DebtSmart® Email Newsletter
December 14, 2005
financial success! A Free Email
Newsletter from DebtSmart Online and
Press One Publishing.
Letter from the Publisher
by Scott Bilker
couple more weeks until the end of the
year--wow! That was a fast year. You know,
I say that every year. Not only that, but
the holidays are really upon us now.
It's time to finish all your shopping
and planning before it's a mob scene in
Personally, I enjoy going to the mall
during the holidays. Not to shop, but to
watch others shop. I just enjoy being there and
watching everyone scurry for all the
gifts. I'm lucky in that my wife handles
all that shopping, thus freeing me up to
enjoy a soft vanilla cone at the local mall.
by Scott Bilker
all, your site is great! I received a blank
check from my credit card company that
can be used for either cash or
purchases. It is a low 3.99 percent rate
for life of the loan. The balance on my
credit card has a variable 8.99 percent
rate. Would I be able to write a check
out for the balance on the credit card,
deposit it in my checking account, and
then turn around and send a personal
check to the credit card company for the
balance total thus lowering the rate
from 8.99 percent to the 3.99 percent.
Thanks in advance.
Congress to Support Credit Card Reforms
this Holiday Season!
by Consumers Union
Every holiday, you get
attractive, low interest credit card
offers in the mail.
what’s the catch? You sign up for a low
interest rate, but it skyrockets. You
are offered a minimum payment that will
keep you in debt for decades. You mail
the bill before it's due, but get hit
with a late fee anyway. You never miss a
payment on this card, but your interest
rate goes up due to a missed payment on
a different debt.
shouldn't happen--but sometimes we have
to look on the lighter side. Watch our
light hearted holiday song/animation
about credit card woes, and then take
Help stop credit card banks from taking
advantage of consumers
raised my interest from 9.9% to 26.2%!"
you! We are finally getting a better
handle on our credit cards thanks to you
and your books. For instance, I had a
balance of $18,000 on a Capital One MC
and was late by one day, and they raised
my interest from 9.9% to 26.2%. That
happened while I wasn't paying
attention, unfortunately for 2-3 months.
called Capital One, they told me they
could not reduce my rate, so I told them
I could not afford to remain their
customer and took your advice and
transferred the balance to a 0% for the
first six months offer.
weeks later, Capital One has sent an
offer every week and recently offered a
2.99% for the life of the balance
transfer offer. So I did transfer
another credit card balance back to
Capital One (a $17,900 balance!). A
savings from the 11.7% it was at
Citibank. The total savings for one year
of interest (11.7% to 2.99%) is over
$1500! And that's just one year.
but surely, I'm learning that it's paying
to pay attention and spend time required
to take care of our large debt (my
husband and I are self-employed). Now
it's actually fun to be doing the books
and I have a much better feeling about
many thanks for doing what you're doing.
Read about special offer for all three of Scott Bilker's
Early mortgage payoff
by Scott Bilker
Assume a person is buying a $150,000 home at a
rate of 7% interest on a 30-year loan, with the usual 20% down payment (so the
loan would be $120,000). This person also has $20,000 in cash reserves. In which
of these two scenarios would this person end up paying less money over the
course of the loan?
the Fine Print in those Low-Rate Credit
by Scott Bilker
Taking advantage of
low-rate offers is almost always a good
idea. That's where the bulk of interest
savings are found when you're managing
your debt. However, there may be hidden
costs that need to be uncovered before
deciding to accept a seemingly good
deal. It is imperative that you read
through and understand the entire
low-rate offer. That includes the
letter, the back of the letter, and
every bit of the fine print.
I want to
talk about the details you can expect to
find in those low-rate credit card
offer letters: the conditions that you
need to consider to ensure you're going
to get the better end of this offer.
They are the details I always look at
and note before jumping into any credit
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 check out certain companies personally so I can recommend the
ones that are worth considering!
If you would like to speak with a representative from a...
more at the DebtSmart Help Center
wasn't paying attention: Where does my
money go and how can I get some back?
by Janet Hall
and "overhalling" your hard earned money
can help you reach any financial goals
that you have, help you in getting out
of debt, and help you gain back control
of your money, your future, and your
Rivers Baker of WAHM & Mompreneur has a
great series, Financial Management 101
in which she writes, "Managing cash flow
is the simple matter of projecting cash
receipts and needed cash outlays within
a certain period of time - a week, a
month, a quarter, a year - ..."
Rating your credit card
"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."
how your credit cards are rated by CardRatings.com
to protect yourself from becoming a
victim of credit fraud
by Rebecca Lindsey
Do you often
feel as though you must be on the
lookout at every turn, because there are
people out there just waiting to rip you
I hate to
be the bearer of bad news, but...that
might not be a bad idea.
Federal Trade Commission released the
results of a Consumer Fraud Survey.
Astoundingly, it estimated that nearly
25 million Americans were victims of
fraud in 2002.
indicated individuals with high levels
of debt are more likely to be victims of
fraud. Three of the top categories of
fraud reported to the FTC related to
credit, including credit-repair scams
aimed at those carrying high debt loads
or having bad credit. The most
frequently reported type of consumer
fraud: advance-fee loan scams, in which
consumers pay a fee for a "guaranteed"
loan or credit card.
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.
IN THIS ISSUE #113
Larissa S. Bilker
Editor: Denise Troy
U.S. consumer debt recently
reached $2.2 trillion, double what it was about a decade
ago. According to the Federal Reserve Board, the debt
topped the $1 trillion mark for the first time in
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