Balance transfers – are they a good idea?

I have one of those line of credit loans that has been open for years. I am gradually paying it off and the interest is 9.5 %. I pay more than the minimum balance each month, but yet it seems to only shrink a little bit. I have an offer from a credit card company which promises 0% on balance transfers. In addition, there is some type of bonus I get for using that credit card.

Would it be a good idea to transfer the balance on the line of credit loan at 9.5% to the new 0% credit card? I have never switched a balance like that before.

Any good advice would be appreciated.

Read their fine print carefully. Many times that tempting 0% is only good for six months to a year. After that time, normal APR and other adjustable rates apply. IF you can pay it off in the time allowed for the 0% interest, then it is entirely up to you. If OTOH, you will make only a part payoff in that time, you might be down for a little while, but they can raise their interest to as much as 22% or more, depending on the APR and standards at the time they start to tack it on.

What is the Finance charge on this current loan? Pay 4 times that and only three times is actually going to your principal balance. EXAMPLE: I owe $4,290.00 on a loan. Their finance charge is $65.00 a month. If I make their minimum payment of 82.00 a month, that means only a paltry $17.00 is going to the actual loan. I try to pay double to $100.00 OVER what that finance charge is every month. That extra $100.00 is going to the actual loan then.

If it were me, I’d stay with what you have and hammer it down, lest you jump from the frying pan into the fire. it would depend on the % and what it would go up to …card companies usually offer 0% on balance transfers but after 6 months they raise it from 6- 19% you would have to read the fine print if you can pay off the balance in 6 months @ 0% then it would be worth it . other wise i would really think twice you are probably getting a better rate where you are , you can also tell the people where you are that you have an offer to transfer the balance and see if you can get it lowered to say 6% its better than the 9.5% and you don’t have the worrys of the card company raising your rate after you transfer.

Just read your post about retaining the attorney

Just read your post about retaining the attorney and settling for approx 35 cents on the dollar. That is the most incredible advice! I wish I had seen that post back in ’15.

I believe you really hit the nail on the head!

Back in ’15 we were 31 k in cc and medical etc debt. We joined debt settlers and were assured it would all be paid off in three years. We basically ignored the fine print cuz we didn’t want to tackle the problem ourselves and thought they were the experts. There was approx 1-k on board fee and approx 40 per mo for maintenance fees.

They deducted 600 per mo from our checking and all was good till my 47 year old husband had 2 terrible strokes and open heart surgery and one of the cc card cos sued us. The phone rang nonstop and they even delivered the mail by hand – vans pulling in the drive ad nauseum.

Debt settlers said I was on my own to go to court with Capitol One and to send them (Capitol One) more money. I fired debt settlers and they were gracious enough to contact the 4-5 different cc cos and tell them about DH disability. Without exception I have been able to cut deals with all of them over the phone and now keeping detailed fax records. Went thru the Ramsey FPU program and all is good! Sill owe 16.5k but will have that paid off by early summer.

I absolutely LOVE the idea of the attorney. If I had to do it over again that’s what I would do!

This is one of the best and most savy Yahoo groups on the net. It was thanx to you I found Ramsey.Best to all.

So confused

Hi we are new to this site and the more i read the more confused i get. One says to get a lawyer, an other go to cccs, but that sounds too expensive and then another says not to trust debt relieve adds.

Help!!!!!!

We are over 30000.00 in debt and trying to start a new business. Most of are debt is from the business. We are at a stand still right now and working 12/7 hour days just to do the monthly bills but even that is falling behind. Can anyone point us in the right direction for help, we would not like to go bankrupt.

Thank you for your time.

Voluntary Car Payments

My Chapter 7 bankruptcy was discharged in January and I did not sign a reaffirmation agreement for my car which is $1200 from being paid in full. I have been making voluntary payments but have been have unable to work due to medical problems therefore have had no income.

GMAC has told me that if I don’t continue to make payments that they will not take the car but the debt will be written off and will put a negative mark on my credit. Can they do this considering this car was included in the bankruptcy and the payments I have been making have been voluntary?

I’m still here

I’ve been lurking of the scene, just reading the daily posts. But now I have to post something – maybe just for inspiration of others becoming debt free.

Since I started paying off my credit card debts and now have been frre of them for close to five years, I have a very strong will to gain as much financial assests and live a more abundant life for however long I have left in this world. It’s become a big priority to be proactive about my well being in many ways – including financially.

I also have strong goals of teaching my son (who will be born in late January- my hubby and I found out it was definately a boy!) very good lessons in wisdom for his own financial security in life as he grows up. It’s never to early to start with kids. I will not pass on the trend I fell into with money, that’s for sure.

I’ve been reading a book called “The Millionaire Mind” by Thomas J. Stanley. He also wrote “The Millionaire Next Door”. Both very good books. Check them out from the library and take a gander at some of the principles outlined on why and how people just like you and me gain an edge at becoming successful with money.

The main thing that jumps out the most is this (believe it or not), wealthy people live way below their means. Yes, this is correct.

They are actually more likely to own decent used cars instead of new and the majority of them know and belief that the best things in life are free.

Are they penny pinchers or stingy as a stereotype might make them? Not at all. They research to get the most out of their money before it leaves their hands. They rarely purchase items on credit and most only use one or two credit lines.

Sure, it’s easy to live this way if you are rich. I know you are thinking that and you also believe there is NO way for a person in your financial situation to get ahead. In those two books mentioned, however, all of the wealthy people that were interviewed, built up their own financial success as first generation wealth. Meaning they came from various middle class upbringings. They are people who learned the value of being high producers, not high consumers. Their production towards financial success always outweighs their consumer needs exponentially.

If you are in debt, can you start living this way? Of course you can. You can start small. Basically you have to, because the primary goal to become debt free and still maintain your needed living expense will have many barriers to overcome. Some of those barriers (in most cases) are only in your head and this is what keeps you living in a high consumer mode.

I can’t stress enough that the ultimate reward of living without credit card bills or payments is worth all the sacrifice to get there! I am living proof!

He writes good books. Try reading David Bach’s books as well. I’ve just started reading one called Smart Women Finish Rich and he guides you through nine steps to getting yourself on track. I’ve only gotten through reading step 3 so far but it makes a lot of sense. I’m going to read the book through then start over and actually work on each step. I’ve also read several books written by Suze Orman and she’s got a lot of good ideas as well. Each book I read helps me keep focused on what I really want the most; being able to live comfortably after retirement. I want to be like my parents and have enough so that any social security income is just a small portion of my income, not most or all of it.

I am trying to get things caught up and paid off

I am new here and my name is Michelle and I have 3 great kids 2 DD’s 19 and 15 and a DS 12. I am engaged to a wonderful man. We both work full time and are trying real hard to save money and using a budget.

I saw your blog and thought this is for me.

I am trying to get things caught up and paid off and it is not working well , I was taking care of my Mom and she has Alzheimer’s and Dementia and what her insurance did to pay I was paying for and she is also Diabetic so her food was a bit more and a lot of the No Name Brands I can get away with for me and my family did not cut it for her. She is now in the process of being placed in a Home for people with Alzheimer. It is what the specialize in and a very nice place for her.

Hopefully I can get back to the Budget I was on before she moved in and get things caught up and paid off.

I have some things I have learned on the way and I am going to love sharing and learning

Thank you for having me

Have an Awesome week.

Credit cards question

Hi, my oldest is a high school senior and plans to go to college next year. does anyone out there have ideas of how and what i should tell her about credit cards? i know that once she’s on campus people are going to be right there with umpteen offers for cards. I have one card myself and she knows that i pay it off each month. since it gets paid off each month i’m not real clear on how they figure out the fees or what exactly those fees might be other than interest. I want to prevent her from getting into debt at least with credit cards. her dad (my ex) generally struggles just to survive from paycheck to paycheck and refuses to change, part of why we’re not together anymore. (Part of why he’s the ex is that he always blamed the bad financial situation on me and saying it wasn’t any of his doing just like he took full credit for the good stuff and i had no part of that.)

i’ve been trying to discuss things with my kids (ages 17, nearly 15, and 13)so they won’t make some of the mistakes i’ve made. Later this week i’m going to make them all sit down and show them my rough draft of a budget so they know where my money goes each month. it’s still a rough draft because i haven’t yet put in things like what i spend on birthdays and Christmas or for school things. some things like car license plates happen once a year, car oil changes are every three months or so, and some things like renewing driver’s licenses come every few years. also, becuase of changing tax laws i get mine done by a professional so that it gets done right and with as many deductions as i’m entitled to get, which costs a few hundred dollars.

a professional serive also gives me the security of knowing that if the irs does audit me the service will be there. so please don’t suggest an online service or software program. the professional last year got me a couple of deductions that i didn’t even know that i qualified for, which got me a few hundred extra dollars back (and more than covered his fees).

Credit report

Hi,

My question is once you get your credit reports from the three agency’s how do you go about repairing them? I need something simple like a step by step guide. I am afraid to admit it but they scare the heck out of me just by ordering them!

Could someone explain the how to’s for a big chicken like me?

What is the right choice?

I have had a CD since I sold my house and moved two years ago. Then I took out a lower interest rate line of credit to pay off my car, to free up some money each month and pay it at a lower rate than my car loan. Now, due to the housing boom, my taxes have risen to almost three times what they were. My homeowner’s insurance has also doubled because I am in Florida.

My questions are these:

  1. Should I close the CD account and use it to pay off debt and my taxes and insurance?
  2. Should I leave it alone and find another way to pay the taxes and insurance? ( I have a bonus that will cover the insurance or the taxes, but not both.)

Here are a couple of things to weigh (and these are just my personal opinions based on my banking experience and debt reduction experience):

1. Compare the interest rate that you are receiving on the CD versus the interest rate on your debt. For example if your CD is only earning 1% interest, but your credit card is charging you 17% interest, it makes more sense to pay down the debt.

Now bear this in mind, if your CD is your sole savings account, you may want to keep some money in there for emergency expenses. Experts recommend that you have at least 3 months worth of living expenses in a savings account. If you don’t have that much, starting an emergency only savings account with $1000.00 would be a great start.

2. I personally would do whatever it takes to make sure your taxes and insurance are paid off. If that means closing out the CD to pay for them, do it. I NEVER count on bonuses because you never know at the end of the day if it will come through. If you do get a bonus, then put that back into savings once your obligations are paid.

Best of luck! Let us know what you decide.

Debt settlement programs

Hi, I’m new here but I really need some advice. My husband and I are in a financial mess. We were both out of jobs for about 2 years during which time he was hospitalized (no insurance). We have accumulated a lot of debt that we cannot pay. We had filed chapter 13 bankruptcy before we got laid off, then it was dismissed because we couldn’t make the weekly payments.

We are working now and could pull out of this if it wasn’t for the old debts coming back to us. I want to know if anyone has an opinion on debt settlement programs. I’ve found several online, but I’m a little leery. We don’t want to try to refile bankruptcy, but I’m not sure about this other option either. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Don’t go to a company for debt settlement until you have done your research. Start with your local public library and see what books they have available. Most people can handle this themselves. Both Nolo Press and WrightsLaw publishers have books that include phone scripts and preformed letter so all you have to do it fill in the blanks. If you search the messages on this board there is also good information about getting creditors to settle. You don’t need to pay someone to do this for you. You can do it yourself.

Also, check out FTC web site. [Federal Trade Commission, federal regulator of credit industry] I would be wary of debt settlement companies because according to my research many or most of them are scams.

In my case, which I don’t necessarily recommend, but I was in desperate situation – after not making any payments for 6-9 months, (and after 6-9 months of harassing phone calls) the credit card companies offered to settle for 50% of my (very high) debt, and at a very low interest.

So I believe they are very willing to work with you. Like was said, do the research and then try to negotiate. 99% of debt settlement companies on the Internet are fly-by-night at best. The least risky and most effective way to do this is by using an attorney. Depending on the lawyer and specfic cases, I have seen a $25,000 debt settled for 35 cents on the dollar payable over 3 years in monthly installments.

If I had a debt issue, I would find a lawyer that a) represents you – not the debt settlement company’s in-house counsel and b) a firm that will provide counsel in your state in the event it goes into limitation. Also beware, that there are ‘debt settlement firms’ posing as ‘law firms’. I have seen many firms refuse to negotiate with so called ‘debt settlement’ firms, but very willing to negotiate with an attorney.

Reputable law firms typically work on a flat retainer plus some type of contingency for saving the client money. If you have tax issues, an attorney may be able to help you there as well.

The programs DO work. Depending on your financial circumstances. It IS possible to get out of debt at 50-60 cents on the dollar with all professional fees included.