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ISSUE #201

Email Newsletter  

  April 29, 2009  

Scott Bilker
Scott Bilker, founder of DebtSmart


Here's a note I received from DebtSmart Reader, Rush Kittle:


Just wanted to let you know about the change at Capital One. They had sent me a letter increasing my interest rate unless I opt-out. I tried to talk to them, but they wouldn't change, so I opted out.

About a week later, I received a letter stating that the first letter had been a mistake. They were not going to change the terms. I called and was told this was correct and I could reinstate by credit card with the same terms.

I think they made a mistake with me and 50,000+ people that opted out. Someone got smart and looked at all of the good customers canceling their cards. Now if only some of the credit card companies would understand the good customers they are losing.




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In This Issue

Cool Quote
Fighting an Increasing Rate
STATISTIC: Penalty Fees in 2008
The Interview That'll Bag a Job
Credit Cards for College Students Video
"I saved my sister $566.17 in less than 2 hours!"
With This Debt, I Thee Wed
Household Math™: Sale or gas savings?
Budgeting 101
6 Smart Ways to Stop Money Stress in Your Marriage

Cool Quote

"Success is defined by oneself by setting attainable goals and reaching them."

--Richard Bayha

More cool quotes from past issues

Fighting an Increasing Rate
by Scott Bilker


I had a card that had a fixed rate of 5% on my balance. I closed the account years ago when I started taking control of my debt. Since this was the lowest rate of the cards I had, I was only paying the minimum and concentrating instead on paying off other high interest credit. I received a notice with one of my invoices that they would be increasing the rate to 20% and that I basically didn't have a choice in the matter (fine print). I transferred the balance over to other cards that would have a lower APR than the 20% they would be imposing; however, this severely limited my available credit for emergency purposes.

Just wanted to know if it is legal for them to increase the rate on a closed account and if there was any other option for me to consider. Obviously, this would be information for any future similar situations. Thanks!


Finish reading the article

STATISTIC: Penalty Fees in 2008

MasterCard, Visa and other bank card customers paid $14.6 billion in 2008 just in penalties--such as late payments and over credit limit fees.

More credit card and debt statistics

The Interview That'll Bag a Job

In recent weeks, recruiters for Consolidated Container Co. have seen job candidates arrive up to an hour early for interviews. Other candidates have alluded to financial hardships while in the hot seat, and one person even distributed bound copies of documents describing projects he completed for past employers.

These sorts of tactics aren't exactly winners.

In today's ultra-competitive job market, even getting an interview is a feat. Yet recruiters and hiring managers say many unemployed candidates blow the opportunity by appearing desperate or bitter about their situations---often without realizing it

See story here

Credit Cards for College Students Video
by kk shield

Very well done video that warns college students about credit cards. This humorous look at how some students may view credit teaches practical lessons that are worthy of college credits.

Finish reading the article

"I saved my sister $566.17 in less than 2 hours!"

I am helping my younger sister get control of her finances by using a $5,000 windfall. She has 11 credit cards totaling $15,000, one of which she had already entered into a payment agreement with, and the other 10 were all 60 days past due. I got your book for her, read the chapter on paying off or settlement of debts. I called 4 companies in less than 2 hours. Two of the accounts would only waive 2 late fees; another waived 4 months of fees ($170.30) and the 4th reduced the balance by 25% = total savings $566.17 and the latter 2 are keeping the account open and NOT reporting negatively to any credit bureau! SO GLAD I got this book. Can't wait to see what will happen with the remaining 6 accounts! After I get my sister's finances straightened out, I'm going to tackle lowering my interest rates!


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

With This Debt, I Thee Wed

If there's a money matter more likely to cause conflict for couples -- maybe even divorce -- it's debt.

Being in love and in hock is no way to go through a marriage, because being in hock might just put the kibosh on the love, particularly in the early years. Debt, it turns out, is a leading cause of family strife during the first few years of marriage, according to Creighton University's Center for Marriage and Family.

That doesn't mean debt will necessarily...

See story here

Household Math (TM): Sale or gas savings?
by Scott Bilker

How much are you really saving to be there for that sale? This is a true situation at our house. My wife drives a Dodge Ram, it gets 12 mpg (miles per gallon). Gas in our area is $2.45 per gallon. The mall is 18 miles each away. If she cuts back and only goes to the mall once a week, instead of twice a week, how much would she save in one year? (Steve, DebtSmart Reader, submitted this question.)

Answer this math problem

Budgeting 101
by Scott Danger

Even a CPA thinks this topic is boring. So why did I choose this topic to discuss? Because unless you have an unlimited supply of cash and savings, it is probably something you should think about and consider. Most people think of a budget as a set of rules that tell you where you can and more often can't spend your money. I try to think of a budget as a tool--something you use to achieve a goal. Maybe your goal is a special vacation or a new house. Maybe it's saving for your kids college education or your retirement. Or maybe it is much more basic such as paying your monthly bills or paying off your credit card debt. Whatever your goal may be, a budget can help you achieve it.

To develop a budget, you need to...

Finish reading this article

6 Smart Ways to Stop Money Stress in Your Marriage

Tough economic times strain your wallet and your relationship. Here's every couple's guide to finding--and keeping--financial harmony.

I knew my husband and I were in big trouble when I heard about the ukulele.

A friend told me her husband had spent $500 on a ukulele and kept it hidden for two months. Money had become such a sore subject that they'd completely stopped talking about it, so he was afraid to tell her about his impulse buy. And when he finally fessed up, she flipped. Financial and relationship chaos ensued.

This story gave me a cramp in my...

See story here

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 ©2009 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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