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.

Updated: February 5, 2016 — 9:06 pm