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ISSUE #175

Email Newsletter  

  April 30, 2008  


Scott Bilker
Signature
Scott Bilker, founder of DebtSmart
  

Hi,

Thank you to everyone who completed the survey about the new email newsletter format. I'll try to incorporate as many of your suggestions as possible into the email newsletter.

This issue is packed with info! That's one of the points you all made. You want more info, so here it is. I've included a bunch of interesting money-saving, money-making items that have caught my attention in the last two weeks.

Best,
Scott


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In This Issue

Cool Quote
What is Better? Fewer Cards with Higher Balances, or Many Cards with Smaller Balances?
Debtors Save More
Cameron Johnson
TIP: Labeling Your Credit Cards
Motivational Comments
Feeding a Family for $300 a month?
"Outraged and discouraged, I came across your website..."
10 Great Careers You've Probably Never Heard Of
Household Math(tm): Cash Flow
Get Stuff for Free
What to Know Before You File For Bankruptcy
Negotiate Your Hospital Bill
Top 10 Least Expensive Vehicles to Own
 

Cool Quote

"If medical science continues to prolong life, some of us may eventually pay off the mortgage."
--Jonathan Pond

More cool quotes from past issues


What is Better? Fewer Cards with Higher Balances, or Many Cards with Smaller Balances?
by Scott Bilker

Scott,

My husband and I are preparing to buy a new home. We want to clean up our credit card accounts to better our chances for a mortgage. We were considering paying off our credit cards with smaller balances using other credit cards.

What is better when your credit is being considered for a home loan--fewer credit cards with higher balances or more credit cards with smaller balances? The cards we are planning to pay off we are going to have closed so there are fewer credit accounts opened. Is that a smart move?

Christina

Finish reading this article


STATISTIC: Debtors Save More

Debtors outpace nondebtors in saving zero to 20 percent of income. But at the 20 percent-plus savings level, nondebtors leap ahead, with 18 percent saving at that level versus 11 percent for debtors.

More credit card and debt statistics


Cameron Johnson

I saw this young entrepreneur interviewed on TV, and then I checked out his website. What a great personal story of business success. Maybe the easiest way of debt is simply to earn "more money." Check out his background and book.

Read more about Cameron


TIP: Labeling Your Credit Cards

"When I sign up for a 0% APR credit card, I make sure that upon receiving the card and activating it, I speak with a customer representative. I have the representative tell me the month when the card comes off of the 0% introductory offer. As soon as I know the month, I place a label on the back of the actual credit card so that I do not lose track of the date. This allows me to plan out my finances accordingly, so that any balance left as the month nears is either transferred to a new 0% credit card or paid off. I also always make sure that any transfer of money is taken care of at least one month before the credit card due date. This practice takes the guessing out of whether or not a billing cycle that ends halfway through the month will be covered under the 0% offer."

--Adam Angelozzi


Motivational Comments

"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

"I was frightened by a number at a very early age, so I've grown up hating math. I somehow managed to pass all the math courses necessary to obtain my BS/BA, but math and finance still remained a mystery to me. Nothing I studied seemed to pertain to mathematical reality for me. You have made it easy to understand, useful and fun! Thank you!!!"
--Nancy Oakes

More readers comments


Feeding a Family for $300 a month?
by Tawra Kellam

I do something that most people think they can't do today. I feed my family of 5 for $300 a month. Most people say that's an impossible feat, but what boggles minds even more is that I do it without using coupons.

How do I do it? First, I use what I have. If I don't have milk in the house, I don't make a special trip to the store for it. The kids won't die from malnutrition if they miss drinking milk for a day or two. If I'm out of bread, I'll make some cornbread or muffins. If I'm out of fresh veggies, I will use canned or frozen instead. Stop going to the store for one or two things. I shop for food 2-3 times a month and that's it. You'd be amazed how much this saves on the cost of gas.

Finish reading the article


"Outraged and discouraged, I came across your website..."

Dear Scott,

I lost my promotional rate of 4.99% for the life of credit (American Express) over a month ago. (It changed to 18.99% in a split second). I was late with my payment, I admit. This happened for first time in my credit history. I did mark the bill as "PAID," but I didn't post the actual payment online. Life is complex, and sometimes things just don't work our way.

Anyway, I called customer service and requested to have my promotional rate reinstated. My request had been denied within 48 hours (I learned this today from CSR!!!! 4 weeks later); however, nobody from AE took the time to inform me about it!!! It seems that American Express deliberately kept this for themselves in order to charge high finance charges. I was charged twice in a row some $120 (I owe them about $7,000) in finance charges.

Outraged and discouraged, I came across your website and decided to try your books. I got them in the mail yesterday and educated myself overnight. Empowered and knowledgeable about my actual customer rights, I called customer service today AGAIN. I did recite them a couple to-the-point sentences of yours and stated clearly--in plain English--what I wanted. And, guess what: They apologized for not informing me about the denial of my request in a timely manner and were very "happy" to help in any way. note: As an ESL (English-second-language student) I appreciate ready-to-use sentences/examples.

Results of a single call: (1) Late fees of $38 waived without any further questioning; (2) Promotional rate 4.99% reinstated within 10 minutes while I was on hold; (3) The difference in the two interest rates credited back to my account

Call time: about 15 minutes. Total credited to account: $206.15 (but with my rate reinstated, I'll be saving much more). I had no difficulty dealing with CSR and lady on the phone was actually very helpful and understanding. I also called my other credit cards regarding the lower interest rate, and I was 100% successful.

I just want to say thank you for writing this money and life saving book. Money is extremely emotional. I never knew that; I'm in credit card debt for the first time in my life. I hold two bachelors in Finance and Management but had no idea that I have so much bargaining power as a customer of theirs! I will recommend your powerful stuff to everyone I know. Please Scott, continue the good work and if you can, advertise more.

Lenka

Learn how to "Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt"


10 Great Careers You've Probably Never Heard Of

I'm a big fan of embarking down new roads to financial freedom and career satisfaction. There are many great-paying jobs that you may not have considered or even heard about. Some you can do from home.

Read article here


Household Math (TM): Cash Flow
by Scott Bilker

Kim is trying to save $800 for tuition. She brings home $60 per week. Kim also has a total of $160 out-of-pocket expenses each month. How many months will it take her to save the money needed for tuition?

Answer this math problem


Get Stuff for Free

It may be used, but it's good and it works. You can trade stuff with people in your area. Recycle, save the planet, save money!

Find free stuff


What to Know Before You File For Bankruptcy
by Becky Schmitz

You may feel you don't have any other options. Maybe you owe several people money, your credit is maxed out, and you are falling deeper into debt, so you start to explore filing for bankruptcy. You thought you never would, but you've heard about it, maybe even someone you know has done it and the question you want to know is when should you? All types of bankruptcies exist: chapters for businesses, individuals, even a chapter for farmers and fishermen.

Finish reading this article


Negotiate Your Hospital Bill

You may be able to negotiate as much as 60% off you hospital bill if you're uninsured. Contact the patient account office or financial assistance office and make a deal. Hospitals want to settle and get something. If that fails, contact Bill Advocates to find an advocate in your area.


Top 10 Least Expensive Vehicles to Own

You will be surprised to find out how many cars are actually quite affordable to buy and maintain. Great article from Forbes.

Read about cars



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.

The DebtSmart Email Newsletter, ISSN 1538-6740, is written and published by Scott Bilker and edited by Larissa Bilker and Denise Troy. Please contact comments@debtsmart.com with any comments, problems, or concerns. (See the very bottom of the email to make changes to your subscription.)

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