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DebtSmart® Email Newsletter
October 31, 2007: Issue #162

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


" When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity."
--John F. Kennedy

Quotes from all previous newsletters


Letter from the Publisher
Cool Quote
My spouse doesn't agree!
DebtSmart® Recommended Products and Services
Debt Free: How I did it
STATISTICS: Household Credit Card Debt
"Bilker also touches on Credit Arbitrage"
Household Math(tm): Used Car Loan
My Son's Auto Loan
DebtSmart® Column for your use in-print, ezine, or website
DebtSmart® books and software, and other products
Update Your Email Address, Subscribe, Unsubscribe, and Disclaimer Information
Publisher: Scott Bilker
Editor: Larissa S. Bilker
Assistant Editor: Denise Troy

ISSN 1538-6740

Advertising Information

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Household 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.
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: 16 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).

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

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%.
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


Happy Halloween!

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 here.

Reader Comments
"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 Bova


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
by Scott Bilker

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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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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