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DebtSmart® Email Newsletter

ISSN 1538-6740
October 5
, 2005 Issue 108

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

In this Issue
Cool Quote
Letter from the publisher

Equity used for down payment

“0% for 4 months”
Household Math™: Mortgage Savings
More credit, more options
Free software with phone savings
How to stick to your budget
DebtSmart® Help Center
Rating your credit card
Cash advance pitfalls
Netflix delivers DVD rentals to your home!
DebtSmart® Resources
Subscribe/Disclaimer Information

Cool Quote

"People are not persuaded by what we say, but rather by what they understand."
--Fortune Cookie

Quotes from all previous newsletters

Letter from the Publisher 
by Scott Bilker


FYI, I’m working on redesigning the entire DebtSmart.com web site! My hope is that it’s completed within the month. There are more than 500 pages of just the major articles so this is quite an undertaking, but it will pay off. The web site will more flexible, meaning that I’ll be able to add content faster and dynamically.

This is a new one...

A good friend of mine called me and said that his identity was stolen. The perpetrator used my friend's SSN to obtain a phone in CA. My friend, Joe (no kidding) is in NJ. He contacted everyone needed to resolve this issue. He provided the paperwork to prove he didn’t get the phone. It took about 2 months to clear up.

Here’s the kicker.

One of his credit cards jacked the rate up to 27.49%! Joe called to ask what the “F^&*” is going on. He had to ask for a supervisor. “The first schmo couldn’t fix it,” Joe said. Joe asked why the rate was raised; they couldn’t give him a specific answer. So finally, the supervisor told Joe that the reason wasn’t that he was ever late and wasn’t that his credit score went down. Oh no, it was because there was a “fraud alert” on his credit report!

So it wasn’t enough that Joe was victimized by the identity theft, but on top of that, Joe's credit card bank used this as an excuse to raise his rate. If Joe didn’t call, they would have gotten away with it!

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

Equity Used For Down Payment
by Scott Bilker


Here's my question. My husband and I want to buy a home being built in a new development. Our present home worth $260,000 has no mortgage except a $30,000 home equity loan.

We need about $15,000 down payment for the home being built. Should we open a home-equity line of credit to pay the down payment? We will be selling our existing home, so everything will be paid back at the settlement. If not, where is the best place to get the $15,000? We have several credit cards with 0 balances. Should we take a cash advance on one of those?


Finish reading article

“0% for 4 months”

Hi Scott,

Your books arrived and I didn't even get to read them all before I called my first credit card company. I just briefly glanced at the variety of scripts under calling credit card companies, and then I called.

I mentioned to the first operator that I received an offer for 5.9%, and that I would like to have my interest rate lowered.

She came back with "the only special I have right now is 0% for 4 months". I said, "I'll take it." That's $107.00 a month saving for 4 months.

My second call, I was transferred to the "Account Specialist" (it helped knowing from the scripts in your book this could happen!).

This gentleman was a very fast, smooth talker. I told him about the 5.9% offer and he came back with yes I paid promptly, on time, but I hadn't used the account often enough. So I only got 2 out of 3--not enough to get the interest lowered. He did offer to reimburse the annual fee of $49.00, which I did take. He said I would now be included for upcoming special offers.

Not bad for a 1/2 hours work!

Thanks Scott. I look forward to reading the rest of the books for more great ideas.

Judy Davidson, Ontario

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

Household Math™: Mortgage Savings
by Scott Bilker

Say you have a 30-year, 7% APR, $150,000 mortgage. You know that you’re going to pay back far more than $150,000 in that 30-year period, and you want to save money. You decide that you want to save 50% of the total money repaid under the 30-year terms. The question is, how much more, by percent, do you have to increase your current monthly payment to save 50% on the overall payments compared to the original mortgage?

Answer this problem

More credit, more options
by Scott Bilker

Credit options are your weapon against the banks! The key to success is using your credit lines to save money--not to go crazy spending! (I know you won't go crazy spending because you're DebtSmart, but I had to mention that anyway.)

I've found a few more good credit deals that I want to bring to your attention. If you have high-rate debt, then you should apply online now and transfer your balances to some of these cards. (Or search through the entire list.)

Pulaski Bank Visa®/MasterCard®
Intro Rate: 0.00%
Time Period: 6 Months
APR: 6.99%

Citi® Platinum Select® Card
Intro Rate: 0.00%
Time Period: 12 Months
APR: 10.24%

Chase Platinum Visa®
Intro Rate: 0.00%
Time Period: Up to 12 Months
APR: As low as 8.49%

Free Cash Rewards Platinum Visa® Card
Intro Rate: 0.00%
Time Period: 12 Months
APR: 11.24%

Search complete list of credit cards

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

You will save money using this service. I've been using it for a few months now, and it has worked perfectly for me! 1.9 cents per minute plus free minutes for signing up! 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!

By the way, when you sign up you get my DebtSmart Loan Calculator FREE (a $9.95 value).

Read more about phone savings

How to Stick to Your Budget
by Terry Rigg

I've had a lot of people tell me that setting up their budget was simple, but when it came to living by it payday after payday, they admitted losing interest in a very short time.

Let's face it. The day-to-day drudgery of trying to figure out how to best spend your money isn't the most interesting aspect of our lives.

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

Cash Advance Pitfalls
by Curtis Arnold

Credit card cash advances can provide consumers with convenient and instant access to "cold cash" in times of financial need, but cash advances should be avoided if at all possible. Informed consumers realize that cash advances are typically accompanied by fees and exorbitant interest rates (there is also no grace period for cash advances). Moreover, cash advances can be a major stumbling block for consumers seeking debt relief. We hope the following tips help consumers avoid the pitfalls associated with cash advances.

Finish Reading Article

Netflix delivers DVD rentals to your home! 

Try Netflix for FREE

Netflix is easy & convenient. Pick from over 40,000 titles. 

No late fees--Keep up to 3 DVDs as long as you want! Shipping is free both ways with prepaid envelopes. Only $9.99 a month.

Click here to try Netflix for FREE!

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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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