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DebtSmart® Email Newsletter

ISSN 1538-6740
January 26, 2005 Issue 91

Tools for financial success! A Free Email Newsletter from DebtSmart Online and Press One Publishing.

Publisher: Scott Bilker

In this Issue
Cool Quote
Letter from the Publisher
Which Credit Cards Look Better on Your Credit Report
Heartfelt Thank You
American Express Blue
Household Math™: Average Daily Balance
Stop Debt Collectors Cold
Rating your credit card
What is Creative Frugality?
DebtSmart Help Center
Retail Credit Cards and Department Store Credit Cards
DebtSmart® Resources

Cool Quote

"Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it."
--Publilius Syrus

Quotes from all previous newsletters

Letter from the Publisher 
by Scott Bilker


Thanks for the feedback from the last issue's video from the publisher! My goal is to provide for you the most effective strategies of successful debt management in all media formats, and I think video is the most powerful. Again, I will never replace print, and I cannot always create a video, it's just going to be additional content.

For the past several weeks I've been upgrading all my computer systems. I'm finally going to Windows XP from 98SE. I wanted to hold out for as long as possible because I didn't want to be a beta tester for Microsoft, but I think XP is going to be around for a while and 98 is going to be phased out, as far as support goes, by June 2006.

By now all those credit card charges from the holidays should be hitting your mailbox. This is a great time to call a credit card that you have with a $0 balance and say, "Listen, I'll transfer my balance from my holiday spending to you if you give me a 0% rate for at least six months." That strategy will help keep your rates low and help manage all your bills in the short term.

Talk to you soon.


Which Credit Cards Look Better on Your Credit Report
by Scott Bilker


Let me start off by saying I love this website! I have a couple of questions. I have been told that certain credit cards (e.g. Capital One, Cross Country, and others like those) do not carry a lot of weight on your credit report. I was always under the impression that all credit cards carried the same weight. What is the truth? My next question concerns paying them off. I would like to pay off my credit cards. Should I just pay them off and try not to use them? (I have tried this before and failed). Or should I just go ahead and cancel them. I am really getting sick and tired of credit cards and I want to stop using them because they put too much pressure on me. Please advise.


Finish Reading Article

Heartfelt Thank You

Hi Scott,

Just wanted to let you know that the new video newsletter feature is a WOW!, two thumbs up addition to your excellent web site and update column--good work, fella!

Also wanted to send you a heartfelt Thank You for the site, and indeed having the guts and resilience to put it all together in the first place. You've really done a very good job in making help available to thousands of needy people; no matter how educated you are, what your job is, and where you come from, if you have no money you feel like a loser. And when you're in debt, you feel worse than a loser--you feel a failure, naked, guilty, worse off that the poor old tramp in the street, vulnerable, and that a speeding steamroller is about to whack you off (sorry, I'm English--is that the right expression?!!) and squash you into nothingness. But your site--and indeed, you yourself--have taken that fear away from myself and countless others--and for that I thank you.

I'm English, living and working in a well paid job in the UK, and although I'm still in debt, your website/newsletter/books have made me realize that I'm not alone, still have a future, and have given me the confidence to do something about it. I'm still in debt, and will be for the next five years, but each and every month improves and that overall big red number is decreasing.

Most important of all, Scott, is that I now am in control--thanks to you.

You're very popular over here in the UK, by the way--I've read about you on various newsgroups and sites.

Sorry to have bothered you with this, and apologies for being long-winded--just wanted to pass on some positive feedback in these gloomy times.

Take care, and with the very best of wishes,
Nick Smith

Read about special offer for all three of Scott Bilker's best-selling books

American Express Blue

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Learn more about the American Express Blue

Household Math™: Average Daily Balance
by Scott Bilker

Most banks calculate the amount of interest you owe using the average daily balance method. That method means adding up the outstanding balance each day in the month and taking an average.

On day 1 in the month your balance is $5,000. On day 15 your payment of $2,000 is credited to your balance. The number of days in the month is 31. What is your average daily balance?

Answer this problem

Stop Debt Collectors Cold
Review by Scott Bilker

Each week I receive dozens of emails from people being hounded by debt collectors. These collectors are horrible! They can harass, threaten, and embarrass their victims without regard for the law. There have been many articles posted at DebtSmart by those attacked by these evil hounds.

Yes, that's strong language and I am sure that the "good" debt collectors (if there is such a thing) are going to send me hate mail in about 10 minutes, but the truth is that the majority of these "folks" don't care at all about your situation. They're out to suck as much cash from you as possible.

In the past I've advised people of the techniques needed to deal with debt collectors however, a comprehensive information package has been created that I can recommend that will help--for sure!

It's been written by best-selling author, Gerri Detweiler, attorney John Ventura, and Mary Reed, personal finance author. Not only is this aimed at Stopping Debt Collectors Cold but they also include four other great reports: How to Get Collection Accounts Off Your Credit Report, How to Avoid Losing Your Home In A Foreclosure, What to Do if You Are Behind on Your Car Payments, and Confidential Interview With A Former Debt Collector.

I highly recommend that you take a look at this information so you're prepared to effectively deal with debt collectors!

Read more about how to Stop Debt Collectors Cold

Rating Your Credit Card
by CardRatings.com

"CardRatings.com has been offering ratings of credit cards since 1998 and has been featured by Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal, Consumer Reports®, NPR, PBS, etc. Thanks to consumers like you, CardRatings.com has become the most comprehensive free source for comparing credit card offers."

See how your credit cards are rated by CardRatings.com

What is Creative Frugality?
by Nancy Twigg

Most people understand what creativity is, and have a good idea what it means to be frugal. But the idea of putting the two together is a little hard to grasp. Because creative frugality is one of those things that is easier to show than to tell, here is a quick list of dead giveaways for identifying creative frugality in action.

Finish Reading Article

DebtSmart® Help Center 
by Scott Bilker


Helping you with your debt is very important to me personally! If you've been reading my articles, you know that I always encourage self-help as a first step. However, being buried in debt can be very overwhelming, which is why you may want to explore other options.

One of those options is professional, ongoing help with credit counselors. I've started to personally check out certain companies so I can recommend the ones that are worth considering!

If you would like to speak with a representative from a...

Read More at the DebtSmart Help Center

Retail Credit Cards and Department Store Credit Cards
by Rebecca Lindsey

Many retail stores want to offer you a line of credit. But before you sign up to get 10% off your purchase and a free umbrella, you need to understand the effect that such cards can have on your credit—both good and bad.

"If you apply for a {fill in name of store here} credit card today, you will receive a 15% discount on your purchase."Oooh. What diehard shopper wouldn't be tempted? 

Lately it seems that...

Finish Reading Article

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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 web site. 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 web site 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 ©2005 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.


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"The DebtSmart Email Newsletter is packed with cutting-edge strategies for solving credit problems. I highly recommend it."--Gerri Detweiler, radio host and author of The Ultimate Credit Handbook

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