Credit card rates

B of A announced today they will be raising their ATM use fees for non-clients from $2.00-$3.00. Yeesh! As a lot of ATMs out here are in fact B of A, I’ll continue the ‘credit card’ option methinks.

And people wonder why I call them Bank of UN-America! I just tried checking a few websites which give out locations of free ATMs and all of the ones I know either shut-down or put up a notice that they have stopped because they learned the ATMs were not truly free.

Remember, there is always a possibility of 2 charges, one by your financial institution and the other by the owner of the ATM. Find out what chain in your area does not charge. Here in the Atlanta area, all Publix Grocery stores have an ATM from PRESTO and do not charge and neither does my CU.

The other option is to take case back for a transaction. Go into just about any grocery store and buy a 50cent candy bar or a $1.00 coke and get cash back.

This is one reason why I refuse to do business with large banks. I’ve been with my CU for over 6 years and have never paid a dime in service charges. Personally, I rarely use cash. I get rewards so everything goes on my credit card. If I need cash I’ll either visit one of the thousands of credit unions that are free to me or I get cash back or I’ll pick up dinner when with a friend and take their cash.

I saw that. My DH and I have been working at avoiding ATMs as much as possible, since most of them are considered “foreign” and thus, charge us some type of fee.
Sometimes, when we buy something with our debit card, we will get some extra cash back. Usually, we get enough out with a visit to the credit union once a week and avoid the ATMs all together. It took us awhile to reach this point, but it saves on fees.

I love my bank, usaa gives you back your atm fees that other banks charge! But usually if i need cash back i do it as a transaction:)

Old debts

I just found out that my last semester of college tuition had not been paid. The amount was $1,500.00 back in 1998 and now with interest it is over $4,000. I haven’t needed my transcripts for the last ten years but I do now. Does anyone know if they are allowed to hold on to this for so many years and keep charging interest? Any advice would be appreciated.

collegeI owed tuition when I left and what I did was talk to the college about the money owed and why it wasn’t paid. They allowed me to pay the original amount owed and forgave the late fees. You could try that.

I’d still like to know where these colleges are 😎 The Jesuits would put you in a dungeon or lock you in a tower to get their tuition!

I went to University of Cincinnati.

I guess the “Soldiers of Christ” don’t have a need to actually follow His teaching – especially the one about forgiveness. Where do you think the 7 year statute on debts came from?

Statute of limitation

i had something happen today that FREAKING FLOORED me. i received collection notice from afni collections for a verizon/att bill from july 1999. the amount owed was charged off february 02, 2009. back around that time i did change my number and continued to pay my bill monthly. i was never late with a payment and it does not show on my credit report. today im still a verizon customer and have all options available on my phone service (call waiting, three way calling, voice mail and dsl service). i was told if you owe verizon monies that they will not shut off you phone if you are paying the “state minimum” payment required by pennsylvania state law. i pay my utility bills in full each and every month. i have never heard of a “STATE MINIMUM” to pay on a phone bill.

the collection person told me on the phone today that verizon posts the charges from the old number on the new bill as a separate line item but by pennsylvania law, verizon cannot add the amount of your old bill to the total you owe on your current bill. i find this hard to believe. none the less, im disputing it because of it being 7 years old.

does anybody on this list know now long a company has to collect on a phone bill? in the past 7 years, i have never received a collection notice about this from any collection agency nor did i receive anything from verizon saying i owed them this money. i lived at that address up until a year and a half ago so verizon would have not had a problem contacting me.

what concerns me is that they are trying to collect on a debt from seven years ago that i knew nothing about it. im afraid that this will end up on my credit report. i have an outstanding credit report and would like to keep it that way. i plan on buying a home shortly and i dont need this verizon bill showing on my credit report and hampering my real estate loan application.

im interested in what the folks on debtsteps have to say. any suggestion on what i should do would be greatly appreciated. in the mean time, ill be searching google to see what i can come up with.

john smith (real name changed to protect my true identity)

Hi John Smith.
It looks like you’re getting screwed. I’ve been doing a lot of research on debt collection for bills and such because that’s where most of my debt comes from. I know a few things – yes, keep disputing…that have to come up with proof in writing. Don’t give them a DIME. If you agree to even a small payment, the statue of limitations opens back up. And if it does turn out to be real (which it doesn’t look like), try to make them agree that in exchange for payment, they’ll take anything negative off your credit report – IN WRITING. As for the statute of limitations, I get confused…sometimes it’s seven years, and sometimes it varies state by state. Those are my two cents, which you probably already know, but I feel for you and good luck!

Credit report

I have been working on my credit report and noticed today that some of the cc debt i have is dated as opened in 2006. i know that this is not true. i believe the debt was from 1998 or 99. when does the sol start? if this is bought by a collection agency does the sol start over? and how do i go about getting this fixed or resolved? do i do not know and exact date but i know that is has not been with in a year.

If you have documentation, make copies and send it to the three credit bureaus stating that you opened _______ account in (insert date/year). Either it will be corrected or removed if they can not prove the new stated information from the creditor.

The statute of limitations starts 7 years from the date of last activity, if I recall correctly. It is one reason you do not want to do anything to a debt that is 6-1/2 years past due. If you just wait it out for 7 years and a day, it has to be removed if you write and ask the credit bureau to remove it. Except for bankruptcy, which can stay for 10-13 years I believe. It is much longer than a regular debt.

Activity, such as the last time you made a payment, etc. I remember reading somewhere, Consumer Reports Money Advisor I believe, that the debt ages from its original date. A subsequent credit collection agency can not re-start the clock with a new date.

The best thing on your side is documentation. Send copies of everything to support your position and make sure you send it so that a signature is required. Yes, it costs more in postage, but you need to be able to cover yourself. I am talking about the PINK signature card, not the GREEN one.

Selling a house

selling houseWe have a home that we owe $80,000 on and could sell for about $185,000. We found a home that was a rental property that is a 4br walkout that needs cleaned, new carpet and paint. We might need to put in $5,000 roughly into it. The person who owns it has a lot on their plate and just wants out of rental business, he doesn’t want to list it because it needs work and he doesn’t want to fix it up. He is selling it for $150,000/take over payments basically. After fixing it up it we could sell it for about $200,000. We were thinking about fixing it up with my brother in law and reselling it for a profit.

With capital gains tax it isn’t going to be a decent profit when you also add in closing costs and realtor fees after we replace/clean/update. If we sell our home and move into this house for at least a year, we could sell it, make a profit and move to the neighborhood near my husband’s work with more money down than if we just sold our home. Does this sound like too much work to get closer to a home that is big enough for our growing family? I would be really happy living at the new house. You can’t find a 4br walkout near a lake for $150,000. We have a family of 6 and the square footage is almost twice what we have. It would be close to my husbands brother, 2 of our close friends and downtown. We have never sold a home before. I know realtor fees are about 6%-7% but I am uncertain about closing costs. I have heard it is not profitable to move frequently. Any ideas? I know this is a long post.

I read the other day in a couple of places that it costs approx. $35,000 to move. Part of why people are encouraged to buy a house only if they intend to stay put for 5 years or so. Hopefully, longer. Another article stated $18,000 – $35,000 to move.

The house should be inspected, if you choose to go ahead. Make sure that all it needs is new carpeting and a good cleaning.

Bankruptcy

Can someone answer this critical question. In our BK we have included our family vehicle, we live in a rural area and my wife drives our kids to the bus stop and sometimes to school when snow comes. Although we have heard we will easily be able to purchase a new vehicle on credit it is not clear to me exactly when this may occur. After discharge is complete (three months)? or immediately after our court date? Hopefully it’s the latter. Also how long will it take for the bank to pick up our current vehicle once they are notified of our BK. This process has been humiliating and exhausting to say the least.

I strongly encourage you to check this web site out…lots of free, honest, TERRIFIC information for us folks who, for WHATEVER reason, are or have had to deal with the dreaded bankruptcy.

www.lifeafterbankruptcy.com

As you will see, there really is a lot of hope and “life after bankruptcy”.

Thanx for the reply however, I am already a member of this site and recieve his weekly newsletter. That I know of, the answer to my question is not available on this website.

You know, what’s wrong with taking a few hundred and getting something you can afford rather than start the debt cycle again?

Credit card rates

I recently had a couple of incidents with Bank of America. I had automatic payments set up via Bank of America. During one particular month, my payment was paid a day prior to the closing date so it looked like I had made two payments during one cycle and no payment the following cylce. When I got my subsequent bill, I was charged a late fee and changed to an default interest rate of 24%.

I called Bank of America. I was told by the customer service rep that there was nothing that could be done to refund my fee and revert back to the lower interest rate. She said it was my fault because I set up the scheduled payments and in fact, although I paid twice in one month, I did miss a payment.

I hung up the phone and called right back and asked for a supervisor. This customer representative asked what the problem was and said You don’t need a supervisor I can fix that! She reversed the late charge and put me back on the lower interest rate. She suggested that I change my automatic payment date to a later date to prevent this problem in the future. It took her less than 5 minutes to correct the error. Needless to say, I was very happy but it is ashamed that the results of an interaction with a credit card company is based on the sole discretion of a customer service rep.

The other thing that happend with me with Bank of America was that after I finished paying off the entire Bank of America balance, my account was still being debited by Bank of America for auto payments. I called BOA and was told that unless the customer cancels auto payments, payments will continue to be debited from bank accounts even if the credit card balance is 0. They could not reverse the debits. They promised to send me a check for the overpayments.

This months issue of Consumer Reports has an article about CC Co’s. I only read a small bit of yet yesterday in the store because I didn’t want to pay 5 bucks for a magazine. I may stop by the library and read it.

There is a long list of consumers favorites. USAA rates highest which doesn’t surprise me. I think BOA and Citi are someone in the bottom half. I know they wern’t in the top ten! LOL! The article says the best cards come from Credit Unions or USAA. Makes sense. They answer to their members… not stockholders like the big banks!

If you don’t make it to the library and you want to read more right now, here are the links to read:

https://www.ussfcu.org/CARES/cares10.php
http://www.johnchow.com/evil-credit-card-tricks/
http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/5-sneaky-credit-card-tricks-1267.php

I have several credit cards that I’m working hard to pay off and haven’t used for years and I can tell you in my experience B.O.A. is the worst one. My Chase card is the best. I got a 0% for 15 months and a 8.9% fixed interest rate on it. I would pay it off as soon as possible.

Credit card rates

I received a length letter, one for each of two credit cards I have with BoA. I have zero balance on one, and 3k+ on another. I think the gist of the letter is to inform you of percentage points by which they are raising services such as balance transfer, check cash advance and direct deposit. That confuses me when it respects a credit card, since the only thing that I might have done, besides using the card, might be to withdraw some money from it and deposit it to my checking. I suppose that falls under one of those three categories. They are going to increase the annual percentage rate to your card as a penalty if one is late in paying in two instances within a year, or if you exceed the limit twice in the year. This last one is a catch, because these days credit cards don’t deny you credit when you buy if you exceed the limit. They use those as a way to hit you with a fee for having exceeded the limit. They can increase the APR up to 32.24%. You have the right to write to them and reject by letter these default pricing amendments. This sure gets me motivated to pay off these cards sooner. I may opt to write the letter rejecting these amendments, but I’m not sure how that would help or prevent such an occurrence. If you fall into the problem you have to “behave” for 6 months to get lowering, and the lowering takes place in two percentage points increments, which seems slow. Pretty sobering stuff, eh?

I would pay off the card ASAP and refrain from using it. I saw in the news the other day that Bank of America is also raising the cost of using the ATMS to $3, one of the highest one currently out there (until other banks join in).

Another thing – if you have a balance on your credit card and you take a cash advance on that same card, you are getting into a deep whole really fast. When you make a payment, it goes to the credit card balance, not to the cash advance. The interest on the cash advance starts the minute you take it out and grows and grows all the while you are paying back the credit card balance. So that $500 or $1000 you take out as a cash advance grows exponentially.

If you must take out a cash advance, do it on a credit card that has NO balance, so when you pay it back, you are paying back the cash advance only.

Most credit cards also charge a higher interest rate on the cash advance amount than your regular credit card balance. Something else to note.

Credit card debt

snowballHi guys, I’m new to the group. Just came into a bit of money and would like to know the best way to pay off a few credit cards. Do I pay off the ones with the highest int. rate? or the ones with the highest amount?

This may not be the best answer, but I think Dave Ramsey says to pay off the ones with the smallest amounts owed first. Maybe it’s because every card carries a risk of a late fee if you don’t pay and having a balance of even $50 could cost you a fee if you forget to pay? A lot of people here follow the Dave Ramsey method which gets a snowball effect happening fast by paying off the smallest to largest, then rolling those payments into the next smallest. This method keeps you encouraged to keep going.

learn more from this video:

A slight alternative I did when the company I work for was sold and all of my corporate stock ended up in a cash account was pay-off my wife’s car to free up $350 a month which immediately went into the smallest debt and had it paid off in 2 months. That was a good jump start to the debt snowball. It was also a good thing, because an hour after I paid off her car, she totaled it. We had enough in an emergency fund to buy her a beater and she is still driving it.

I would say pay off in full as many as possible. Then, rank the rest by interest rate. That way, you may clear 5 of 8 credit cards and then focus on just paying what is left.

I was forwarded the following link that will calculate if it’s better to pay off the higher interest rate v. lowest balance cards first. Dave’s snowball plan says to start with the smallest balance – this is because once you have paid off that one, you take the money you were using towards it and apply to the next, and so on, like a snowball that just keeps getting bigger. Anyway, here’s the link:

http://us.whatsthecost.com/snowball.aspx

Also, there is another opinion which says that you should pay off the ones with the highest rates first, then start with the debt snowball with the rest.

Good luck!