IN THIS ISSUE #167
Larissa S. Bilker
Editor: Denise Troy
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The value of credit card accounts at least 30 days
late jumped 26 percent to $17.3 billion in October from a year earlier at 17
large credit card trusts. That represented more than 4 percent of the total
outstanding principal balances owed to the trusts on credit cards that were
issued by banks such as Bank of America and Capital One and for retailers like
Home Depot and Wal-Mart.
37 Days to Clean Credit
How I Deleted 9 Inquiries, 5 Negative Accounts, 4
Major Default Accounts, 1 Judgment, and Boosted My Credit Score 135 Points In
Only 37 Days!
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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
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Letter from the Publisher
by Scott Bilker
I hope you had a wonderful New Year celebration!
How are those resolutions going? It's been
nine days, and you should be doing just fine-- working on paying off debts,
lowering your interest rates, you know the deal.
IN THE NEWS
FICO is changing their scoring model. Touted as FICO 08, Fair Isaac Corp. is
launching new mathematical process to compute our credit scores. This latest model will
make things better for people with good credit and more difficult for those
who repeat bad behaviors, such as paying late. As I always say, your credit
report is your financial résumé. You want to make sure it looks
good--always! Translation: pay on time! Even if you have to borrow from one
card to pay another, pay on time!
FICO Score Estimator
Speaking of the FICO score. FICO has a Score Estimator at their site. It's
pretty good. I took the short quiz, and it did estimate my score within 20
points. So, if you don't feel like shelling out the cash to get your score,
then try the estimator.
It's online here.
GUARD YOUR SNAIL MAIL!
This is just amazing. A couple towns over from me, a woman had her credit
card stolen from her mailbox by a neighbor.
Lacey woman charged in $2,500 credit swipe from neighbor.
SHOPPING TIP OF THE WEEK
"Hey, did you know you could go into most any retail store and offer to buy
anything at a 10% discount? If they refuse to give it to you, then you can
simply say you'll take your business elsewhere. And, 8 out of 10 times, as
you're walking away, they will call you back. A sale at 10% to them is better
than no sale at all. I applied that technique today while in Radio Shack, and sure enough, they said they'd give me a 10% discount. Pretty cool huh? We,
as consumers, can always negotiate. Sadly, many people do not realize this.
Why not go try it just for fun? You may be surprised."--Barry
"Google brought me here (DebtSmart.com)--thank heaven! I've needed you a
long time. You always look out for us. I'll be a regular. Thanks again!"--Teena
"Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, are your books
an eye opener. This should save me a bundle A BUNDLE as my Institute is an
advocacy of one about Sustainability and Green Technology community capacity
building. I WILL NOW BE MORE SUSTAINABLE. How much more productive a society
could we be if we knew this material about the workings of the money?!
Thanks!"--Melaine DeBo (founder of Windy River
"I love everything about it (DebtSmart.com).
I love being armed with knowledge about money."--Xervia
"Love your stuff. I'm a believer."--David
"I have enjoyed this email I get.
Excellent advice! I have learned more than I (ever) have about money and debt. I
wish it came to me more often than once a week!!"--Nancy
"I love this newsletter--with every
issue, I always take away at least one or two new or good pieces of
Problems with balance transfers
by Scott Bilker
I have gone through the trouble the past few
months to get a permanent, lower-interest credit card and also to get a
promotional rate on the new card to transfer balances ($5,000 to $12,000). I
go through the whole process and get approved for $1,000. I cancel the card
immediately, because it's just not worth it. I canceled a card with $29,000
credit earlier in the year because I didn't want to support the company.
What might be the problem?
Finish Reading Article
Accidentally late indeed
by Art Blanchet
"Accidentally" late indeed!
I had the same issue arise recently (that you talked about in One Day
Late, Yeah Right)--was running short on time (my card gives me
essentially a weekend to get the payoff--we don't keep a balance) to get my
check in the mail. No way can the bill just sit here a few days--we gotta move
Anyway, this one sat a few says, and I needed
to send it--destination was about 200 miles away--major city to major
city--but I still USPSed it registered mail requiring a signature
confirmation of delivery. Next statement--Voila!--a late payment fee of
I contacted the company and asked them why
and was informed the payment had arrived late. I countered with the tracking
information--emailed it to them--that showed the payment had arrived the day
before the due date and had the signature of one of their employees.
Finish Reading Article
VIDEO: Debit vs. Credit
by Stacy Johnson
More reasons why you should choose your credit
card over your debit card. 2006 was the first year that saw debit card purchases
top the one-trillion dollar mark. But when you head to the store, which kind
of plastic is best...debit or credit? According to money reporter Stacy Johnson,
it's a question of interest.
Play the Video
"Your books should be required reading..."
"My nose has been stuck in your books! Not since I
read Victor Hugo have I carried a book everywhere I went, and I'm just now
returning to the rest of the world, armed and ready for battle. (Your books
should be required reading for anyone opening a credit account, if not a
prerequisite for high-school graduation.) I'm about to call Discover to try to
get a late fee canceled on my mother's account. Two months ago, she
realized--just as the clerk rang up her transaction--that she'd gone over her
limit by $6.00. She immediately drove to the nearby Sears and paid cash to bring
her account below the limit, but--surprise!--Discover charged the overlimit fee
anyway. Since she didn't realize this, her next minimum payment left the balance
still over the limit, and she was charged another fee. I'm going to ask to have
both fees waived (I'll be glad if they'll waive at least one), and, while I'm
talking with Ms. Katy Didd, I'll also ask to have the interest rate reduced and
the limit raised."
Read about special offer for all three of Scott Bilker's best-selling books
Household Math(tm): Cutting the budget
Susan spends 30% of her income on housing expenses,
30% repaying her credit card debts, 20% on all taxes, 10% on groceries, 5% on
clothing, and saves what's left over. She decides that she wants to pay back her
debt more quickly, and to do that, she needs to do a few budget cuts. Susan cuts
the grocery bill by 25%, the clothing spending in half, and dedicates all the
money she used to save toward the credit card debts. How much, by percentage, of
her income is now being used for repaying credit card debt?
Answer this problem
Every Penny Counts--another thought
by Ron (DebtSmart Reader from Spokane)
Thanks for your most recent newsletter
article, Every Penny Counts. I am also of the mind that every penny does
count, and that leads me to responding today. Since buying and reading your
books, I've tightened my finances back up and have a plan to get my cards
paid off once again.
I've had credit cards since 1990 and never
paid interest until 2005, when I decided to become self-employed. The
credit card debt soon mounted. To say the least, I got in over my head and
have since gone back to work elsewhere while keeping my business on the side
by working out of my home.
Finish Reading Article
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