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DebtSmart® Email Newsletter
April 2, 2008: Issue #173

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


" It saves a lot of trouble if, instead of having to earn money and save it, you can just go and borrow it."
--Winston Churchill

Quotes from all previous newsletters


Letter from the Publisher
Cool Quote
Will a debt settlement adversely affect our credit rating?
DebtSmart® Recommended Products and Services
Budgets and Credit Cards
"Your books should be required reading..."
Household Math(tm): What Happened to the Other Dollar?
Just Say "No" to Spending Pressure
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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Debt Types

Among the majority of Americans (61 percent) who carry some sort of debt from month-to-month outside of mortgages, credit cards are the most frequently cited form of debt (45 percent). One-third have car loans; one-fifth have home equity loans or lines of credit, and 16 percent carry student loans.
Read more credit card and debt statistics

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Letter from the Publisher
by Scott Bilker


Consumer reporter, Nydia Han, interviewed me for a story that aired Monday night on ABC's Action News in Philadelphia, PA. You can check out the video and story here or by clicking on my picture on the right.

I ran across a great TV show called, BizKids. It's focused on educating children about money. They cover everything from credit to investing to achieving financial goals and becoming an entrepreneur. Check it out. It's very well done.

This is an email from a DebtSmart reader with advice on forcing banks to reduce their rates:


Lower Interest Rate Success Story

I have been trying for I don't know how long to get Bank of America to lower the rates on two cards. They were at 25.74% and 22.49%. Every time I'd call, I'd get nowhere with the representative and always ask for a supervisor. However, each time I would be told there was no supervisor available to speak to me and they would be happy to take my information and have a supervisor call me back.

This happened every time I called. The other day was the last time. So I decided to lodge a complaint through the Better Business Bureau about my situation. The very next day, I was contacted by someone high enough up at BofA to apologize for the customer service I received. Furthermore, he had lowered my rate to 17.99% fixed. Now this is still a very high rate although it is much of an improvement over 22.49and 25.74%.

I consider this a success, and I think this tactic should be part of the toolbox to use when you get nowhere with these usurious bank charges.

Jeremy E. Portnoff


Nice job, Jeremy, and thanks for sharing your story!


"This is the first time I have received any info about DebtSmart.com, and I am enjoying reading and reading and reading......great stuff!!"--Linda

"Scott--Great newsletter and website. Your advice has already helped me, and I am looking for more great tips and tactics."--James

"I enjoy the email letters very much and I think you do a great service to many people. It is disconcerting to me to know that many people obviously need the advice you offer free each letter, as it seems to me that more people should already know much of what you offer. So please keep up the good work."--Jay Dussinger

"Very educative and interesting website recently visited. I booked into my favorites."--Freddy

"Congrats on another outstanding newsletter, Scott. You're truly a financial genius who is outstanding in your field. I love all the meaningful, sensical, enlightening, meaningful & 'Cool Quotes' you also provide. Keep up the great job and service you're providing, as America needs it."--Barry Wainwright

"I love this site. It's helped me in getting debt free. =)"--Joseph Quilantang

"Very informative and helpful. I'm glad I stumbled upon it. Maybe it was faith."--Shelley

Will a debt settlement adversely affect our credit rating?
by Scott Bilker


We are drowning in debt--over $80,000 in credit card debt, some at over 30 percent! We are taking a second mortgage out on our house to pay it off. Should we ask the credit card companies to lower our payoff amount for paying off the balance in cash? Will this adversely affect our credit rating? Even a 10 percent reduction would pay for a car for my son. Your advice is appreciated!


Finish Reading Article

Budgets and Credit Cards
by Gary Foreman


I was hoping you can help me solve a problem I have encountered while trying to live on a budget. I have created a budget with a fixed amount that can be spent on certain items, i.e. entertainment. At times I go over this amount. I charge everything on my credit card, in order to receive a cash back bonus. My bill arrives the month after I overspend. That affects the cash flow for the next month, not the overspent month.

I can't figure out how to balance my budget, because my statements do not run on the calendar month like my budget, but it goes from the 11th to the 11th of every month. My problem is applying my budget to real life, because I still want to use my charge card to pay for everything. Can you please help me figure out this problem? I have tried over and over to figure it out, and I'm stuck.


Finish Reading Article

"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): What Happened to the Other Dollar?
by Scott Bilker

Three men checked into a hotel room and were charged $30 for which they paid $10 each. The next day, the manager realized that the men had been overcharged since the real price is $25 for the room. The manager gave the bellhop $5 to return to the three men. On the way to their room, the bellhop decided to keep $2 for himself so he wouldn't have to make change. The bellhop gave $1 to each man. The three men had now paid $9 each, or a total of $27. This, plus the $2 the bellhop kept for himself, makes a total of $29. What happened to the other dollar?

Answer this problem

Just Say "No" to Spending Pressure
by Nancy Twigg

Imagine the scene: One Sunday morning at church, you are approached by the child of a friend in your Bible class. His school is selling "Pizza Heaven" coupon books to raise money for the band. You don't frequent that restaurant, but the money seems to be going to a good cause. After all, he is your friend's son. What do you do?

If that scenario isn't familiar to you, how about this one: A friend from work sells kitchen gadgets and accessories on the side. Because she's a single mom, you know she needs the extra money. Yet, you feel the items are overpriced. She's invited you to several of her home demonstration parties and you feel that you really should attend at least one. What do you do?

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 website. 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 website 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 ©2008 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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