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DebtSmart® Email Newsletter
February 22, 2006

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

Letter from the Publisher
by Scott Bilker


Being motivated to work on your finances is much of the battle. I know firsthand that the job of writing checks, paying bills, tracking spending, and so forth, can be tedious, time consuming, and even boring. But it pays so well!

Taking the time to analyze the details of your financial life is time well spent. If you save $1,000 on your debt from working on it for 10 hours, then you're saving $100 per hour! Nice!

For me, money is the motivator--not giving away that money. I don't want to fund the credit card company's next office party by paying exorbitant amounts in fees and interest.

When you think about it, money is the most important priority. Uh, oh, I can hear it now. "No way Scott. What about your health and family." Well, yes, of course. Nothing rivals the importance of your health, family, and those you care about. However, if you don't pay attention to the money, you could be putting your health and family in danger.

That's because money is used to make everything happen. Money is needed to pay the medical bills. Money is needed to send the kids to college. Money is needed secure a place to live and provide healthy foods. To ignore the importance of money is to be irresponsible to yourself and family.

It's okay to care about the money. Caring about your finances is caring about your health and caring about your family.

PS: I'm now available for speaking engagements. Until recently, I've only done media interviews (print, radio, TV), but a few people have encouraged me to start speaking about credit card and debt management in live seminars. So, if you are interested in hearing me speak at your association, library, school, group, etc., then please complete this form so we can talk about the details.

Cash-out to pay off cards or keep debt?
by Scott Bilker

Hi Scott,

I have a 30-year home mortgage and $14,000 in credit card debt. My mortgage has 28 years to go to pay off and is at 5.875 percent. My credit cards are at 3.99 percent for the lifetime of balance to 10.9 percent--all fixed rates. Should I refinance my home with cash-out to pay the credit cards off then freeze them? I'm 57 years old and earn approximately $26,000 per year salary. Any advice for me?


Finish reading article

"They raised my interest from 9.9% to 26.2%!"

Hi Scott,

Thank 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.

When I 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.

Now, 6 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.

Slowly, 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 myself.

Many, many thanks for doing what you're doing.


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

Household Math™: A penny paid is more than a penny earned
by Scott Bilker

How much is a penny really worth? When it comes to repaying debt, it is certainly true that every penny counts! Say you have a $100,000 mortgage at 7% for 30 years. The monthly payment is $665.30. How much money would you save by adding just one cent to your monthly payment?

Answer this problem

The bills can wait
by Terry Rigg

Have you ever wanted anything so much that you were willing to put off your bills to get it? A lot of people have and some do it month after month. The worst part of this is that these same people wonder why they are having money problems.

I'm not talking about putting off the bills to buy groceries or pay for necessities. I'm referring to those little things that you just have to have but really don't need.

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 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...

Read more at the DebtSmart Help Center

Book Review: "Master Your Money Type"
by Scott Bilker

Jordan Goodman's latest book, Master Your Money Type, will help you do just that. First, of course, you need to know your money type. He talks about many like, The Strivers, The Ostriches, The Debt Desperadoes (my personal favorite type), The Coaster, The High Rollers, and The Squirrels.

From the summary of Money Types...

Finish reading article

Loan Sharks
by Iwona Kurecka

In the world today, it is not at all unusual to find yourself short of the cash you need to pay your bills, feed your family and maintain a reasonable lifestyle. For every working stiff who runs out of money before they run out of week, there are unfortunately a number of shady characters willing to loan you all the money you need at an exorbitant interest rate. You will have to be careful to avoid these loan sharks when you find yourself in need of quick cash.

Loan sharks are not just something made up in...

Finish Reading Article


" Action is the foundational key to all success. Knowing is not enough! Lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know."
--Tony Robbins

Quotes from all previous newsletters


Cool Quote
Credit and Debt Statistics Database
Letter from the publisher
Cash-out to pay off cards or keep debt?
"They raised my interest from 9.9% to 26.2%!"
Household Math™: A penny paid is more than a penny earned
The bills can wait
More credit, more options
DebtSmart® Help Center
Book Review: "Master Your Money Type"
DebtSmart® Mortgage Comparison Calculator
Loan Sharks
DebtSmart® Resources
Subscribe/Disclaimer Information
Free DebtSmart® Column for in print publication, ezine, or web site
Hire Scott Bilker to speak
Publisher: Scott Bilker
Editor: Larissa S. Bilker
Assistant Editor: Denise Troy

ISSN 1538-6740


Gen P Debit Card Spending

Gen P (Generation “Plastic”--ages 18 to 24) uses debit cards to pay for 28.2 percent of their purchases compared to just 7.1 percent among those older than 45.
Credit and Debt Statistics Database
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DebtSmart® Mortgage Comparison Calculator
by Scott Bilker

Free PDF calculator allows you to compare your current mortgage to other mortgage options! No need to install new software! Calculator runs completely in the free Adobe Acrobat Reader!

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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 ©2006 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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