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DebtSmart® Email Newsletter
January 24, 2007: Issue #142

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



" Never use the word 'can't' because you can, you just haven't done it yet."--Grandmaster Art Beins
Quotes from all previous newsletters


Letter from the publisher
Cool Quote
DebtSmart® Recommended Products and Services
Credit Junkie
DebtSmart® Amazon aStore
More credit card and debt statistics
"Thank you for saving my sanity" and other reader comments...
Green Bills and Debit Song
Household Math™: Mortgage Math
Stop Debt Collectors Cold!
The Credit Repair Kit plus bonus CD!
8 Ways to Consolidate Debt
More credit, more options!
Free DebtSmart® Column for in-print publication, ezine, or web site
Books, software, in-print and downloads
Archive of Email Newsletters online
Update-Subscribe-Unsubscribe-Disclaimer Information
Publisher: Scott Bilker
Editor: Larissa S. Bilker
Assistant Editor: Denise Troy

ISSN 1538-6740

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Borrowing to Stay Healthy

Low- and middle-income households with medical debt carried an average $11,623 of credit card debt, compared with $7,964 for those without medical debts on their credit cards. Twenty-nine percent of low- and middle-income households with credit card debt said medical expenses contributed to their current balances. Within that group, 69 percent had a major medical expense in the previous three years. Young adults, age 18 to 34, had the highest level of average credit card debt among those with medical debts--$13,303. Young adults without medical debts had an average credit card balance of $7,450. Consumers with medical debts are more likely to be called by bill collectors than those without medical debts--62 percent compared with 38 percent. Consumers with medical debt are more likely to forgo health care because of the cost, the report added.
Read more credit card and debt statistics

DebtSmart® Recommended

Discover® Platinum Wildlife

Intro Rate: 0.00%, Time Period: 12 Months, APR: 10.99%.

Advanta Platinum BusinessCard with Unlimited Rewards

Intro Rate: 0.00%, Time Period: 15 Months, APR: 7.99%.

Citi® Platinum Select® MasterCard

Intro Rate: 0.00%, Time Period: Up to 12 Months, APR: As low as 8.49%.

Blue from American Express®

Intro Rate: 0.00%, Time Period: 15 Months, APR: 4.99% (for life on transferred balances).

Advanta Life of Balance Platinum Card

Intro Rate: 2.99%, Time Period: Until Paid

Chase Platinum Visa®

Intro Rate: 0.00%, Time Period: 12 Months, APR: 14.24%.

Discover® Platinum Card
Intro Rate: 0.00%, Time Period: 12 Months, APR: 10.99%.

Letter from the Publisher
by Scott Bilker


Ready for this...there are more than 692 million credit cards in the USA. And these cards carry a total balance of 711 billion dollars! Doing a little math, that's $1,027 per card. So, if the average cardholder has 10 cards, the average debt is $10,270 per cardholder.

So ask yourself: "How do I compare to this average?" Of course, the number $10,270 is high enough. But if you're at four times that, then you know you have to start taking action to reduce that debt. Hey, even if you're at $10K, you should always be looking for ways to lower that number.

If you've been reading this email newsletter for a while, then you know that my strategy for reducing debt is to reduce the cost of debt--reduce the interest rates. And there is no better way to do that than to make the banks fight for your business. Having credit options is how you make the banks compete.

Or as Uncle Ben might say (for all you Spidy fans), "With great credit options comes great responsibility." That means that just because you have credit, it doesn't mean you have to use it. Only use your credit lines to reduce your debt by transferring balances between accounts.

PS: Be sure to check out the video by Rhett & Link in this issue. It's great!

Credit Junkie
by Scott Bilker


Mr. Bilker! I'm a big fan but would like to share and get your opinion on what happened to me when I balance transferred several accounts. I'm also a credit junkie so am very aware of the status of my credit reports. FYI, my credit reports have no negative accounts, and I want to emphasize all my payments are on time and I never go over the limit.

I paid off many higher-interest rate cards with some of my lower rate and 0% offers. When I did, instead of having several cards with less than 50% usage, I had several cards with 0% usage (the higher rate cards) and several with 70-85% usage (the lower rate cards).

What followed was a dramatic decrease in my credit score of 60 points due to "using at least 50% of credit limit on 5 credit cards." This drop caused alarm in the "risk" department at American Express as they decided to cancel my extended payment option though my 2 cards with them were left open.

I realize you have so many cards. This situation probably didn't impact you, but it has definitely impacted me. I thought it was important to note that even when my overall credit ratio usage went down and is considered positive, the fact that over 50% of the credit limits on several accounts was used resulted in such an extremely damaging score drop.

My question is this: Have you dealt with this situation with your clients and what have you done, if anything, to deal with it?

Again, thank you very much! I hope to hear from you soon!


Finish Reading Article

"Thank you for saving my sanity" and other reader comments...

"Thanks to your book and website! We are getting very close to getting all of our credit cards paid off. Your organization provides a great service!"--Brenda

"Hi Scott, I opened your Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt, and called Capital One and got my 19.8% reduced to 14.9%--thanks for your help!"--Joshua LeBeau

"Thank you for saving my sanity about a year ago with your book. I have since done GREAT advances on my credit cards. I found you before it was too late."--Eileen

"I wanted to say thanks to you--your teachings have undoubtedly taken thousands of dollars out of the credit card companies pockets and put the money into my pocket. I view this as a grand thing."--Craig K.

"I found your website and am so glad I did! I was feeling like an irresponsible person because of this debt situation, but after reading some of your articles and questions from other readers, I am starting to feel a bit better. Thanks and keep up the good work!"--Raquel V.

"With one phone call to Citicards and a minor threat of moving to a different card, they did not lower my interest rate (14.5%) forever, but offered an introductory rate of 1.99% for nine months. You are correct about making the calls. Also a good credit history helped."--Rush Kittle

"It is very informative. I looked at my statement and realized I was paying 17.5% on my 5,700 credit card loan. I found your site and followed your instructions. It worked. I received their promotion for 5.2% for the first 6 months and then 11.5%. They said to call back after 6 months to find out about any new promotions. Thanks so much!"--Mark Picone

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

Green Bills and Debit Song
by Rhett & Link

In their first made-for-podcasting endeavor, Rhett and Link face-off as a flower and a caribou over the age-old question: "What is the superior form of legal tender?"

This video is hilarious! I love finding stuff like this about money. It just goes to show how much people are thinking about credit cards. Let's face it, when a caribou and flower are giving credit card advice, it's time to pay attention.

Finish reading article

Household Math™: Mortgage Math
by Scott Bilker

The interest rate on my mortgage is 7% APR with monthly payments of $623.00. The balance today was $59,200.00 prior to the monthly payment being credited on this day. What will the balance be on the mortgage next month immediately after the monthly payment is applied to the balance?

Answer this problem

Stop Debt Collectors Cold!
Stop Debt Collectors Cold! Plus, for a limited time, 4 bonus 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
  --> Confidential Interview With A Former Debt Collector

Read about stopping debt collectors

8 Ways to Consolidate Debt
by Gerri Detweiler

Next to winning the lottery, a debt consolidation loan is a debtor's dream. With one monthly payment and a fixed monthly payment schedule, you can actually see an end to those monthly payments.

In reality, consolidating bills isn't always easy. If you have a lot of debt, it can be hard to find a consolidation loan at a lower interest rate. And if you're not careful, you can end up deeper in debt than when you started.

Your goal in consolidating your debt should be to lower your overall costs. To accomplish this, there are two things to keep in mind...

Finish Reading Article

More credit, more options!

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!

The Credit Repair Kit plus bonus CD!
by Joe Sainz

What do you think of when you hear the words "credit repair"? I think of scam! That's because many companies have made promises to "fix" people's credit but then simply stole their money. However, there are still reputable sources for people to learn how to straighten out their credit reports.

Your credit report is your financial résumé and everyone, from lenders to insurance agents, reviews it. It's vital that there are no mistakes shown, and if there are, that they're removed!

There are many books on the subject, but my personal favorite is The Credit Repair Kit. That's because Joe Sainz offers great practical advice for correcting errors. Plus, he includes a Credit Booster CD-ROM with the book!

If you're having trouble getting the rates you deserve because of your credit report, then you must read this book!

Read more about The Credit Repair Kit plus bonus CD...

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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 ©2007 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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"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

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