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Prepaid Credit Cards

Hi everyone,

And a very happy new year to all! An update, and a question or two …

I’ve only posted once so far, but I am reading all the postings from others and learning so much. This month I am hoping to get current on all my bills, and have spent a great deal of time working with my creditors to do this.

I wanted to say that one of the most profound messages I got from this group was a posting that talked about the FICO score as being an “I love debt” score … that has been a powerful concept for me, and one I have thought about a lot!! It’s helped me realize that my entire focus has been on credit for far too long – which is why I keep getting back into debt. Even Suze Orman, and all her materials, seem to focus on credit … rather than on building financial security. I guess it’s a mindset, and I never realized it before. So now I am more determined than ever to get out of debt, and to find ways to build wealth (well, maybe I’ll never be “wealthy” but hopefully more comfortable than I am now!!).

Question – has anyone had experience with those prepaid Visa cards? WalMart sells them, so does Western Union, Green Dot, and other less recognizable vendors. They are appealing to me because you can’t accidentally get into overdrafts and the resulting “courtesy pay” fees, etc. They seem more finite and therefore a “stricter” alternative than a checking account debit card. Right now, I want instruments that don’t give me any leeway for extra credit. Does anyone have experience with these?

I’ve used them, they are very safe and very good to pay online bills with. Make sure that you get the one with the least per transaction fees. But what you need to use is called CASH. No Credit Cards of any kind until you are positive that you can handle them.

I am working at eliminating use of the DEBIT CARD and its accompanying “courtesy fees” as well. Just a personal goal. I am determined to use CASH as much as possible. When a check is needed, I will go buy a cashier’s check from the bank (we only get so many FREE each month). That way, I am positive that there is no way to have any additional fees. Once you get it and mail it, you are done.

I am not crazy about online banking/bill paying as they get access to the bank account and some companies “forget” to take what they are supposed to. Oops! Did we do that? Take $________ instead of $______????? So sorry. I am not interested in giving companies instant access to my bank account. No thanks!

Check with your bank on the Visa Gift cards. Depending on the relationship with the bank you may not be charged for them. Be careful though because some of them are not reloadable. I have heard of people using them to shop online so they do not have to give out their personal information. I am not sure about using them to pay bills though. I use online billpay for my utilities. It saves me time from writing and mailing checks.

You don’t want to close your oldest accounts

You don’t want to close your oldest accounts because the “age” of your credit report is a good % of your credit score. Your history of paying debts on time is the largest chunk, 30% or so. You have to just stop buying things with the credit card and save up for your shoes. Esp. if you don’t have the discipline to pay the bill in full each month.

I hear suze orman say one time, closing a card is like closing the history to that account. I guess it looks better to have it show that you have 50000 in available credit and you only are using 3000 of it. Versus if you close those accounts down, its as if you never owned or had that to your accuntability. Something like that.

Discipline… can also be that my hours got cut and I could not pay the full amount this month.

In retail, most all bets are off unless you are full time employed. I was working 30-32 hours a week, but this next week, for example I am cut to 18, as all P/T people are for payroll/budgeting purposes, but then they emailed me asking me to come in two hours early tomorrow.

Sometimes, the best laid plans are snuffed when SSI holds your bennies back a month early, in this case, keeping them from me THIS month instead of in February as they SAID they would do in their letter to me.

Understanding what you are saying, but I request the use of the word ‘discipline’ be taken off. I have always been disciplined enough to pay full or more than minimums, but this month I got 2 curve balls thrown at me. Hours and SSI.

Id rather have it closed than 3 thousand on a cc bill with 50000 available credit… thats just me… lol

Unless you closely monitor all correspondence you receive from the CC companies where you have zero balance, you may find yourself caught with a change to the terms and they begin an annual fee. You do not see them inform you, you throw the statements away without really looking at it because you do not owe anything. Next thing you know, you have tons of late fees, interest and their collections calling.

This caught up on an estate I am executor on. It took a lot of arguing with management on their part to drop all charges and close the account. I basically told them I wasn’t sending any money and if they wanted to sue the estate for $220 something that this had climbed to, all because they added a $75.00 annual fee and I never looked at it. This was the same company that kept making it difficult to acknowledge the creditor was dead and I was the executor.

Long story short, Suze Orman and the like want you to live in the FICO world and you do not have to.

I have a ton of accounts. In the 80s, collecting credit cards was like a hobby. đŸ˜® I’m considering closing one account. It’s not my oldest account or cc with biggest line of credit. And I like what someone else said — we only need to worry about our FICO score if we plan to borrow again. :-)

Payday loans lenders also look at how many open accounts you have.

Can you file for unemployment in this case? I used to work for a company where there was no business coming in. Some weeks we’d work 40 hours, others nothing. At the time it wasn’t so easy to apply for unemployment (online) in California but if I worked for someone like that now, I’d be filing each week. It raises the employer’s unemployment tax and doesn’t look good for them.

In Michigan we’re allowed to file for underemployement. It’s done like regular unemployment with calling in every other week to report any earnings then we get mailed a check a few days later. One drawback is that it only lasts for a set period of time. An advantage is that it can help make up for the difference in wages. I’ve done this the last two years when my job is cut from January to March. The first time I just had to provide info about my earnings for the last either year or 18 months, I don’t remember which. Going from 30 hours a week to 15 was a major income loss so I really needed those checks just to survive. Hope this helps.

I had that happen to me. I had paid of an account, then moved. 6 months later I was receiving late fees for a $30 membership fee they had been charging me for NOT using the credit card. I called and complained and told them I wanted to close the account and never look back. They actually took off the charges, brought me back to $0 and closed the account.

Closing accounts and credit score

I’ve heard and read that closing accounts looks bad on one’s credit report. Does this count for main VISA and Master Cards AND ‘Store’ cards?

I have a Target VISA I would like to pay off and lose. I cut the card up, because that VISA Logo makes it too easy to use anywhere.

I have a Penny’s card I have had from 1993 and would like to perhaps close it because I keep resorting to it for clothes and shoes. My feet (Diabetes too) are narrow and they have my sizes. I cannot go to payless or whatever, as they haven’t got the proper sizes for my feet… I owe them about $400.00 and when it is paid off I’m thinking of closing it.

I’m OK on shoes and such, so I was thinking of unloading some of the plastic here. No, I don’t want a great score so I can borrow, I just want a clean rep mainly. Opinions on closing store accounts would be read with interest.

credit scoreI believe it looks better to NOT close them. Just cut them up and you cannot use them and you are safe. I dont plan on closing any of mine. I forget how it was explained to me but it has something to do with the amount of total credit you can get and when you close them it effects that somehow.

DO NOT! I REPEAT – DO NOT! Close your accounts.. Your open accounts, no matter the circumstances are your credit “history” if you close them, you are deleting part of your past. Keeping them open shows that that company has entrusted you with credit throughout the years. If you close your account, your credit score will drop immediately. I just bought a house and learned this. I thought the same thing, pay off the card and close the account, I called the company to close it. My lender scolded me and had me call back to cancel my cancellation of the card. Instead just keep the debt on your cards below 50% of the limits.

Just my opinion here but if you have had that JCPenny card since 1993 I personally would’nt close it, unless your other cards are in the same age range or they charge you an annual fee etc. The longer you have had accounts open the better your score.

Don’t some cards close themselves if they’re inactive for a while? That’s why they tell you to use it once a year or something?

So long as everyone knows you just keep playing their game. A FICO score is an “I LOVE DEBT” score. If you read how the fair Isaac works, having a bunch of credit cards with nothing on them can also hurt you. Particularly when you are trying to purchase a house with marginal credit or nothing down. They figure you will turn around and max the cards on furniture and improvements and not make your mortgage. Could turn you down or give you less than optimal rates.

I had a card send me a letter once it was funny…It said something like “due to business reasons we are closing your account” because I hadn’t used my Discover Card in over 5 years. So there are some that will close automatically, but I don’t think there are many of them. I at one time had 2 credit cards sending me statements back because I had an extra dollar on it, so they sent me a statement every month. I was like sweet, I’ll just make them send me a statement and waste money because I have a credit of $1.00. That lasted about 6 months, then they sent me a check and closed it lol. Maybe I’ll do that on some other ones just for kicks.

Going in debt over medical cost?

I have just hit a place that I am very stuck. I have 4 boys. 3 have ADD. I will try to make this short. Hubby retired from one job and started another. Well the insurance for the old job was to expensive to keep paying the premuim. He got insurance on the new job. In december, he was eligable. Our kids are considered pre existing. Now I have applied for medicaid. We cannot get medicaid cause we are insured.but yet are pre existing. we have to wait 6 months if we were to drop the insurance that is already pre existing. We were out of debt for a matter of 1 month.

We are sliding back into debt so fast it is not even funny. These meds are high cost. I have no clue what we are going to do. I really need to be home with the kids. Do to the fact my husband has mild bipolar? He was just diagnosed in dec. I really need a break from all this. I cant seem to find any job online or to do at home that is not a scam. Increasing my income would be a solution to the problem. But finding something that can be done with the kids around is the hard part. Does anyone have any suggestions?

medical billsStart a collection business or offer the services to others in the area.. In my searching for a job to work from home, I came across a fantastic site… for very legitimate at home jobs and there are lots of them! You have to pay for the service, but you can join for as little as $7 for a week to see how you like it.

Good luck…I have a child who is bipolar and ADHD and my husband was recently diagnosed with ADD. I, too, am trying to keep my sanity. Just keep up the hope!

Also, check out – I have never personally used but have heard from some that do who love it.

I would suggest 2 things – one, contact the manufacturer of the medication. Most pharmaceutical corps have programs for those who cannot afford their medications – especially ones that are considered “necessary”.

Two – ask your doctor’s office for samples. Drug company reps encourage doctors to prescribe their medications by providing “sample” packs. These are designed to give to the patients – most of the time all you have to do is ask and they will give it to you if they have it. My favorite nurse actually contacted a rep and asked for samples for me and they gave me 2 month’s worth of an asthma inhaler. Good luck!

Also most states have a low cost insurance coverage for children – my kids have been covered since birth and I have to recert every year, but they cover everything from dr visits, prescriptions, some over the counter meds, vision, I am even getting a break on my daughter’s braces because her teeth are so bad they affect her speech.

Very good point. This is how I was able to try a certain analog insulin (Apidra) for a few weeks. It was not actually good for me, but saved me having to jump through the ‘pre-auth’ hoops to get it to find out.

I got another samples pack earlier, a few years ago, and that has been the best one for me. Having those samples to see it working or not is a smart move for anybody IMO.

(Celebrating the 13th anniversary of my 39th birthday today a little more out of debt every month….)

My problems began when I got divorced.

I have been a member for quite some time, probably over a year. Just lurking around reading all the great information all of you share with one another.

My problems began when I got divorced. I had a huge amount of debt, way more than I really could handle but I wanted to do the right thing and pay for my mistakes. I joined a consumer debt counseling group and religiously made those payments, for years I really had just about nothing. Finally I see the light at the end of the tunnel. The company I was working for in California was in the process of laying us all off. They had a great severance package going and I knew that the last few thousand would EASILY get paid off and id have more to spare. Finally I am going to get to enjoy some of the money I work so hard for.

So I open my first credit card in 6 years and get some bedroom furniture. No big deal right since I got this major severance thing coming. Well instead 9/11 happens, I get laid off 2 months before they had planned. And so im out of a job, living in California with huge expenses. Unable to find a job, I moved to Florida where a family member lives. Finally start getting back on my feet. Unfortunately, my debt payments stop cause I really cant afford it. Everything goes back in arrears, well its not remotely as much as it used to be but yes, collection calls come.

Few years go by, we are doing better. I decide to deal with this stuff again, join another CCCS place. But they are not even remotely as good as the first place. Everything gets messed up. The companies have sold off my debts YEARS ago to collection agencies and they just want more and more money. I finally decide I just cant do this anymore. I decided if they want the junk I have they can take it all, I dont care anymore. I dont have another 50 or 100 bucks to give them. So I turn off my phone and ignore everything and everyone that comes looking for me.

3 years later, somehow my husband and I are able to buy a house….I really have no idea how. Financially we are doing ok actually. Building credit even though all this junk is on my credit report. In fact most of my debt is reported on my credit report at least twice or 3 times. I have been so dissapointed by this that I havent done anything about it. I keep hearing that the 2nd time I started paying it all I reset the 7 year collection period. So will this junk from over 10 years ago just stay on my credit report for another 7 years?

Sorry for the book.

Thanks for any advice.

Up to my ears in debt

  • i am a re-entry adult college student
  • i am 34 years old
  • my “i love debt” score is 571
  • I am up to my ears in debt, owing around $64,000 total;
  • the majority of it is student loans
  • my car financed in 2013
  • a treadmill i financed a few months ago

on the negative/delinquent/deragotory account side i have 2-4 accounts falling off my credit report this year due to statue of limitations but also there are 4 credit cards, that are chargeoffs, opened in 2012 with humongous fees attached to them.

I would like to someone how get those cards either re-opened and pay the previous balance (before the fees the Collection Agency added to them) so they dont show chargeoff and pay on it to get it to show as paid as a greed.

Is there any way to get those cards to report positively on my credit report?

Does anyone have a Goodwill Letter they can show me that was effective for them?

Thanks everyone.

Hey, watch this video, it may be useful for you:

Đ¡hanging jobs

Hi. It’s been awhile since I said much.

We’re not in as much trouble as some, but I don’t know where we’ll be in the next few months. Right now we have a good amount of cc debt, but we can make the minimum payments and a little extra. I’m mainly focused on putting money away in the bank. The reason is, my husband is getting out of the Navy February 29th. We have enough saved up for one month’s worth of bills. (I know it’s not a lot) We’re looking forward to a nice tax return to help as well. Between that and unemployment, we can probably last for 2-3 months.

We didn’t really plan on him getting out so soon, it just happened that way. I mean we though he couldn’t get out until October but he was told in December that he has a chance to get out in February. His option if he doesn’t get out in February? To extend until the end of the next deployment. (December) or extend until 2019. He’s already been in 9 1/2 years and been on 4 deployments, one of which ended up being 9 months instead of the usual 6. We have 3 young kids and feel like he needs to get out before they’re all grown up. He’s missed out on SO much.

We’re hoping he can get a good federal or government job and he will join the Navy Reserves. I may have to get a part time job. We have a house and that’s our main concern. I don’t know if I’m looking for advice, I just wanted to share our current story.

Thanks for listening!

My intro and my situation

I guess like most I have been following I am in debt from cc over use. serious debt to the tune of 90-100K.

Incredible. I can’t understand how it got out of hand so much and so quickly. I can’t even show you a big screen tv or pictures of some fabulous vacation or a huge new car to explain this debt. It is just nickles and dimes that added up quickly.

I am ok with my mortgage and car and 5 or so cc. But another 5 or so cards I am seriously delinquent and one even dropped me to a collection agency. These companies have been calling the house and work and I have been avoiding their calls. I can’t even begin to think where I could get money to offer them.

What do I do first…or second…or third….to try and turn things around? thanks for any guidence.

There’s probably more knowledgeable people than me who can give you more details, but I’d recommend that the first thing you do is lay out your budget. Can you pay your minimum payments on the current cards? What do you have available, if anything, to give to the old cards? Then pick up the phone (I’ve had to do this, it isn’t actually that bad). Call those old cards and try to set up a payment plan of some kind.

Then, do your best to stop using credit cards and stick to cash, and sloooowly pay everything down.

That’s a start, anyway. Anyone else? :)

Question about my apartment complex

apartmentsI think I wrote to you guys previously ergarding a situation I had with my former apartment complex. I sent the apartment complex a letter requesting reciepts and a copy of the performance bond they reponded and sent me a copy of the performance bond that I signed, i dont remember signing it and they sent me a copy of the Apartment cleaning checklist that I signed, which listed the fees for the items they are charging me for.

I don’t dispute the bill even though it’s high, what I am disputing is the performance bond if they file the claim, the performance bond goes in as a judgement against me, they have the right to takke my car, garnish my wages, etc..

The apartment complex says they will revise the bill from $2500 when someone moves in and they expect soemone to move in on 1/18/07, the bill probably will be reduced to abotu $1800

I dont know what to do? I don’t have $1800, I dont want them to take my car and take all my wages

my car is not totally owned by me, it is financed through a bank, so i am thinking that the owner is the bank since I make payments tot he bank if i i miss one payment the bank will reposess the car. does that mean the performance bond company cant take my car since I dont own it? does anyone know anything about arizona laws? What amount of income is exempt from garnishment? I take home about $2000 a month after taxes

Typically non secured debt is 10-15% of your take home. They cannot take your car since you do not own said car. That would be like someone repo’ing the apartment you are in for some other debt, you don’t own it, so they can’t take it.

What I would do since you don’t dispute the charges, is send them another letter, saying I can make $50 per month payments, or whatever, and send them a good faith check/money order. I believe, and check with your state laws first, that once they accept a payment that’s agreement in this case.

I wish I would have read this before I sent off the letter. I did send a letter offering $60 a month but I didn’t send a good faith check. I said if the arrangements were agreeable I would start sending the checks on the 1st of each month starting with February 1. Havent heard back yet, but it’s only been a couple days.

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