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DebtSmart® Email Newsletter
May 16, 2007: Issue #150

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


" Negotiating with your creditors by phone without studying successful call transcripts is like trying to fix your car without a looking at the manual."
--Scott Bilker
Quotes from all previous newsletters


Letter from the publisher
Cool Quote
DebtSmart® Recommended Products and Services
Jenni the Bill Collector
DebtSmart® Amazon aStore
Statistics: Huge Jump in Credit Card Debt
"I hadn't even asked yet...she just offered it!"
Household Math(tm): Future Savings
Stop Debt Collectors Cold!
Credit Secrets Bible
Gone in 4 Seconds!
More credit, more options!
Free DebtSmart® Column for in-print publication, ezine, or web site
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Publisher: Scott Bilker
Editor: Larissa S. Bilker
Assistant Editor: Denise Troy

ISSN 1538-6740

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Huge Jump in
Credit Card Debt

U.S. consumer credit rose by a much bigger than expected $13.46 billion in March as Americans loaded up on both credit card debt and closed-end loans for cars, holidays and education, a Federal Reserve Board report showed Monday. Consumer credit rose at a 6.7 percent annual rate in March to $2.425 trillion, while previously reported increases for February and January were revised higher, the Fed said. The February gain was revised to $5.56 billion from $2.97 billion, while January's was boosted to $8.42 billion from $6.61 billion previously.
Read more credit card and debt statistics

DebtSmart® Recommended

Dental Savings with No Limits
From $11.95 per mo. Includes Vision, Chiro & Rx. Save 20% to 80%.

Credit Secrets Bible
Raise your credit score! Learn how to fight back against those who are making your life difficult--and holding you back!

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


I'm creating a secondary backup list of all email newsletter subscribers. This will ensure that you always get the email newsletter. This is necessary because SPAM filters and other technical issues could prevent you from receiving my email. You should have received an email last week asking you to RECONFIRM your subscription. It is vital that you join this list, because I may switch to this system of delivery in the future.
If you did not receive that email, then please fill out the form here.

Next topic...health insurance! There is an alternative to traditional health insurance. It is called Consumer Driven Health Care (CDHC). I'm not talking about CDHC in the sense the Government does (that is still tied to the big insurance carriers). I'm talking about discount benefit plans that offer people a savings (often substantial) by paying a discounted fee at the time you receive service. Many plans have a large list of providers that have agreed to accept the discounted fees. Why would a provider accept a discounted fee? There are several reasons: no paperwork to file, no waiting period to get paid (anywhere from 90 to 180 days) by the insurance company (who, by the way, pays a discounted fee to the provider), and no outside interference on your treatment. With CDHC there are no co-pays, no deductibles, pre-existing conditions are accepted (with no penalties) and there are no limitations on treatment or visits.

CDHC puts health care where it should be, between the patient and the doctor. With CDHC, you pay the providers up front but at a significantly reduced rate (you can save 50% or more on medical, up to 80% on dental, etc.). In short, YOU and your doctor control your treatment, not the insurance companies. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's the best option for you. However, if you're looking for options in this area, and I know I am, then check out AmeriPlan to see if CDHC can save you money and improve your health services!

Lastly, check out this story sent in by DebtSmart reader Chuck Hart, Mathematics Instructor, Autry Technology Center.
"Scott: I had a personal story about making my credit card work for me. My wife and I planned an Alaskan cruise last summer. We timed the final payment to post just after the cutoff date of my Discover card. As a result, we kept the money in a money market account for 2 months and earned interest of $24.50. We earned a cash back bonus on my Discover card of $57.21. That means we saved $81.71 on the price of our cruise. I teach a Mathematics of Finance class to high school juniors and seniors. I have enjoyed using your newsletter as part of my class. I feel like my students are becoming really DebtSmart. Keep up the good work."

That's all for now!


Jenni the Bill Collector
by Scott Bilker

I received a letter from Jenni about Chris Peruzzi's article, Bad Customer Service. Turns out that Jenni is a bill collector. I found her comments to be quite interesting in that you can get an insight into the thinking of the typical bill/debt collector. I included my remarks for added entertainment.

Jenni: "I am a bill collector. What a lot of people forget is that what we do is our job."

I don't think anyone forgets that it's her 'job.' Jenni's collection victims also have jobs.

Jenni: "We do not come to your office and cuss you out because you wanted an 8:00 meeting. Under the FDCPA (fair debt collection practices act) we are legally allowed to call from 8:00 am until 9:00 pm your local time."

Of course Jenni didn't come to our office and cuss. It sounds like she would, if she could, which is why the law limits their contact.

Finish reading article

"I hadn't even asked yet...she just offered it!"

"I just wanted to pass along some success that I had recently while calling my credit card companies. First of all, I called and asked for a credit line increase so that I could transfer a high interest balance to a 4.82% APR. Not only did they increase my credit line, but they also let me know that they had a 3.82% APR available since I called.

I also called another card company to take advantage of another balance transfer offer. It was 3.9%, but it held a transfer fee of $99. When I called to activate the card and make the transfer, I was told that the balance transfer had a $99 fee, but that she would waive the fee if I did the transfer over the phone! I hadn't even asked yet...she just offered it!

Thanks so much for the information that you provide! I finally feel like I'm getting a handle on our debt!"

Susan McVay

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

Household Math(tm): Future Savings
by Scott Bilker

Kelly wins $25,000 in the lottery and decides to put this money away for the future. She deposits the cash in a money market fund and expects to earn an average of 4% APR for 10 years. Kelly's younger sister, Audrey, wants to accumulate the same amount of money as Kelly in 10 years, but Audrey doesn't have $25,000 lying around. Audrey decides to make monthly deposits at the same bank as Kelly and expects the same rate of return. How much does Audrey have to deposit each month to have the same amount as Kelly in 10 years?

Answer this problem

Stop Debt Collectors Cold!

Stop Debt Collectors Cold! Plus, for a limited time, 4 bonus reports:(1) How to Get Collection Accounts Off Your Credit Report; (2) How to Avoid Losing Your Home In A Foreclosure; (3) What to Do if You Are Behind on Your Car Payments; and (4) Confidential Interview With A Former Debt Collector

Read about stopping debt collectors

Gone in 4 Seconds!
By Sheriff Ken Jenne

This is a great video from Sheriff Ken Jenne of the Broward Sheriff's Office. You won't believe what the criminals are up to now. If you think that gas prices are ripping you off at the pump, then you HAVE to see this video! Not only is it possible to lose your cash-on-hand, but even worse--your identity!

BE SURE to send this link to all your friends!!!!

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!

See the ALL recommended cards

Credit Secrets Bible
by The Consumer Publishing Group

The Credit Secrets Bible contains more step-by-step, easy-to-learn, easy-to-use insider consumer credit secrets than any other home study course on the market. In fact, the information in the Credit Secrets Bible is so powerful, we have to disclose to you upfront that it is sold for informational purposes only.

If you don't already know, I'll be the first to tell you... banks, finance companies, bill collectors and credit card companies are some of the BIGGEST crooks in the world. If you don't know the secrets contained in the Credit Secrets Bible, you will pay tens of thousands of hard-earned dollars in extra bills, interest and fees, etc. Your money will be wasted (down the drain) for no reason other than you don't own the Credit Secrets Bible home study course.

Banks and other institutions who take your money, ruin your credit or deny you the money you need are very powerful. They make a business out of hurting people like you to make more money for themselves. And, the more they hurt you financially, the more powerful they become. But they won't be able to hurt you anymore! With the Credit Secrets Bible, I'll show you how to stop them dead in their tracks!

Read more about The Credit Secrets Bible

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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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