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Cheri Merz

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Re: Debt and Diet
1/17/2006 10:44:15 AM
Winston, I had to check to be sure I remembered correctly that you are from Canada. I can't speak to how banks behave there, you would know more about that than I do of course. Here, creditors want to see a credit history, preferably a recent one. They are looking to determine how you handle your credit, whether you make payments on time, etc. If there's no recent history, they don't want to take a risk on you, it's true. Credit in and of itself isn't a bad thing. It's not knowing how it works and how to use it to your best advantage that has caused all the problems. You're right, we must educate ourselves, and our creditors are not the teachers we should listen to. I often say, those guys may not have our best interests at heart, lol. Interesting you should mention Robert Kiyosaki. It was reading his book (Rich Dad, Poor Dad, followed by everything else he wrote, all in quick succession!) that set me on this journey. I don't agree 100% with everything he says, but I'd say 99.9% is dynamite! It certainly blasted us out of our complacency. Cheri PS, you can find my favorite books and links for where to get them in this thread.
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Cheri Merz

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Re: Debt and Diet
1/17/2006 10:53:55 AM
Ed, welcome! Thanks for coming by, and for your interesting post. You may be interested in a documentary report by Front Line magazine, which you can access here. This was brought to my attention by a company I represent, and I must say it opened my eyes. In fact, I think everyone should see it. If it doesn't make you mad, it should. But in this particular case, I'm an advocate of the philosophy, don't get mad, get even. You'll see how in my response to Kay's post. Cheri PS, Did you also notice that just as the bankruptcy laws were changed to prevent relief from consumer debt, government action also caused the credit card industry to start raising minimum payments? Interesting timing, don't you think? While raising minimum payments will have a salutary effect in the long run, it's a disaster in the making for millions of our fellow consumers.
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Cheri Merz

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Re: Debt and Diet
1/17/2006 11:01:01 AM
Hi, Bill, and welcome. Well, that's one way to handle it. I know a little about your values from your forums, and I know that people and supporting them through their troubles are far more important to you than acquiring material wealth, as they should be. I submit to you, however, that from a position of financial security you can help far more people than if your living arrangements are under someone else's control...like your landlord's. It's great to be able to save money, but someone once told me that you can't budget your way to financial security. Though I argued vehemently at the time, I've come to appreciate his perspective. I look forward to your participation in other threads here as you have the time...you will bring a viewpoint that many can relate to better than they can mine. I think we'll all benefit from the exchange. Cheri
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Marsha Mckinney

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Re: Debt and Diet
1/17/2006 11:18:26 AM
Lol, as always, you have hit the nail on th head, all the way around! We all need some positive direction in our lives as well as disapline! So we are on our way to doing better for ourselves and family! Also you know that FGG has a credit repair to help people with, for alot of us do not know what is in our credit reports! The staff of attorneys in our credit program act like "PacMan", and get rid of all that is not right, and get us on the road to financial freedom, and if they cannot help in any way, then your money you paid in is returned to you, guarenteed! I really like this program! Keep on rockin', and we send you blessings! Marsha Mckinney, FGG Dream Team-Texas http://mlm54.fggweb.com
Greetings from your Texas friend! God's blessings to each of you, always,
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Cheri Merz

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Re: Debt and Diet
1/17/2006 11:22:04 AM
Kay, I can appreciate that practice...I use it myself, though not for investments per se. When I first determined to get out of debt and stay out, I used only my debit card for convenience. Later, I found a tool that allows me to track my spending from all accounts, including checking accounts, credit cards, even saving accounts, automatically and constantly in real time. That's when I realized that I could keep my money in the bank, where it earns a tiny bit of interest, and use OPM for my living expenses. I collect a rebate from the credit card, and never pay a dime of interest. That's how I'm getting even for those years when not understanding what I was doing drove me deep into quicksand. I hasten to add, this is NOT the strategy to use if you don't have either iron discipline or the same tool I use. It's far too easy to lose track of what you're spending. That's when they've got you. You see, they do consider you a 'dead beat' if you pay off your card each month. You're not paying interest, and they don't like that. I have proof...the card I use for daily expenses quietly went from a 7.9% interest rate to a 20.9% without my even noticing! After all, I wasn't paying interest, so what did I care what the rate was? What caused me to notice was a minor incident of fraud. While I protested the fraudulent charges, I paid what I knew my real balance was, but not the fraudulent charges. The next month of course, interest accrued from the beginning because I had an outstanding balance. Now I didn't suffer from that because they reversed it due to the circumstances, but it was a real wake-up call to see how much interest I could accrue in only one month if I left even a penny in unpaid balance on the card. So, this use of OPM is a slippery slope, if not an evil trap as Kate called it. Be sure to have a back-up plan in case of unforeseen events. Just in case you're confused between the first post and this one, I'll explain my arrangements. I have one credit card with a 0% initial interest rate where I keep the remaining consumer debt that I can't pay off each month. I pay all I can to that one, reducing it monthly. I have moved the debt from card to card to keep the rate at zero for over 8 years. This is the last card I'll need, though. It will be paid off before the rate goes up. I have a separate card that I pay off monthly and use for daily expenses. I bought Christmas presents with the substantial rebate I got from using it for virtually everything.
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