The secrets credit card companies DON'T want you to know

Top Secret Area
Photo by: biskuit

My level of detest I have for credit cards and credit card companies is no secret. I’ve many times about the shady tactics of credit card companies and how they prey on people in need. Credit Card companies not only issue credit cards, process credit card transactions, market and sell credit cards but they also aggressively look for ways to make themselves more profitable. Here are just a few of the many secrets credit card companies don’t want you to know:

Credit Card Statistics

According to CreditRatings.com:

A Good Example of A Bad Debt Collector

Coming for you
Photo by: mugley

The following is a guest post by Cindy from Oh My Aching Debts, where she blogs about surviving the tough times, getting out of debt, and saving money. If you like this post, consider subscribing to her RSS feed.

Having written a great deal on dealing with debt collectors and negotiating debt settlements, this story by Fox in Philadelphia caught my eye. “Debt Collector Says She Is Coming For You” is an interview with a six figure salary collection agent who loves her job and a look at what these calls do to the lives of the people who receive them.In the interview the woman gloats about insulting people to their wives, neighbors, employers as well as to themselves. She is good at what she does because she is good at intimidating people and scaring them. It works because people like you and I don’t know our rights.

10 Good uses for a credit cards

Teething Toy?
Photo by: shortiestar3000Teething toy? Maybe not…

I am not a fan of credit cards. I’ve been burned and I’ve seen and read about far too many people’s lives turned upside down through the use of credit cards. Recently though, I’ve been trying to focus on being more environmentally conscientious. If you’re anything like me, you probably get 5-10 credit card applications a week and many of those contain those fake sample credit cards along with a ton of paper. Also, if you’ve gone credit card free like I have, and don’t want to just throw away or destroy them, what can you do with all those extra cards laying around.

Cash advances: Stray not into temptation!

ATM Keypad
Photo by: catatronic

The following is a guest post by Jonathan from Master Your Card, a blog about credit cards and mastering them before they master you. If you like this post, consider subscribing to his RSS feed.

There you are, broke and in need of cash. Your bank account is so empty there’s an echo and even the sofa cushions have no change. But wait – there’s your shiny credit card. All you need to do is head to an ATM or cash one of those little checks your credit card company provides so conveniently to get some cash.

Gazelle Intensity: How fast is it?

Cheetah

Gazelle Intensity is a term coined by Dave Ramsey that refers to how a Gazelle reacts when being pursued by a Cheetah. The concept of Gazelle intensity is even found in scripture.

One of the queries I seem to get fairly often is: How fast is gazelle intensity? Based on the number of Google searches I receive on a daily basis for this query and others like “get out of debt quick“, “how to get out of debt quickly“, and even “God’s way to getting out of debt quickly“, it seems lots of people want to get out of debt as fast as they got in. The reality is it takes far longer to get out of debt than get in.

A look at reverse mortgages

Grandma at home
Photo by: scjody

While reading the local newspaper a few weeks back I came across a short blurb in the financial section about reverse mortgages and their recent surge in popularity with older Americans. The New York Times reported that there’s now a $20-billion-a-year industry in reverse mortgages, with “elderly homeowners taking out more than 132,000 such loans in 2007, an increase of more than 270 percent from two years earlier.”

I had never heard of a reverse mortgage and decided to do a little research about them  Here’s some of what I learned:

Why I think P2P lending is a bad idea

Money closeup
Photo by: Unhindered by Talent

The rage around money lending these days, at least in the blogosphere is Peer to Peer Lending (P2P). Services like Lending Club and Prosper enable loans between individuals, bypassing traditional loans generally provided by banks. The P2P concept in theory, allows individuals to reap many of the same rewards as banks. Unfortunately you also assume the same risks as well. Cash Money Life has a great introduction to P2P if you want to read more.

I haven’t written about P2P before, as it isn’t something I’m interested in nor would I advise my readers to consider it. Here’s why:

On Becoming Debt Free

Freedom
Photo by: Drown

The following is a guest post by my friend Ana of DebtFREE-Revolution, a blog about being debt free and getting out of debt. If you like this post, consider subscribing to her feed via RSS.

I became debt free but the mortgage earlier this week, and Gibble asked if I would like to do a retrospective guest post for this blog.He suggested a “How I got here” type piece, and that got me thinking about more than just the nuts-n-bolts of how I did it. It’s more about a major attitude shift than the mechanics.

Gazelle intensity is scriptural

Cheetah chasing gazelles

I’ve been reading and thinking a lot on topic Gazelle Intensity from Dave Ramsey lately. There has been quit a bit of discussion about the topic on various personal finance blogs. I am very personally interested in the various aspects of it and have lots of questions, such as:  How realistic is it? What exactly does “bobbing and weaving” really mean? Should you take “gazelle intensity vacations“? How many people consider themselves gazelle intense and what exactly does it mean to them? The list of questions I have goes on, but strange or not, I am pretty fascinated with the concept. I have even been considering the concepts outside of the personal finance world and trying to apply them to my IT management job in the real world.

Credit Card Companies – They really are out to get you

Cheetah
Photo by: Graham Racher

I’m just an average man with an average life
I work from nine to five, hey, I pay the price
All I want is to be left alone in my average home
But why do I always feel like I’m in the twilight zone

– From “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell

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