this past issue (7/6/01) was extremely sound. Another point you may wish to touch on is a person's credit scores.

Commonly called FICO (for Fair Isaacs Company, the creator), these are the scores a mortgage lender looks at before they look at anything else on a credit report. By canceling valid cards, the credit issuers see this as a negative and it counts AGAINST you in the FICO scoring.

I won't belabor FICO scoring. Suffice it to say, self-discipline and control are the key factors in credit card use. If a person is determined not to use their card(s) once the balance is paid, hide the card in a safe place.

That does NOT count against you. Having a balance paid in full (counts FOR you) and having an open trade account (counts FOR you) are two of the combinations potential lenders look at.

One last note on mortgage borrowing. The second most important factor lenders look at when deciding on the program into which you will fit is your payment history. If you have paid your rent on time or don't have any late mortgage payments, you will probably get the best rate at the time. Of course the remainder of your credit history comes into play but we'll save that for another time.

Tomís Free money making tips, tools, techniques and strategies will increase your personal cash flow. Let Cashclique.com Dollar$ign Newsletter turn your paycheck into a cash flow geyser. FREE subscription at:

Saving for a Down Payment by Scott Bilker

Question: How do you save money to buy a home when you are swamped with credit card bills that just seem to suck every last bit of savings?


I know exactly how you feel since I was in that very same position at one time.

First of all you need to be sure that your credit card interest rates are as low as possible. By "low" I mean below 11.9%. There are many excellent credit-card offers available from numerous banks, which make the rates very competitive. Look through your junk mail and read the fine print in some of those offers. Start using the 0% offers and track the dates when they expire so you can be sure to transfer your balance before the rate is increased.

Once you've minimized your interest cost, you need to make saving for that house a priority. The way I saved while paying my credit card bills was to make minimum payments. That's right, it's one of those exceptions to the pay-the-most-to-your-credit-cards- first-rule.

In this case, to save for the down payment of your house, you make the minimum payments to your credit cards and bank the difference. The reason is that you need to save your own money to use as a down payment; you cannot cash advance money from your credit cards to buy a house. Well I guess, technically you could, but most likely you won't be given a mortgage if the bank learns that youíre buying a house with your credit cards.

The strategy here is that youíre going create extra money by paying less each month to your credit cards. Many times banks will give you an opportunity to skip a payment. That's the perfect time to save that extra payment in a bank account toward your down payment.

Many people would criticize me for suggesting that you pay less to your credit cards because you're going to pay a little extra interest. However, this interest cost is the fee you pay to be able to get the cash for the house. It was worth it for me and everything turned out just fine.

Good luck and please let me know how things go!

Savings or Debt Reduction First?
by Gary Foreman The Dollar Stretcher

Question: Dear Dollar Stretcher, When planning a budget should I use extra money to pay off credit card debt? Or should it go in a savings account? Thanks.

Answer: Based on the number of similar questions we get, Kathy is not the only one trying to answer this question. And, if she's asked friends, she's probably found people who will tell her that it's absolutely essential to pay off the credit cards first. She's also probably found other people recommending an immediate savings program. So who's right?

The truth is that neither side is right for everyone. This is one of those situations where the right answer for you might not be the best choice for Kathy.

We'll begin by looking at the purely financial side of the issue. Whether you're paying off a credit card or putting money into a savings account you'll get a return on your investment.

When you repay debts you're paying back some principal this month to avoid owing an even greater amount next month. How much greater is determined by...

Read the rest of this article by clicking below:

Get rich on the Internet in 40 days/40 nights and do it without spending a dime! (ha, ha, ha)
The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth
by Richard Moore
Founder and CEO of the International Millenium 2000 Group


Some even have the nerve to ask you to pay them! What was it that P.T. Barnum said, "There's a ........born every minute" Short and sweet, here is the scoop on FFA's. THEY DON'T WORK. You put your information in to join an FFA and what happens? You get a truckload of autoresponder e-mails from every TOM, DICK and HARRY wanting you to join them. No one ever actually reads your ad. I am still getting autoresponder e-mails sent to me from FFA's I joined a year ago. I did exactly as I was supposed to for maximum exposure.

Well, overnight I had 300 plus e-mails sent to me. I thought to myself, "I've found a gold mine!" Why hadn't I tried this sooner? Well, after reading a bunch of them, I realized that they were all ads wanting me to join their club or business.

I tried replying to those e-mails with my own and guess what happened! I got the...

Read the rest of this article by clicking below:


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