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September 08, 2006


Alex Censor

Hi Dick,
You wrote, in part -
"...can do this at:


This site enables you to 1) opt-out permanently 2) opt-out for 5 years 3) opt-in if you change your mind.

Maybe I am suspicious of this whole process because I find that if you enter this site without the "https" and the "?rf=t" at the end of the URL you get sent to a part of the site that seems devoted to anything other than opting out...."

I don't know if you'r justified to be suspicious of that site, but here's another way you can at least opt out of the phone-calls (though it won't stop Equifax from giving out the info):
Just go to
and register your phone numbers with the official goverment Do Not Call registry.

Alex Censor

Re credit cards, you wrote in part --
"Credit cards are a necessity. Get them. Use them wisely." And I echo all that you say, INCLUDING your postscript suggesting that if you have the self-control AND pay off all balances promptly, it may not be such a bad idea to put everything on the card, to, for example, accumulate airline miles.

Here's a footnote of something you're well aware of: Paying off credit cards at minimal payment due is a horrendous strategy that, if users really understood, they wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole.

But call up your credit card company and ask them "If I put nothing else on my card and pay off the minimal balance each month, how long will it take me to pay off the balance and how much interest will I have paid" and they will NOT tell you that information.

However if send someone who is misusing their card to --
(which takes them the link "Calculator: Credit Card Repayment" on the nolopress site)
and let them punch in some numbers they'll get real eye-openers.

For example:
If this person has a $2000 balance and a minimum payment of $30, at 14% it would take them nearly 11 years to pay it down at a total cost of $3,890.23 (interest=$1,890.23).

If only the law required a statement such as "If you put no more charges on your card and pay the minimal balance each month it will take 10 years and $3,890.23 to pay off this debt" perhaps at least SOME users would not fall into the credit card trap.

An even more sophisticated calculator at
would show them, for example, that paying an extra $25/month over the minimum on $7000 of credit card debt could save them about $2400.

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