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DebtSmart® Email Newsletter
December 12, 2007: Issue #165

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


" It's God's will for you to live in prosperity instead of poverty. It's God's will for you to pay your bills and not be in debt."
--Joel Osteen

Quotes from all previous newsletters


Letter from the Publisher
Cool Quote
One Day Late, Yeah Right
Helping American Families Keep Their Homes
DebtSmart® Recommended Products and Services
Budget Leftovers
STATISTICS: Credit Utilization
"A Ray of Sunshine"
Household Math(tm): Debt Snowball (Myth or Magic)
Write your financial profile
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

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Credit Utilization

About 40% of credit card holders carry a balance of less than $1,000. About 15% are far less conservative in their use of credit cards and have total card balances in excess of $10,000. When we look at the total of all credit obligations combined (except mortgage loans), 48% of consumers carry less than $5,000 of debt. This includes all credit cards, lines of credit, and loans-everything but mortgages. Nearly 37% carry more than $10,000 of non-mortgage-related debt as reported to the credit bureaus.
Read more credit card and debt statistics

DebtSmart® Recommended

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Letter from the Publisher
by Scott Bilker


The end of the year is closing in fast! I cannot believe it's already December.

This is the time of year to start thinking about New Year's Resolutions. Many people plan to lose weight, quit smoking, pay off debt, and the list goes on and on. The only problem is that these plans are usually short-lived. How about starting your resolutions today! Don't wait until next year. It doesn't matter when you start as long as you are committed.

One of the main aspects of your credit that requires your attention is your credit score. Recently, I was interviewed by Chris Brisson for his program, 37 Days to Clean Credit. Chris' story is fantastic! He deleted nine inquiries, five negative accounts, four major default accounts, and one judgment. That boosted his credit score 135 points in just 37 days! You can learn more about Chris' program here.

"My husband and I have been using your methods for the past two months and have managed to reduce our credit-card debt by over $20,000, thus reducing our minimum monthly payments by nearly $700.00! THANK YOU!"
--Kelli W., Clinton Township, MI


One Day Late, Yeah Right
by Scott Bilker

I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!

A few years ago most credit card banks changed their policy of what "late" means. Now, "one day late is late," even "one minute late is late." It used to be that late was if your payment was due on the 1st but received on, say, the 20th. Not anymore. If you're 24 hours late, it's late, and you will be charged the late fee. Late fees have also been rising and some are now as high as $39!

What did I know?

Finish Reading Article


Interest Rate Reduction
One-on-one help to reduce your credit card interest rates. Interest Rate Reduction Mentoring (IRRM) is a program that allows you to learn firsthand what to say to your creditors and how to actually go about reducing your interest rates. This is done through  one-on-one mentoring sessions by phone. Learn more and get started today!

Helping American Families Keep Their Homes
by President George W. Bush

President Bush announced that representatives of HOPE NOW have developed a plan under which up to 1.2 million homeowners could be eligible for assistance. Many individual homeowners feeling financial stress have "adjustable rate mortgages," which typically start with a lower interest rate and then reset to a higher rate after a few years.

The HOPE NOW plan is designed to help subprime borrowers who can at least afford the current, starter rate on a subprime loan, but will not be able to make the higher payments once the interest rate goes up. HOPE NOW members have agreed on a set of new industry-wide standards to provide systematic relief to these borrowers in one of three ways...

Finish Reading Article and Watch Video

Budget Leftovers
by Terry Rigg

It is extremely difficult to setup a budget, especially when you are behind on some of your bills. Even if you can make your regular bills and expenses fit neatly into your budget, what can you do if you don't have the money to catch up?

I have listed several methods and circumstances below that may help manage setting up your budget and begin to pay those overdue bills. Since there are as many different budgets as there are people that try to set them up, this list may not be all inclusive. It may, however, give you some ideas that will fit your individual problem.

Finish Reading Article

"A Ray of Sunshine"

"A ray of sunshine: your books arrived! They are exactly what I hoped they'd be, and they tempt me to ignore all else, as I devour them. I'm starting with Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt, and, although I ordered it to learn how to help my sister and brother-in-law, I'm finding information that I can use to help myself, too. You were right to 'guarantee' that your 'books will help.' To paraphrase you, I've gotten mad, I'm getting smart--thanks to you--and I'll soon pick up that phone! My only regret is that I didn't think to ask you to autograph the books before you shipped them. Perhaps I'll have the opportunity to meet you someday, and I'll remedy that omission. Now, back to your phone calls..."


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

Household Math(tm): Debt Snowball (Myth or Magic)
by Scott Bilker

David Sheepsley has two credit cards with balances. Card A has a balance of $8,000 at 19.8% and minimum payments of $160 per month. Card B has a balance of $6,000 at 5.9% with minimum payments of $120 per month. David has a total of $400 per month to use for repaying his credit cards. What's the better plan for David?

Pay the most money possible per month to the lowest-balance card (B) first and make minimum payments to the highest-balance card (A) until the lower-balance card (B) is paid off. Then send the entire payment of $400 to Card A until that debt-repayment is completed.


Do the reverse. Pay the most money possible per month to Card A and make minimum payments to Card B until Card A is paid off. Then send the entire payment of $400 to Card B until that debt-repayment is completed.

Answer this problem

Write your financial profile
by Doris Dobkins

It's fun to read financial profiles. Humans, by nature, are curious about how much other people make and how they live with what they make.

Profiles can communicate someone's salary, how many children they have, how much they save, how big their mortgage payments are and what else they spend their money on. In the study of profiles, it's amazing to find that how much one saves has little to do with how much one makes.

Today, you get to write your own profile. It can be a very revealing exercise, and I encourage you to participate. Please take a moment and get a piece of paper and pencil. I'll wait for you.

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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