Web DebtSmart.com
Tuesday, March 5, 2024   

DebtSmart® Email Newsletter

ISSN 1538-6740
February 9, 2005 Issue 92

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

ATTENTION NEW JERSEY RESIDENTS: Have you been a victim of the banks or credit counseling?

Rates down to 3.9% after seeing you on TV

American Express Blue

DebtSmart® Financial Compatibility Test

Stop Debt Collectors Cold

Rating your credit card

Eight Steps To Tackle The Money-Saving Process

DebtSmart Help Center

America's Love Affair with Credit Card Rewards and Rebates!

DebtSmart® Resources

Cool Quote

"Lack of money is the root of all evil."
--George Bernard Shaw

Quotes from all previous newsletters

Letter from the Publisher 
by Scott Bilker


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 next section.


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!

Complete online form for TV appearance

Rates down to 3.9% after seeing you on TV

Dear Scott,

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 as follows:

* $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!

Denise Troy

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

American Express Blue

Enjoy the low APR--Enjoy a 0% APR on purchases for up to 15 months.

Low Balance Transfer APR--3.99% Fixed APR for the life of the balance.

Free Rewards Program--Earn points redeemable for travel, merchandise, and more.

No Annual Fee

Learn more about the American Express Blue

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 will suffer!

Take this test with your spouse/partner to see how compatible your philosophies and monetary strategies are when dealing with money and debt!

Finish reading article

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

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.

Sure it's easy to proclaim your desire to...

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

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...

Finish Reading Article

DebtSmart® Resources

DebtSmart® Books, software, reports, in-print and downloads

Archive of DebtSmart® Email Newsletters online

How to use DebtSmart® articles FREE in your e-zine or on your web site

How to UPDATE your information, SUBSCRIBE, or UNSUBSCRIBE from this newsletter

All recipients of the DebtSmart® Email Newsletter signed up voluntarily for the newsletter via our website.

SUBSCRIBE to this newsletter

Please contact comments@debtsmart.com with any comments, problems, or concerns.


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.


Subscribe FREE and start finding new ways to save money and pay off your debt.

"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

NBC 10 News:
Money King Secrets
<Photos and Video>
Art Fennell Reports
<Photos and Video>
CNN: CNN Newsroom
<Photos and Video>
CNN: American Morning
<Photos and Video>
ABC: Action News
<Photos and Video>
CNN/fn: Your Money
<Photos and Video>
<See all Television Interviews>

Subscribe to the DebtSmart® RSS Feed
   Add to Google