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Tuesday, July 16, 2024   

Review of "Credit Card and Debt Management" by Scott Bilker
by Sue Seppo
Staff Writer at theWhiz.com
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“With the holidays a mere memory and the New Year just starting out, is your mailbox stuffed with bundles of bills instead of letters?  Did you get enticed with the holiday spirit to bring forth your plastics with their eternal chant "buy now, pay later"? Well this book, Credit Card and Debt Management, is written for you.

Although this slim book has only 140 pages, including the index, don't expect to read and digest this in an hour. To become a debt manager, you must do more than read this book, you will have to actually do the work! There's that awful word: work. It gets worse, you'll actually have to do the math problems to get a basic understanding of what is involved with credit cards and debt management.  Believe me, it's worth the extra time and effort of working the problems in the book.

Bilker starts off with discussing the importance of managing one's financial affairs. Did you know that according to the Nilson Report, in 1992 the  national credit card debt hit $273.4 billion? Credit card debt is rising and banks are competing for your business. The average credit cards per person---almost ten cards! With all this credit and borrowing going on, you will have to know where you stand financially and nobody can do this better than you.  However, discipline is the key to financial success.

Defining the terms with an in-depth explanation, Bilker goes on to talk about the types of credit and how to get a good credit rating by starting out small and going on to bigger and better things. Often times this is where people get themselves into trouble. There is a list of questions for you to answer to get an idea of your debt status. Also, questions to which you must supply the answers that will help you to know your exact financial barometer.
There is a list of "must-have" supplies to become organized.  I especially liked his set-up for an organized financial filing system.  Incorporating some of his system has made mine much more efficient.  It's amazing the amount of time I will be able to save just filing away the bills faster using Bilker's system.

Next comes the blank forms that you will fill in with your own financial data. This will be helpful as you can keep track of all your credit information on one single piece of paper (hopefully). I haven't been able to work this far, but from what I see, the worksheet will come in handy when comparing interest rates between credit cards. Also, when calling a credit card company, all the information will be on one fact sheet. This eliminates hunting around for different papers with the various credit information.

A whole chapter is devoted to math and money. He gives possible math problems regarding the principal, payment, time, and APR. You must master this chapter if you are to become a master of your money. Bilker goes through each problem step-by-step. It is easy to read and very detailed and concise. However, what to me was time-consuming was working out the problems that Bilker gives. You don't have to be a math whiz to understand this chapter, but you have to do the work as he takes you through the process.

A very helpful chart is the blank payment schedule which is included. This way you will know precisely where you are financially at all times.

One feature that I especially liked was the Time Remaining on Loan charts at the end of the book. This figures from 6percent to 15.5 percent, and this makes it easy to see how much time you have left on any given payment within the above percentage rate. He also does a balance and payment factors sheet to make figuring out easier for you.

I recommend this book, only if you want to become a master of your credit cards, not a slave to them.”



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