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Tuesday, July 16, 2024   
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"Revolving debt in the U.S., which consists mostly of credit card debt, totaled about $800 billion 5 years ago. According to a report from the Federal Reserve, revolving debt grew to nearly $1 trillion through April of this year. You'll find strategies for managing credit cards and other loans at DebtSmart.com, a site created by Scott Bilker, author of several books including Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt. Bilker believes mastering math is key to mastering money. 'It is essential to know how to calculate, in advance, all the terms of a loan,' he says. 'You need this information to compare different credit agreements and determine which is best for your unique situation.' His website includes many Household Math quizzes with solutions and tips. But Bilker also follows a strategy that goes against the grain of other financial experts. He's a proponent of 'punishing' uncooperative credit card companies by signing up for several cards and moving your debt around. 'You shouldn't accept being treated poorly by any bank,' he says. 'I let them know that they will give me that low-rate deal, they will treat me right, or I'll just use one of my other 79 credit cards instead.' DebtSmart.com provides dozens of articles by Bilker and other authors in such categories as Balance Transfers, Credit Counseling, Credit Reports, Debt Collection, and Personal Stories. You also can sign up for a free email newsletter and watch videos of Bilker giving advice on various television programs."
—Thomas Pack, ThirdAge.com, "The Best (Free and Cheap) Sources for Tips on Frugal Living: Debt Management"

"THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I don't know how to say it any clearer then that!! Thanks to your website and books I have been able to reduce my overall credit card debt from $35K plus to just over $15K and my highest interest rate is at 2.99% and that balance is only $6200. The remainder is at .99% or 0%. I am now able to put money into a savings account, two IRA's, and my 401(k) plan while still paying all the bills. We are a single income family of four, paying a mortgage, with all the household bills that come with that as well as all the credit card payments made each and every month with extra payments sent as well all on only $80K a year. Not sure were we would be if it I hadn't found your website and your wonderful books with words of wisdom. It wasn't easy for my family to do what we did, but we have done it, and learned some very valuable lessons. The most important of which is, don't purchase what you can't afford to pay for! Again thank you for all you do to help others deal with the credit mess their lives are in, often times at their own doing. Keep up the good work, it is helping others"
—Tracy Mundy

"Scott, I have been reading/enjoying your site for quite awhile. I have written you and you have assisted me with a question I had about debt. The reason I am writing today is to say how much I LOVE your advice and caring attitude. When the writer said she was not sure about buying your book, you did NOT do like most people and say 'You must buy the book' You simply said you have a money back guarantee and suggested the library. This really made me realize even more so that you genuinely care about people and you are not out to make a buck. Scott, keep up the good work."
—Nichole Jefferson

"I love DebtSmart and wish for more practical tips on managing this nightmare problem in our life."
—Chris Johnson

"I always look forward to your newsletter."
—Peggy Charbonnet

"Great job and love this website!"
—Chris Johnson

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

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

“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.”

“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, Retiree (U.S. Federal Government)

“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.”

"I like this site a lot. It is so helpful, and I've been searching for a site with info like this. We have a 46% debt-to-income ratio and must make a plan and change some things up now, and the articles contained herein are so helpful. Thank you so very much!"
—DebtSmart Reader

"Nice website. Thanks for the helpful information & great articles."
—DebtSmart Reader

"Thank you for the excellent advice and common sense tips to help us get out of debt and stay out of debt! Much appreciated!"

"Fortunately, I am debt free and likely one of the reason I read your newsletter to begin with. I especially like the articles on actual experiences from people in debt."
—Gerardo Avalos

"I have been a subscriber of your newsletter for about four months now, and I must say, this is one of the best newsletters I get in my inbox every week! I have yet to get as much valuable information in one place as I get from DebtSmart. Keep up the good work!"
—Jennifer Nalleweg

"Great site! Fortunately, we have very little outstanding debt that we can't pay off every month. But we can always learn more to increase our assets!"
—Nancy McDonald

"Thank you, thank you, thank you, for starting DebtSmart.com and keeping it going!"

"L O V E L O V E L O V E it!"

"I love it. I read it regularly and have transformed my entire debt/financial picture by applying for the credit cards and getting some great ones: AmEx Blue, Discover, Capitol One."
—DebtSmart Reader

"Great stuff! I am reading and following ideas to make my life (and family's) easier and better quality—faster!!!"

"I am new to this site but am very impressed so far. Thanks for all of the info!"
—Dhyana Towell

"Dear Scott, The other day I asked for your help in getting rid of a past-due charge and an overlimit charge, which came from the fact that I was past due. I hadn't got my statement and that caused me to be $75 in the hole. I didn't think I should have to pay that fee, and you agreed! You told me to explain it to whoever was on the phone, and if they didn't budge, I should ask for their supervisor. Of course, the first person said there was 'no way' these charges would be removed. So, I asked to speak with the supervisor, and a woman came on the phone. I explained my situation and that I was a loyal customer and didn't want to have to transfer my account and hoped she could help. Almost immediately, she said she would remove "BOTH" the charges!!! Mission complete! Thanks for your help Scott. I couldn't have done it without all the great pointers that you said to me before I went on the phone with them. Thanks!"
—Ted Hammock, musician, MySpace.com/tedhammock

"I look forward to reading these newsletters because it always offers practical advice."
—Peggy Charbonnet

"Every newsletter I learn something new."
—Diane Ayers

"The best, bottom-line info I've seen. Thanks a lot!"

"Current subscriber. Enjoy reading my newsletter each time it pops into my mailbox. Have used many of the hints and clicked many links for further education."
—Kathleen Hensley

"LOVE it (Debtsmart Email Newsletter)!!! I forward it to my real estate clients!"
—Jody Smith

"DebtSmart.com—It's a great resource!"
—Joe Paretta

"Very interesting articles and very well explained."

"I love DebtSmart.com. It's great. The original 'every penny counts' article really made me think. I consider myself very money-wise but it's amazing how a little hint can make you look differently at every thing you do! Keep up the good work!"
—Ceil Fox

"I love this newsletter bec. it is full of helpful hints that I've even shared with my kids."
—Carol Sutton

"I do glean alot of good info & overall find many useful and challenging articles. Always a tidbit to store away in my brain."
—Rick Lambright

"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 Phillips

"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 Institute)

"I love everything about it (DebtSmart.com). I love being armed with knowledge about money."
—Xervia Cobb

"Love your stuff. I'm a believer."
—David Moore

"I have enjoyed this email I get. Excellent advice! I have learned more than I have about money and debt. I wish it came to me more often than once a week!!"
—Nancy Jean

"I love this newsletter—with every issue I always take away at least one or two new or good pieces of information!"
—Toni Felts

"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

"Thank you so much for your information. I too look forward to receiving this newsletter every two weeks. Keep up the great work!!"

"DebtSmart.com—love it, have been teaching financial freedom courses for years. Currently training one of our many indebted employees the principles of handling money."

"I love your site, very informative."

"Love the site and the info!"

"I have been a DebtSmart reader for quite a few years, and your newsletter teaches me something new each time I receive it. I really have to say 'WOW' just when I thought there wasn't really much new for me to learn, I get a big surprise and realize; there is so very much more for me to learn from DebtSmart. Keep the information coming; we all have something to learn from each one of your newsletters. A day without DebtSmart is a day without knowledge of financial savvy that we all need so desperately, in this day and time"
—Diane Ayers, Lambsburg, VA

"I just want to say Thank You for all the info that you have to offer, It is the best again—Thank You!"

"Great resource (DebtSmart.com). It also inspires the confidence to make those calls to the card companies."
—Jeff Bova

"After reading (and printing) articles on DebtSmart I'm already hooked. I am even more impressed and encouraged because you answered my email directly. I also like the way that you are so humble and appreciative when people mention you or your site in their question and you always make a point to thank them. Thanks again for getting back to me and your advice!"
—Michelle Carey

"DebtSmart.com—I love it! For many years, I was in credit card debt. A bad auto accident forced me to change my lifestyle, and, with the help of an honest debt management program, my debt was eliminated after five years (a wonderful day!). I'm very careful now, and your informative and practical newsletter helps keep me on track. Thank you!"
—Janet Marilyn

"Keep up the good work, it is informative and interesting. It's nice to know that I'm not alone while struggling with the debt-mire of lower-to-middle income America."

"Really love it. I'm in great financial shape, but the information is always useful."

"Your advice is turning into a family affair. My husband had an Orchard Bank card with a $300 limit, which he has had for two years. He called to protest their $69.00 annual fee, and they refused. Then he asked for a credit limit increase, which they also refused. Then he asked for a lower interest rate, and again they refused. We have paid this card off several times and always pay more than the minimum. He held the phone up to the shredder, asked if they could hear it—they said yes—and he shredded the card. Lo and behold, they called the next day and offered him a business platinum at 15% interest, but refused to increase the $300 limit. This time, my husband refused. He told them 'why should I give you 15% on this card when I already have 12% on the other card and that would be almost 30% on both cards!' Needless to say, we will pay this card off and not use it. Some other company will come along and offer him something better. We now feel that Orchard Bank is among the worst scam artists of all the card issuers. $69.00 fee on a $300 limit? I don't think so! Anyway, your good advice is rubbing off on all of us!"
—Sue and Ben Sheffler, Richmond Hill, GA

"I wish I had 1/100th of the knowledge about credit that I have now on that fated first week of college at the bookstore when my bags were filled with 'Great student credit card offers'. I can honestly contribute this experience to the beginning of my downfall with credit. Thanks to DebtSmart I am getting back on track and learning to make the most of my hard earned money!"

"Great site! I just stumbled on to it wile surfing, already added it to my favorites and I'm sure I'll be spending a lot of time here."
—William T. Huff

"Excellent articles. I have saved hundreds in credit card debt through your books. Thanks a bunch!"

"Very wonderful, I took a whole day and read the many interesting stories regarding lowering APR rates, and voila 32.2% down to 24% and 22% down to 16%. I should get two letters in the mail pretty soon. Thanks so much!!!"
—DebtSmart Reader

"Thank you DebtSmart for all the tips I found on this website. It really gave me lots of ideas for getting through that rough period."

"I enjoy the newsletter. I consider myself to be a very savvy consumer, but I've learned a few things since subscribing."

"I am single so I am always looking for ways to scretch my money. Keep up the good work!!"

"You know, sometimes you just want meat and gravy type information and sometimes you want the full gourmet dinner. DebtSmart has the full menu for every kind of reader! Sensible tips that anyone can do, strategy, ethical investment tactics, and responsible planning all in one understandable place from normal people who live normal lives and cope with normal expenses of life. That's a 'meal' that will 'stick with you.'"
—Rose Heath

"Thanks to the people that make this awesome website (DebtSmart.com) available because you help more people than you know."
—Marc Medina

"Scott—Thank you for all your great articles and advice. Something happened to me recently in that the bank put a major hold on a money market deposit and then - six days after the fact - charged $90 for three over-limit fees that were withdrawn from the account when the online bank statement was showing the money was available at the time the transactions were entered. (They have a screen that show what is in your account Total and what is Available. Because I had read you newsletter previously, I went to the bank, said there seemed to be a problem and that I needed some insight so that it didn't happen again. Said I had several other banks that were eager for my account and paid interest on my deposits, but because I was already set up with a direct deposit to this account I was coming to them for clarification. After investigating the fact, they were very happy to reverse the charges, made it clear to me that they didn't approve of the way the situation appeared, commiserated about how they handled some of their own banking (credit card) accounts - and - on the way out of the bank - the branch manager came out of her office and apologized - saying they try to catch that kind of thing. Wow—that never happened before. In the past, the entire situation would have stressed me out and put me on the defensive. Thank you again for helping me find a way to be open to taking on the challenge and winning."
—CJ Knight

"I love debt smart!!! tons of tips, and ideas—-glad I signed up!"
—Kim McAnally

"Debtsmart is such a great resource since there are so many people and families who struggle everyday to put food on the table and clothing on there children's back. Sometimes you feel you are all alone in this mess and don't realize how many others are going through the same situation. Debtsmart can save lives and make people understand they are totally normal."
—Lisa Fasolino

"Great publication! I have saved hundreds of dollars by talking to credit card companies to lower their rates, give me a better rate for balance transfers, eliminate annual fees, etc."
—Dave Smith

"I have to say DebSmart is one of the best email newsletters I have ever subscribed to. Not only does it help me keep debt under control, it tells me how to make it shrink and keep going on with life without the worry of constant debt. Also, it expands on things that we do everyday. It just keeps getting better and better. My favorite part of the newsletter is seeing people really open up and ask for your help or suggestions, and you reply in a compassionate manner that is not seen today. Keep up the good work, your newsletter will always be #1 with me."
—Diane Ayers

"Great letter—I look forward to it and have saved a lot of money following your advice with annual, fees. Bargaining for lower and matching interest rates, etc. I actually look forward to bargaining with credit card companies-they will generally accept your proposal on threat of taking my business elsewhere. I always have negotiations going on weekly with credit card companies and bank. I recommend your letter to many people. Thanks."
—Dave Smith

"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

"I only wished I had subscribed sooner."

"The DebtSmart Email Newsletter is packed with cutting-edge strategies for solving credit problems. I highly recommend it."
—Gerri Detweiler, author of The Ultimate Credit Handbook

"DebtSmart is very useful as the information contained is unique, very resourceful, helpful in locating what the reader is looking for to help with their problems and the solutions."

"I enjoy the newsletter. While I proudly have no credit card debt, I sometimes forward articles to friends and family that might find the info useful. I also appreciate that you ask for feedback. It shows that you truly wish to make the most of your publication."

"Unconventional, daring, truthful."

"It is packed with invaluable information. I truly wish I had run across this sooner."

"I absolutely love to read DebtSmart. With all of the information, and the directions given to follow, everyone should be Debt-free! Every money matter or situation you can imagine is explained explicitly and to the point. This man has it going for him, and you too, if you will just read and follow his instructions. Not on just money or credit card situations but "Frugal Ideas" also. This is another one that is also good for the young folks just getting started, or maybe some of us older generation that's getting a late start in life trying to fix our financial destruction. No matter the age, if you need help 'admit it'! Then just follow some simple suggestions and instructions, as if assembling a product. Its just simply that easy. Thank You "DEBT SMART"."
—Jayne Jones

"I Love DebtSmart. It is the best thing I have come across in a long time. My husband and I are currently having financial difficulties and it is a wealth of information. Thanks!"

"Great web site and email with VERY helpful info. will be informing many tax clients about your service during tax season this year. keep up the good work!"

"Just a few words to let you know how much I enjoy receiving and reading your DebtSmart Newsletter.  Even though I don't have credit card debt, there are so many more interesting articles that are knowledgeable to me.  It is amazing all of the situations people seem to get into that need help with.  With your free news, it can benefit so many folks that otherwise wouldn't have the resources to know what to do about so many different subjects. Again let me thank you for all you do for so many of us." 
—Jayne Jones, LA

"Your Debtsmart email newsletter is packed with innovative, practical approaches to reducing my debt. Thanks for all the great ideas. The more I read, the more I save!"
—Dave, Toms River, NJ

"I really enjoy reading the tips and tricks to help give me little ideas to help get us out of debt."

"Excellent advice & source to keep the debt-free, debt-free & to help others attain it! I read it & refer debtors to it all the time as well as give my experience."

"I love it and read it as soon as I can after it arrives! I've even forwarded it to several friends and they've signed up!"

"In the months that we have received your newsletter I have learned a lot about things and appreciate the news. Thanks."

"Great newsletter. I look forward to reading every issue, and enjoy taking the DebtSmart quizzes!"

"Hello! Now that some of us are out of debt thanks to you, could you have an article about the the best and safest places that we can put our extra money and make the best interest? Like I-bonds and Money markets, etc.?"
—Lori S

"So far, so good. At least I got the math quiz right." 

"I love this newsletter. Keep up the GREAT work!!!"

"Love it! Keep it coming!"


"I always read it, and have never deleted it without going through it. The articles are informative and give me good ideas."

"At least I know that I'm not the only one in debt."

"I'm an accountant, and it's always satisfying not only having my own finances organized, but to help other people as well. Your newsletter always seems to have relevant articles that get incorporated in my discussions with clients who somehow know that I just read an article about 'that'. Keep up the good work!"

"Keep up the good work..."

"I love your newsletter. My husband and I put a hold on our credit reports so the banks don't get our information anymore and we don't get the 500 a day offers."

"You rock! My resolution for 2002 is to-pay-down-the-damn-Visa- balance-even-though-I-have-a-9.9%-fixed-rate-Platinum-Capital- One-card!!!"

"I love the newsletter. It is very informative about debt reduction, as well as, realistic about debt and the fact that people have it."

"I love your newsletter...keep up the good work! :o)"

"Very informative."

"I love the newsletter and all the different suggestions on decreasing debt. I do not have a lot of debt, I used to be worse and since then I have always been interested in different ways of spending and saving money."

"Get good ideas and lots of motivation from it."

"Good job! Keep it up!"

"I have gained so much knowledge from the newsletter. It is hard to put into words, the thanks and appreciation I feel, taking the time to educate the public about debt. Keep up the good work and one day the subscribers will be debt free."


"I find helpful and informative information in the newsletter. Thank you."

"I am continually grateful that you have such drive and dedication and creativity. You and your staff are providing a wonderful service to the American people."

"I love it and I thank you for producing it. One of my favorites."

"Thank you...and Happy holidays to you and your family."

"I enjoy this newsletter a lot, it helps me feel like I am at least trying to become as informed as possible...when I do make a major purchase I know all I should about interest rates and my credit report, payments, etc....and PROUD to say I have not used a major credit card in year! Thanks from this ever-learning single woman."

"I like it!"

"Great newsletter for me personally and for low income families that I work with to help them to become self sufficient!"

"Wonderful newsletter. Look forward to each edition."

"Most of the websites who are allegedly there to help us with being debt-smart are ACTUALLY just trying to sell you something (such as yet ANOTHER credit card!). I have learned so much here at DebtSmart. You guys are the best!"

"I love the newsletter. It really has some good advice."
—Rebecca Newton

"Great Newsletter! The info is always timely and relevant to my credit situation, and I look forward to each issue. As to number of credit cards, in my count I've learned we have a total of 10, but most have not even been activated. Lately I've been an "intro-hopper", taking advantage of much-lower APRs, to get rid of CC debt(in 9/98 owed 29k, now owe 6.1k, so it won't be much longer). Snowballing, lowering APRs, transferring as credit score improves, all are working, and your advice always helps. Thanks!"
—Dan E.

"I love it!!"

"I enjoy receiving your newsletter. It is always packed with useable, real-life information!"
—Michelle Glanzer

"Love the newsletter, website and book. :-)"

"I believe that some people will go out and shop til they drop but I also believe that others will not go out to the store and buy as much as they would normally. Those shop til you drop-ers will take their places so the economy will pretty much stay the same. I love the newsletter. I am in debt and am trying to get out. I find lots of tidbits of information that I can use and pass on. My friends also agree."

"Great Articles! Good information. Look forward to each issue"

"Love the Newsletter!"

"For our state (MN), I think people will be spending less because of the amount of layoffs, the State employees striking and our economy hurting now."

"I like the newsletter very much. Keep it coming! I always find an article that is either helpful or full of useful information that I will need at a later date."

"I think it is getting better and better. I am truly impressed!!! I also like that you are able to help so many people with your work."

"I was divorced 4 years ago, I had a husband who took care of all the bills for the most part, and now I am taking control of what little amount I do have to myself, there is a feeling of great accomplishment and pride that goes with my being able to take care of myself 4 years later and have made some wise decisions with your help. Thank you so much! Your online help is available when "I" have time to read up on the information, when I am fully able to sit down and comprehend what choices I have . I have gotten an equity loan to transfer my balances of my charge accounts so that the interest on the loan will be tax deductible, and also to have a new roof put on my home instead of just borrowing the money and the amounts of my finance charges going to pure waste. I never knew any of this 4 years ago let me tell ya...I have been able to increase my monthly cash flow so I feel more secure , and able to pay off the loan faster or take care of unexpected things that happen . You have given this blonde some great advice and I do appreciate your help.... thank you thank you thank you!"

"It's sound advice"

"I love it! Keep up the good work! It comes at just the right time when I need a boost to keep working on our debt! Thanks."- Angela

"It's very educating and informative. I learned something as well!! Thank you!"

"You are doing a great job."

"Love it! Keep up the good work."

"Very helpful and useful. Thank you!"



"I love your newsletter, keep up the good work."

"I'm certainly am glad that I came across your WebSite. I can only hope more and more people like myself will find you too. I have already given it to several of my friends. Keep up the informative work. We out here in the real world can learn much from you. Thanks again."

"It's sound advice!"

"I love it! Keep up the good work! It comes at just the right time when I need a boost to keep working on our debt! Thanks."

"I love your newsletter, keep up the good work."

"Hi Scott, I would just like to say thanks for your great web site and all of your informative articles about debt reduction etc. it's a pleasure to read and it's helped me tremendously. Keep up the good, honest work. I have been able to stay focused on my debt-reduction plan in part because you are providing this service. I always check in on your newsletter and come away with tips that I can use, and positive articles that leave me feeling that I can tackle the demon of debt. I've almost achieved my goal of paying off $27,000.00 in credit card debt within my three year goal (all had high interest rates but because of your website I lost my fear of transferring balances). Please keep up the good work"
—Teresa Jordan

"I received the print edition of Debtsmart about a month ago and I love it!!! I hope you can keep making the print version as I like to keep them and refer to them from time to time!!! Thank you for such a great magazine. With just the first issue that I have received, I learned so much. Great tips!!! Keep up the good work!"
—Vanessa Keith,Amarillo, TX

"I just received my first copy of DebtSmart. W - O - W !!! I can't wait for future issues to arrive. I read every article and have to save they were all my favorite because I learned so much. Being visually impaired makes it hard to read the fine print on the credit card offers. Your articles enlightened me to what was missing. I will now use my screen reader and check out the fine print to make comparisons instead of going by the bold print on the low interest rate and introductory period. Keep the great work up on the magazine. I look forward to my next informative issue....I got a charge out of the mortgage article, a real hoot, glad you got the telemarketer at his own game."
—Diane Ayers, Mt. Airy, NC "Faithful Reader of DebtSmart"


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"The DebtSmart Email Newsletter is packed with cutting-edge strategies for solving credit problems. I highly recommend it."--Gerri Detweiler, radio host and author of The Ultimate Credit Handbook

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