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September 08, 2006

Comments

Alex Censor

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

https://www.optoutprescreen.com/?rf=t

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
https://www.donotcall.gov
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 --
http://tinyurl.com/l78da
(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
http://www.dinkytown.net/java/DebtRolldown.html
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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