There is a new trick that debt collectors are using to get your info. They
are sending letters that look just like credit offers, but they are, in fact,
being used to get your personal information and use it for
their collection efforts. As always, you need to read all credit offers very
carefully! Be sure that it's really being sent to a bank, not a debt collector.
If you're in the PA-NJ area, keep your eye on NBC 10 News' Consumer Alert
report at 11 PM Eastern. I was interviewed last week for a story on credit cards
and it may air next week sometime.
Speaking of TV, if you live in New Jersey and you feel that you've been a
victim of the credit card banks or credit counseling, then you may have a chance
to tell your story on News 12 NJ with me! Just complete the online form in the
ATTENTION NEW JERSEY RESIDENTS: Have you been a victim of the banks or credit
counseling? Tell your story on TV with me!
by Scott Bilker
Do you feel like you've been the victim of the credit card banks? Have you
been a victim of credit counseling? Want to let the world know what happened to
you? Want to help others avoid being victimized?
News12 NJ is putting together a story about credit cards and has asked me to
find people to be interviewed for this important consumer program. If you live
in New Jersey, and you're interested in telling your credit card story on
television, anonymously if necessary, then please complete the online form.
Of course, I would want to include everyone's story however, we can only use a limited number of stories that we feel
represent a good picture of majority of people. I'll be in contact with you in
the event you're selected for a follow-up. Thanks!
After watching you in an interview today on the TV describing your latest
book, I was inspired to pick up the phone and call several of my credit cards in
hope of receiving lower rates. Recently, my husband and I completed the
construction of our home by financing the cost on our credit cards. As we have
no mortgage on it, we were not concerned about accumulating about $50,000 on
them for that project.
However, when we recently inquired about the current interest rates on the
variable rate cards, we were astonished to learn that several had jumped from 0%
to over 10%. With that information, we assumed that taking a mortgage to pay off
those high interest cards was the only viable solution. A mortgage broker quoted
us a rate of 6 1/4% with several thousand dollars in closing costs.
After negotiating with several of the credit card companies that we have
accounts with (we have about 10), only one refused to budge on its rates. The
rest lowered their rates significantly. However, we decided not to settle for
just a significant drop. After Bank One offered a fixed rate of 3.9%, we asked
all of our cards if they could match it. One other did and then some. Several
others would not, so we transferred them to cards, which would. The breakdown is
* $9,480 transferred from a 10% variable rate to a 3.9% fixed rate
* $7,415 from a 10.34% variable rate to a 3.9% fixed rate
* $6,436 from a 12% variable rate to a 3.9% fixed rate
* $18,000 from an 8 1/2% variable rate to a 2.9% fixed rate
As you can see, our hour or two on the phone was enormously profitable. By
comparison, if we had opted for the mortgage instead, we would be paying a much
higher rate with huge closing costs. Incidentally, there were nominal transfer
fees of $35 dollars. We probably should have negotiated them as well--perhaps
the next time. By the way, the last $10,000 is still at a low enough variable
rates that we are keeping it for the time being.
Thanks Scott for all the insight. Your newsletter and books have provided an
invaluable education and saved us thousands of dollars (perhaps you could do the
math). I could not be more thrilled!
DebtSmart® Financial Compatibility Test
by Scott Bilker
It is well known that money is the #1 reason for divorce! Money is very
important in your relationship. It's the blood that flows through the financial
veins of the family. If there is a problem with its flow, everyone in the family
Take this test with your spouse/partner to see how compatible your
philosophies and monetary strategies are when dealing with money and debt!
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
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!
"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
Eight Steps To Tackle The Money-Saving Process
by Gregory Thomas
Asking the question if you really want to save more money may seem a little
absurd, especially since everyone probably wants to increase their savings
account and have more money to spend. Less debt and more savings sounds like the
best of both worlds, right?
The reason I'm asking if you REALLY want to save more money is to assist you
in determining how sincere and motivated you are towards this upcoming endeavor.
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...
America's Love Affair with Credit Card Rewards and Rebates!
by Curtis Arnold
February...the month conjures up images up puppy love, romantic escapes, and
red roses. Granted, credit cards are typically not viewed as being very romantic
:), but America's "love affair" with credit cards that offer rewards
and rebates remains strong. Despite restrictions on card rewards, which seem to
have grown over the years, the demand for card rewards has not waned.
In fact, the growth of the Internet has helped spur America's seemingly
insatiable appetite for card rewards. Case and point...
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.