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DebtSmart® Email Newsletter

ISSN 1538-6740
September 7, 2005 Issue 106

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

Publisher: Scott Bilker
Editor: Larissa S. Bilker
Assistant Editor: Denise Troy

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In this Issue

Cool Quote

Letter from the publisher

My spouse doesn't agree!

“Real advice that works!”

Household Math™: Debt Snowball (Myth or Magic): Paying back bower-balance cards first

Featured credit cards can save you money now!

Free software with phone savings

Student and credit cards

DebtSmart® Help Center

Rating your credit card

Credit card protection insurance--should you get it?

DebtSmart® Resources

Cool Quote

"If you find yourself in a hole, the best thing to do is stop digging."

Quotes from all previous newsletters

Letter from the Publisher 
by Scott Bilker


Help for Katrina Victims

The Gulf Coast has been devastated. People need our help! Even though we have our own debts and struggles, we still are rich compared to others, especially those who have lost their homes and some even their families. Anything you can contribute will help. Donate to the Red Cross.

Paying online
I can't freakin' believe it! I went to pay my NJ Natural Gas Bill online, directly with them, as I always do, and they changed the web site. The only problem is that now they want to charge me a 70-cent "convenience fee" for paying online! What convenience is that? I'm doing them the favor! So you know what...I'm sending the check by snail-mail from now on! This only costs me 37 cents and is quite convenient for me. Also, NJ Natural Gas should find it convenient to wait for the check to arrive, process the mail, cash the check, and wait for it to clear.

Today in NY
FYI, I was recently interviewed by Roseanne Colletti for Today in NY's Back to School series. Her segment, titled Kids & Credit, aired 8/25/05. Watch the video streaming with Windows Media or Direct link to WMV (if you're using a MAC) or Photos from the segment

Free Credit Report--really! 
It's finally up and running (since 9/1/05)! The only real place you can get all three (3) of your credit reports hassle free. And it's the law! Once a year, everyone can take a look at these reports. I urge you to get yours now. I just got mine. All three totaled 100 printed pages! Well, I do have 80 credit cards. The online process was fairly easy. You'll need to know a few historical details about yourself and your accounts. But that's a good thing since you don't want anyone being able to get your info. I created a PDF file out of all the reports to save on paper costs. If you have Acrobat, or a PDF print driver, I would highly recommend doing the same. Of course, be sure to back up all your data!

Here's great personal story I received from Cindy Bevington
Hello Scott, 
Here's my buying-a-truck story: This March, my fiancé and I bought a 2005 GM Silverado, 4x4, crew cab elongated bed pickup. Its list price was just under $46,000. We had seen it at the National Wild Turkey Federation convention in February and liked it then. I signed up to win one at the convention but, alas, we didn't, so the next month we decided to buy one instead. The dealer gave us a little over $6,000 off the list price. I had seen on the Internet that GM wasn't going to offer 0 percent interest anymore after March 31, and this was March 31, so I insisted that the deal be closed that day, or there would be no deal at all. So, we qualified for the 0 percent and got it. We also qualified for no money down, so we decided not to use any of our cash on hand for that either. On top of that, we also were able to finance the sales tax, license fees and plates--which the dealer paid by writing a check for about $2,600 to the state--all for no money down and 0 percent. So we didn't have to use our own money for that either. We knew we had a great deal: 5 years of using this truck with no interest and no up-front costs. But then, the day after we took delivery of the truck, GM sent me a letter thanking me for my interest at the turkey convention and offered to give me $500 toward the purchase of a truck should we decide to buy one. Oh dear! But the deal was closed the day before! Not to be discouraged, I took the $500 certificate to the dealer anyway, and he promptly wrote me a check for $500. So, we got the truck, tags, license and tax all financed for 0 percent down with no money down and took home a check for $500 to boot. We love telling this story!
Cindy Bevington

PS: If you are interested in advertising with DebtSmart.com, please complete the form here.

My spouse doesn't agree!
by Scott Bilker


I have debts that have different interest rates: 9 percent, 10 percent, 28 percent and 29 percent. I want to consolidate my debt at 16 percent interest rate. But my spouse doesn't agree! Is this a wise move on my part? If I do this, we will reduce our monthly payment from $1,700 to $612. But we will end up paying twice the amount of the principal of the loan over a ten-year term. What I can't figure out is how much we will pay in interest if I don't consolidate all the debts and how long will it take us to pay them off when we can only afford minimum payments each month on all the cards?


Finish Reading Article

"Real advice that works!"

"I am in the same field as Scott, and have recommended his book countless times to consumers. With credit card companies raising rates, fees, etc. his advice could not be more timely.

I just interviewed Scott today (8/11/05) on my EverydayWealth Radio program and he told me how he just got a 10 month old late fee waived! That's practically unheard of."

--Gerri Detweiler "Ultimate Credit Solutions Inc.

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

Household Math™: Debt Snowball (Myth or Magic): Paying back lower-balance cards first
by Scott Bilker

David Sheepsley has two credit cards with balances. Card A has a balance of $8,000 at 19.8% and minimum payments of $160 per month. Card B has a balance of $6,000 at 5.9% with minimum payments of $120 per month. David has a total of $400 per month to use for repaying his credit cards. What's the better plan for David?

Answer this problem

Featured credit cards can save you money now!
by Scott Bilker

Your best defense against any one bank is to have credit options. That means, being able to transfer your balance to a lower rate. That's your only real power against high fees. That's how to be DebtSmart®! Make the banks fight for your business! Be sure to add this web page to your favorites list so you can keep applying for new credit when you need it. Which credit card is right for you? Select from the list below and apply online right now!

Choose from the list of featured credit cards

How to save money on your phone service within minutes!
by Scott Bilker

For a limited time, I'm going to throw in a free download of my DebtSmart Loan Calculator ($9.95 value) when you sign up for this prepaid phone service. Both the calculator and the phone service are worthwhile, or they wouldn't be here. I personally wrote the calculator software and stand behind it.

I always use everything I recommend to make sure that it's good! Ready for this...their claims are 100% true! Great service! Great price! I signed up for $25 and got the free minutes. So, the total time I received was 1,578 minutes! That's 1.58 cents per minute!

The online reporting was instant and accurate! This is all I'm going to be using for a while. If you let them know what numbers you're calling from, and call their local access number, you get the lowest rate, And, you only have to enter the PIN to make the call. It's easy to use, cheap as can be, clean connection, organized online, and simple. Works just like you would want and expect!

My phone service is getting me for 10 cents per minute for in-state calling and 7 cents per minute for long distance! What a rip! I can't believe I've been overlooking this big potential savings. I'm going to easily cut my phone bill by two-thirds! I figure that I'll save $1,000 per year with this new service.

Read more about phone savings

Student and credit cards
by Scott Bilker


I'm so lost! I'm about to obtain my first credit card, and I do not know where to start or even how many to take out. What deal is the best? Do I look at the APR or the nice rewards they have? I'm just trying to establish a good credit history, because I am aware that you need one if you want to eventually buy a house/car. It's so hard to get the ball to start rolling--especially with the limited knowledge that I have. Thanks so much for your help.


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

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

Credit card protection insurance--should you get it?
by Rebecca Lindsey

When sorting through various files regarding credit cards, many people may happen upon information regarding credit insurance. In fact, many people may be paying for this insurance and not even realize that they have it. Not a good idea-fees can sometimes be as high as $25 to $30 a month.

When sorting through various files regarding credit cards, many people may happen upon information regarding credit insurance. In fact, many people may be paying for this insurance and not even realize that they have it.

Finish Reading Article

DebtSmart® Resources

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

Archive of DebtSmart® Email Newsletters online

FREE DebtSmart® Column for in print publication, ezine, or web site

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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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