When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is
composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents
--John F. Kennedy
Quotes from all previous newsletters
IN THIS ISSUE #162
Larissa S. Bilker
Editor: Denise Troy
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Credit Card Debt
The majority of U.S. households have no credit card
debt. About a quarter have no credit cards, and an additional 30% or so pay off
their balances every month. Of the households that do owe money on credit cards,
the median balance was $2,200--meaning half owe more, half less. Only 8.3% of
households owe $9,000 or more on their cards.
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
Credit Secrets Bible
|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.
Letter from the Publisher
by Scott Bilker
DebtSmart Reader in Kiplinger's
Back in the 8/8/07 email newsletter issue, I asked people to submit their DebtSmart story for possible inclusion in an upcoming Kiplinger's
Personal Finance Magazine story. One of our readers, Cindy Campbell, was
selected and interviewed for an article. You can read it in the November 2007
issue, on newsstands today! She talks about her story with finance writer,
Kim Lankford. Additionally,
Cindy's story, written by her, appears in this
issue of the DebtSmart Email Newsletter.
Your Home, Your Money
I was interviewed by Bill Quigley and Art Blanchet on the topic of freezing
credit reports. Bill and Art are real estate professionals and co-Hosts of
Your Home-Your Money Live Talk Radio, Wisconsin's acclaimed talk
radio real estate finance show. Tune in
here and listen to the interview.
Credit Report Freeze for All States
The big credit bureaus, Equifax and Experian, recently joined TransUnion to
allow consumers in all 50 states to freeze their credit files. Experian's
service, which starts 11/1/07, is the latest win for anyone who wants to
take the first steps in stopping identity theft.
More DebtSmart in the News
Also on newsstands now is Kiplinger's Success With Your Money issue.
DebtSmart is highlighted with tips for negotiating debt in Tom Anderson's
article, Don't Let Debt Get You Down. You can read that article online
"I have been a DebtSmart reader for quite a few years, and your newsletter
teaches me something new each time I receive it. I really have to say 'WOW'
just when I thought there wasn't really much new for me to learn, I get a
big surprise and realize; there is so very much more for me to learn from
DebtSmart. Keep the information coming; we all have something to learn from
each one of your newsletters. A day without DebtSmart is a day without
knowledge of financial savvy that we all need so desperately, in this day
and time"--Diane Ayers, Lambsburg, VA
"I just want to say Thank You for all the
info that you have to offer. It is the best. Again--Thank You!"--Jeanne
"Great resource (DebtSmart.com). It also
inspires the confidence to make those calls to the card companies."--Jeff
My spouse doesn't agree!
by Scott Bilker
I have debts that have different interest
rates: 9 percent, 10 percent, 28 percent and 29 percent. I want to
consolidate my debt at 16 percent interest rate. But my spouse doesn't
agree! Is this a wise move on my part? If I do this, we will reduce our
monthly payment from $1,700 to $612. But, we will end up paying twice the
amount of the principal of the loan over a ten-year term.
What I can't figure out is how much we will
pay in interest if I don't consolidate all the debts and how long will it
take us to pay them off when we can only afford minimum payments each month
on all the cards?
Finish Reading Article
Debt Free: How I did it
by Cindy Campbell
About seven years ago, I
sat down and knew for sure I was in debt. I had credit cards that were over
the limit, due to me charging and charging, but not paying.
I used to write checks at the grocery stores in
order to get cash back. I knew I would be paid within a day or so and that
the money would be there when the check cleared, just not at the time it was
written. I was so deep in debt.
I would submit credit card offers all the
time, and over time, I would get rejected and wondered what the problem was.
So at the tender age of around 20, with a credit score that had to be in the
400's, I decided I needed to make a change--and quickly.
Finish Reading Article
"Bilker also touches on Credit Arbitrage"
"The man has 80 credit cards! That may seem to be a
crazy amount to most people, and it's one at which most financial advisers would
shudder, but to do what he wants to do with the industry (save and make money),
80 credit cards--maybe more--are needed. Scott Bilker has an interesting take on
the massive credit card industry: 'The banks are at our mercy!' That may seem
absurd to those of us who have piled up the average debt of $8,500 or more on a
Macy's or Citibank Platinum card, but that's his take. He's proven it with over
400 minutes of transcripts of interactions between him or his friends and the
credit card companies. Bilker is also quite humorous--his New York mentality
shows up in witty comments about the industry: if you're late a couple times,
your APR may go up to 29.99% and you could get a better rate in North Jersey
with the mafia, he says. Bilker also touches on Credit Arbitrage, which is a way
to turn a money-losing situation into a moneymaker. All-in-all, this is a
fascinating sociological and economics lesson that is well-recommended."
--Joseph SB Morse, author of
How to Take Advantage of the People Who Are Trying to Take
Advantage of You
Read about special offer for all three of Scott Bilker's best-selling books
Household Math(tm): Used Car Loan
You're ready to go out and buy another used car.
After finding the right car, which cost slightly more than you originally
planned, including all the fees, the total amount financed is $16,000. You know
that the monthly payment for an $8,000 3-year loan at 8% APR is $250.70. What is
the monthly payment for $16,000, if the rate and term of the loan are the same?
Answer this problem
My Son's Auto Loan
by Gary Foreman
I bought a car under my name for my son.
After 4 months of payments, now he says he can't afford it. There are 6 years
on the car loan. Is there anything that can be done. I can't keep the car. I
have a car loan myself. How do I get out of the loan?
Finish Reading Article
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