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||Refinancing your mortgage
||STATISTIC: How Students Use Credit Cards
||ID Theft Expert: A Consumer's Guide to ID
Theft Awareness and Avoidance
||Paying Your Bills On Time
||"Citibank did try to up my rate by
||You can make money on YouTube
||Household Math™: Job Offers
||Credit Card Minimum Payments
||Ten Tips for Boosting Your Credit Score in
"You don't need no credit card to ride this train."
More cool quotes from past issues
With the fed lowering rates, people are asking me about
refinancing their mortgage. The decision is a math problem--it's that simple.
I've included DebtSmart custom software to go along with this video/article...
You should always be thinking about refinancing because
your mortgage is probably the most expensive purchase you'll ever make. Notice
that I didn't say your house was the most expensive purchase. That's because
when you took a mortgage, you purchased that money to pay for the house. The
purchase of that money is paid by the interest charges.
You may have paid $150,000 for the house, but you
purchased that $150,000 from a bank for, let's say, 7% APR over 30 years, with
monthly payments of near $1,000 per month, costing you a total of $360,000.00.
That's $150,000 for the house and $210,000 for the money to buy the house!
Watch video with high-speed connection (Cable Modem)
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Transcript of article
Nearly two-out-of-three (66%) students reporting having at
least one credit card. Thirty percent (30%) reported that for their primary
card, they were either a co-signer or their parents paid the bill.
Of remaining students paying their own bills, just over
half of the remainder reporting (36% of the total) stated that they paid their
own primary card bills in full each month. The other half of students paying
their own bills, (34% of the total) stated that they carried a balance on their
When asked how they used their cards, a question for which
multiple entries were allowed, more than half (55%) reported that they used them
for "day-to-day-expenses. The same number (55%) reported using them for books.
The next highest categories reported were "weekends and pizza" and "emergencies"
but very few consumers limited their response to "emergencies." Nearly
one-quarter (24%) reported that they had used their cards to pay for college
More credit card and debt statistics
ID Theft Expert: A Consumer's Guide to ID Theft Awareness
The FTC estimates that as many as nine million Americans
have their identities stolen each year, so chances are high that you or someone
you know has fallen victim to what has become one of America's fastest-growing
crimes. While there are no guarantees as far as prevention, there are certain
steps every consumer can and should be taking – before and after the fact – to
greatly reduce their potential risk.
See story here
You've heard it before. "You always have to pay your bills
on time or it will hurt your credit rating." The fact is that not paying your
bills on time can also cost you a bunch of money.
The last time I checked, being late on a credit card
payment can cost you as much as $29 each time. In some cases, this is more than
Most banks and loan companies also charge some sort of
late fee. Even my electric company tacks on 10% if you don't pay on time.
The bad part of this is that most of the time, making late
payments can be avoided. That's because they are simply a result of a lack of
organization. If your bills and receipts aren't kept organized, there is a good
chance you will eventually be late on a payment.
Finish reading the article
First of all, I just want to say that I think you are
awesome! And I want to thank you for what you do. I look forward to your
newsletters each month.
Secondly, I did buy your books and they have served me
quite well over the past few years. I've gotten very good at negotiating with
the credit card companies.
I thought I would mention to you that Citibank did try to
up my rate by sneaking it onto my November statement. It's a good thing I've
learned to look over my statements each month, or I may have missed this. I
called Citibank immediately and got a not-so-friendly rep who threatened that if
I opt-out, my rate could possibly go to the default rate. I told her that my
understanding was they couldn't raise the rate THAT high without reason and that
I pay on time every month so I doubted her story. She backed off but wouldn't
budge when I tried to ask for a lower rate, and then a supervisor. So I got off
the phone with her and decided to try later. I called today and the rep this
time was very pleasant. She wouldn't help me with a lower rate so I asked to
speak to a supervisor. She said she could transfer me, but she assured me that
this increase was policy and nobody would be able to adjust the rate. The
supervisor was rather friendly and proceeded to tell her that I am a longtime,
satisfied (until now), loyal customer and that I would hate to have to close out
my account over this. She agreed and mentioned that they (Citibank) have now
given managers approval to negotiate rates (gee, what a surprise?!). I currently
have a 4.97 rate, and she came back with a 8.96 rate to keep the account open
saying that was they best she could do. I told her that I would really like to
think that over and she said that would be fine and that the 8.96 should still
be available when I call back. I still think they can do better, so I'm going to
call again in a few days to see if I can get them down even lower.
I thought this might help for people who subscribe to your
newsletter to know that Citibank is doing some negotiating (but then, you
probably already knew that!) and that people could at least give that a try
before opting out.
Thanks again for everything.
Learn how to "Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt"
You can make money on YouTube
Making videos for YouTube--for three years, a pastime for
millions of Web surfers--is now a way to make a living.
One year after YouTube, the online video powerhouse
invited members to become "partners" and added advertising to their videos, the
most successful users are earning six-figure incomes from the Web site. For
some, like Michael Buckley, the self-taught host of a celebrity chatter show,
filming funny videos is now a full-time job.
Mr. Buckley quit his day job in September after his online
profits had greatly surpassed his salary as an administrative assistant for a
music promotion company. His thrice-a-week online show "is silly," he said, but
it has helped him escape his credit-card debt.
See story here
This question is from my son's 3rd-grade, New Jersey
Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK) sample test.
You have to choose between two different job offers for
the same four-day period. The first job pays $5.00 each day for the four days.
The second job pays $1.00 for the first day, and each day after the first, you
will be paid twice the amount you received the previous day. Which job will pay
you the greatest amount?
Answer this math problem
A couple of months ago I read an article about getting
finances under control. According to the article, you can double the minimum
monthly payment on a revolving charge and that account will be paid in full in
36 months regardless of the amount. How could that be possible? Especially
considering how "minimum" most minimum monthly payments are.
Finish reading this article
Ten Tips for Boosting Your Credit Score in 2009
The worsening economic crisis has put more pressure on
consumers and their credit than ever before. Credit scores should be a top
priority for consumers because it is the most important factor in determining
creditworthiness. Credit expert Kenneth Lin offers ten new tips for improving
your score in 2009.
As 2008 draws to a close, consumers remain concerned about
how larger economic issues are affecting them. Many are turning to their credit
score as a barometer of their financial health because they understand that a
higher score can save them thousands of dollars in credit card and loan
See story here