Cover image for Credit card debt : reduce your financial burden in three easy steps
Credit card debt : reduce your financial burden in three easy steps
Daskaloff, Alexander.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Avon Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvi, 195 pages ; 18 cm
Subject Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HG1643 .D37 1999 Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks
HG1643 .D37 1999 Adult Mass Market Paperback Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Leave Home Without It...

Membership has its privileges, but it also has a huge share of disadvantages. Without the proper know-how and guidance, you could find yourself buried beneath an avalanche of credit card debt. Millions of Americans are just like you and are currently attempting to pay off $450 billion to credit card companies. It's in a credit card company's best interest to keep you in debt--after all that's how they make their real money. Even by following their rules, you can quickly be put at a disadvantage. It seems as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel--that is, until now.

And All That Goes With It

Whether you are overwhelmed by credit card debt or trying to prevent it altogether, Credit Card Debt has the answers. The author's basic three-step program provides the information you need to reduce interest rates, eliminate fees, and negotiate with credit card companies to keep your credit report clean. Uniquely designed to help you organize, analyze and reduce your debt, this book helps you understand how credit card companies make their money, how credit cards work, and how to use them responsibly.



Credit Card Debt Chapter One Step 1 -- Organizing The Never-Ending Statements You've probably already guessed that organization is the first major step in overcoming credit card debt. If you are well organized already, starting the process should not be hard. For those disorderly individuals, however, it is now time to follow a new path. Now, let's begin! First, collect all your monthly statements from each of your credit cards, including past statements. You will want to separate all statements according to credit card, then arrange them by order of date. Put papers such as transfer checks, cash advance checks, and letters in separate piles. It is recommended that you use a filing cabinet or a series of file folders. Each credit card should have its own file or section. Then make a separate file for all transfer checks and cash advance checks. Create a miscellaneous file for stray papers that do not belong anywhere specifically. Label everything. Once all that is in order, you'll need to be able to put these documents in a place where you'll have easy access to them. You have now completed your first step in organization! The next step will be to take all those important figures, such as current balance, interest rate, and credit limit, and place them onto one of several charts. If you've ever looked closely at some statements, they might seem to belong in another world. Be sure to take a look at the sample statement that has been provided on page 190, so that your statements become familiar and intelligible to you as we begin the process of organizing, analyzing, and reducing your debt. Four charts are provided for your use; in them you will place important information about your credit cards. These charts are very important in managing your credit card debt. Make sure that all the information you are asked to provide is accurate and up-to-date. Chart #1 -- "The Layout" -- offers vital information in keeping track of your credit cards, especially when planning balance transfers. It will he the most frequently used chart. Chart #2 -- "The Details " -- provides specific information that is required when speaking to a customer service representative, traveling, or making payments. Chart #3 -- "The Transfer" -- helps keep track of balances that are transferred between accounts. Chart #4 -- "The Monthly Checkup" -- will help you organize and review your total balances and finance charges on a month-by-month basis. The Charts No matter how many credit cards you have or how many balance transfers you need to make, whether your economic situation fits that of Tom, or the Joneses, the following charts are essential in battling your credit card debt. The Layout All individuals will greatly benefit from completing "The Layout" chart. It is essential to understanding and applying the recommendations of the book. Take a look at "The Layout" chart at the end of this section; in it you will place vital, accurate, and up-to-date information. The information called for in the chart is essential to proceeding any further in the book, because it is the chart most frequently referred to throughout. Therefore, Tom needs to put down that term paper, Jennifer should resist from shopping tonight, the Joneses must put the children to bed, and Bob truly needs to postpone that trip to Florida. It will be helpful to study the samples provided at the end of each section. Using Bob as an example, these charts reflect his credit card finances after he implemented the methods and recommendations found throughout the book. Blank charts have been provided at the end of each section for readers. So grab those charts, get comfortable, and let's get to work! (It is suggested that you make photocopies of all blank charts before writing down any data. And, when it is time to write, always use a pencil!) In the first column, "Credit Card," list your credit cards by name of issuer. List them in alphabetical order -- in our example, we will use Bank One, Bank Two, Bank Three, and so on-and be consistent; use the same order in the other charts. Credit Card Bank One Bank Two Bank Three In the second column, "Balance," list your current outstanding balance; in other words, what you now owe to that particular credit card. This figure will change frequently, which is why it is recommended you use a pencil. Do not round off numbers; it is important to be exact. For example, if you owe $2,725.30, write $2,725.30. Balance $ 2,725.30 $ 4,250.65 $ 6,825.28 In the third column, "Interest," write down whatever interest you are paying on that particular balance. The interest rate is otherwise known as the APR (annual percentage rate). Most likely there are different interest rates on your statement. These rates might apply to purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers. Once again, do not round off the numbers: If the rate is 8.9%, write down that figure. Sometimes more than one interest rate applies to your entire balance; for example, you might have transferred a balance at a special low interest rate to a credit card that already had a balance, but at a much higher interest rate. In such circumstances, write both rates down and specify what rate applies to which balance. You will then need to figure your average interest for the balances combined, a process later explained in "What's Your Average?" on page 48. Interest 8.90% 16.95% 19.50% The fourth column, "Expires," relates to the expiration date of the interest rate in the "Interest" column. You need to know when that rate no longer applies to your balance. If your balance is linked with a special shortterm low interest rate, chances are you will not be able to find the expiration date on your statement. Refer to the original letter that accompanied the offer or contact a customer service representative. This column is very important, for it will help you remember when you'll need to transfer your balance(s) or call customer service to make arrangements to extend the offer, which is explained throughout "Step 3 -- Reducing, " starting on page 53. Credit Card Debt . Copyright © by Alexander Daskaloff. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Credit Card Debt: Reduce Your Financial Burden in Three Easy Steps by Alexander Daskaloff All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xiii
Are You a Victim?
The Warning Signsp. 3
Sound Familiar?
What Lies Aheadp. 4
The Approach
The Characters
Part 1 The Road to Freedom
Step 1 Organizing
The Never-Ending Statementsp. 11
The Chartsp. 12
The Layout
The Details
The Transfer
The Monthly Checkup
Step 2 Analyzing
Your Flexibilityp. 45
The Formula
The Cost of Your Debtp. 47
What's Your Average?
Categorize Your Credit Cardsp. 49
Line 'Em Up
Step 3 Reducing
Now for the Fun Partp. 53
Offers by Mail and Phonep. 55
Review the Details
Paying Two Rates for One Balance?
Pay One Rate for One Balance!
Special Holiday Checks . . . Beware!
No Interest?
You Have Until Dawn
How to Plan Ahead
Calling the Credit Card Issuerp. 72
Phone Transfers
Calling the Credit Card Issuer on Your Termsp. 74
Play Your Cards Right
The Words of Power
The More, the Merrier
Listen Closely
Part 2 A Few Signs on the Highway
What You Need to Know
Minimum Payment--Tricks of the Tradep. 85
Rule #1 Don't Pay the Minimum
Rule #2 Never Skip a Payment
Rule #3 Don't Just Pay the Interest
Rule #4 A Transfer Is Not a Payment
Rule #5 Trick or Treat
How to Avoid Paying Annual Feesp. 93
Without a Balance
With a Balance
The Sky's the Limitp. 96
What Determines Your Limit
Rule #1 Keep an Eye on It
Rule #2 Be Punctual
Interest, Interest, and Interestp. 101
Balance Configurations
Cash Advance--Friend or Foe?p. 104
The Plastic
Plastic to Some, Gold to Othersp. 109
The Convenience
A Sense of Security
Give Me Those Points
Eenie, Meanie, Miney, Moep. 115
For Those Who Pay in Full
For Those Who Carry a Balance
For Those Who Can't Get a Credit Card
For Those Who Are Very Responsible
For Those Who Want a Limited Card
For Those Who Want to Avoid Debt
How You Compare to the Jonesesp. 119
No Income? No Credit History? No Problem!
A Very Profitable Businessp. 123
Membership Doesn't Have Its Privileges
When You Misbehave
Have Everyone Chip In
Shop in Your Slippers
Advertising Has No Limits
Nothing Is Free
Credit Card--Facts or Theories?p. 127
What You Might Want to Know
Cut Those Expensesp. 131
Life's But a Budget
Consolidating Your Debtp. 139
The Good Part
The Not-So-Good Part
Unique Optionsp. 142
A Second Job
Your Assets
A Telephone Call
Professional Help
Credit Card Surfing
Additional Help
The Last Alternativep. 147
Part 3 Your Final Destination
Better Safe ... Than Sorry
Credit Repair Agenciesp. 153
Checking Your Credit Historyp. 154
Credit Bureaus in the United States
Credit Card Safety and Preparationp. 157
For Your Eyes Only
For Your Safety
Pack Those Charts!p. 160
How to Pay Your Bills
Know Your Rightsp. 163
The Seven Rules
Some Final Comments
A Quick Reviewp. 169
Polish Those Skills
What to Do When out of Debtp. 172
The Life After
The Adventure Continues Onlinep. 176
Scissors Are Too Cruelp. 177
Five Smiling Faces
Glossary A to Zp. 185
Decoding the Monthly Statementp. 191
It's Not Just Plasticp. 196
Interest Comparison Chartp. 197