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Scott Reynolds
Scott Reynolds
Apr 07, 2010

a_Credit_card_statement_w_glasses_425_x_28202

Recently, the Federal Government passed a law forcing credit card companies to display more information on your credit card statement to help Americans understand the concequences of paying only the minimum balance. The first section is “If you make no charges using this card and each month you pay: Only the minimum-it tells you how long it will take to pay it off and how how much will will end up paying total with interest. Then they have another section that states if you pay a higher amount how long that will take and an estimated total amount. But this section also shows the savings made by paying the higher amount. They have also added a phone number for credit counseling services.

I am not a big fan of Government intervention into private business. It seems to be a growing trend lately. I think it is very apparent to any credit card holder that if they pay more each month they will pay the balance off faster and thus pay less interest. Nonetheless it is there now and if it helps someone control their debt or get counseling for a problem it can’t hurt.


Scott Reynolds
Scott Reynolds
Feb 23, 2010

 

creditcards

Many Americans struggle with credit card debt. There are over 630 million credit cards in this country. Most credit card companies profit is $700M-$800M per year. They make their money off the interest you pay when you make monthly payments on your card. With the average credit card debt per household is over $10,000 dollars, maybe it’s time to focus on this issue and use some tools to help eliminate, or at least reduce, that debt. A simple internet search for “credit card payment calculator” returns many helpful sites that can tell you things like how long it will take to pay off your card if you only make the minimum payment. If you are able to pay more than the minimum you can enter the amount you can afford and it will tell you how long to pay it off and the amount of interest you will pay over that period. That may be a motivator to pay a little more that the minimum if you can. Another tip you may want to use is look for cards with a very low or zero interest introductory rate. You can for a fee transfer your high interest rate card balance to one that for example charges zero interest for 12 months. If you are able you can pay that card off within that 12 months and pay no interest on that balance you were paying a large interest rate on.


Scott Reynolds
Scott Reynolds
Jan 27, 2010

For most people, a mortgage is the largest investment and expense they have. My mortgage company sent me an offer to pay off my mortgage 5.5 years earlier if I pay every 2 weeks instead of monthly. It would also save me over $60K in interest! There is an enrollment fee and a small fee each month, but considering the long term savings I may do it. You can call your lender and see if they offer a program like this.

paid-off-house


Joe Gaudino
Jan 26, 2010

prius

As a hybrid owner I have listened to many a person explain to me why buyng a hybrid is a bad deal. They explain that a similar car in the same class would cost less. And that the amount of time and miles I would have to drive the car to recoup the cost difference is too great . Yes, I could have saved $5,000 and bought  a car I did not want. Instead I got what I wanted. It turns out the Prius is the best car I have ever owned. I like the way the engine shuts down when the car is stopped. Suprising the extra torque from the small electric motor and shift free transmition provides a solid feeling of accelleration and driveablity. The car is comfortable, roomy and fun to drive. Hybrid owners don’t have to justify thier choice in car technology anymore than anyone someone choosing four wheel drive, ugpgraded heated seats, super state of the art stereo systems, fuel injected hemi’s or other features that they want. It isn’t about getting the lowest cost car in that class of cars, it’s about getting what you want. In the case of hybrid cars the buyers want to use less fuel per mile driven for reasons that transend the current price per gallon. It’s ok if you don’t get it, but please understand that the ”hybrids don’t make economic sense” argument is flawed.


cfreesmeier
Jan 26, 2010

electric_sign

You have been driving your gas guzzling vehicle for 5 years or more, and each time you go to the gas pump it is another $65.00 to fill up.  All your friends and neighbors are on the bandwagon of energy efficiency with new hybrids and you are wondering how you can get on the bandwagon too.  Fuel efficiency for personal transportation does not come without a price that can significantly impact your monthly discretionary income.  If you have a cash surplus to purchase a hybrid vehicle then by all means go for it.  But here are a few thoughts about how to have a new perspective  and fall in love with your gas guzzler again from a personal economic viewpoint.  Is your car paid for or close to being paid off?   If yes then read further.

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gas_pump

I have chosen a gas card as the first step on My Credit Journey. If you missed that post, it is my 6 month journey to build up credit and get accepted for a decent rewards credit card; after being rejected twice. As a recent college graduate with no credit history, I am looking to build up my credit to help get lower interest rates for big purchases that might be around the corner for me (car, house, etc.). I have identified a gas card as a good opportunity to start building credit.

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credit

Throughout my college years I always received random pre-approved credit cards in the mail. They all ended up in the same place, the garbage. Without a steady job I knew a credit card wasn’t a good idea in my situation. I had friends and family who got in trouble with credit cards at a early age and are still paying for their mistakes today, literally. Now that I am a college graduate with a steady fulltime job I find myself struggling to obtain one of those cards that got thrown ever so nonchalantly into my garbage can. I’ve been rejected twice by major credit card companies for the very same reason, No Credit History. Which, in my mind, raised a very large and obtuse question mark. How do I build credit if you won’t give me a credit card?

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