Oregon Alliance

Money: budgeting and saving tips

Even if they have insurance

Even if they have insurance, many people are plodding along, paying and paying high interest and the other penalty fees and being held hostage because they are unable to pay the balance of their accounts.

CC co’s are making BIG $$$ when they charge these loan shark fees and then add compound interest and keep you in a debtors prison until you can pay the balance. .

They aren’t making money from those who pay their balances off every month. In fact, insiders say some of these CC co’s refer to those people as “Deadbeats”

What is really sickening to me is a person can have their interest raised because they are considered a high risk. Then the co turns around in a month or so, and raise the persons spending limit! I know this from experience!

If they were concerned about a person being a high risk . they would not be offering more credit. That’s why I am sure bad credit loans with guaranteed approval are a much better alternative to high interest rate CCs.

I really don’t see that the subject is so off-topic for the blog. Debt and finances are such a broad range, and carry a lot of feelings, opinions and emotion.

And, you know, I agree with you that we should attempt to control our situation. The reason, in fact, I’m on the board and/or other boards is exactly that. I learned a hard, hard lesson about financial security by my experiences. Although my circumstance was out of my ablility to control, the experience catapulted me into a new awareness of the power of financial security and/or the lack of it. I sometimes feel like Scarlett O’Hara, shouting “As God is my witness, I’ll never go hungry again!”. From the day I faced BK, I vowed to never allow catasrophe to catch me unprepared again.

No one here is saying that the members of this blog are shiftless

No one here is saying that the members of this blog are shiftless, conniving twits who should be locked away in some separate colony. Weare all looking for solutions to get out of debt and stay that way; at least, I think that is the intent. Not everyone will approach the situation from the same viewpoint for obvious reasons.

As I have stated before, I thrived due to Reagan’s trickle down economy. I put myself through college with the sorriest excuse for a GI Bill (1978-1980 version) and working 3 part-time jobs, plus serving in the Army Reserve. I then returned to the Army and completed 23 years of service. The pension is nice but does not cover enough bills. Adding the pension to my current salary (fourth career change in my adult life); I am approaching the mark of the 10% who pay 90 % of the taxes and it bothers me that I am being lumped into the group of the filthy rich – or the assumption that I am the rich white guy.

I do not subscribe to the philosophy that I am the Captain of my fate – God is; nor do I buy into the idea that I have ever been the victim of circumstances. I do however, subscribe (though not perfect) that I am to be a good steward of what I can control. Example – I made the decision to move my wife’s IRA into a Travel and Leisure fund in May of 2001, by October, it had lost almost 70% of its value. I made the decision, when it had regained to 50% of its original value, to move it into something more secure. If I had left it alone, that fund would be double what it is now. We cannot tell the future, we make decisions for the future based on our present situations and knowledge. Yet in the long-run, it is our decision how we are going to act or react.

I get annoyed quickly with certain attitudes I see sometime. As when people assume that I must be among the filthy rich and can afford to pay more in taxes (they do not know that I carry $20k in unsecured debt and $220k in secured debt). Another one is the assumption that corporations actually pay taxes or absorb debts out of their profits. The reality is, if they can, they will pass these on to the consumers so fast that it barely shows up on their balance sheets. The worst one I see is the idea that the government owes me a job (especially in the career field of `MY’ choosing), a house, food, a car, medical care, computer, the list is endless. People have confused their right to work and pay for these items without interference from the government with the idea that the government should provide for it. I do not, however, get upset over the Paris Hilton’s of the world jetting around in luxury. My wife and I may not be rich in money, but we are far richer in ways Paris will probably never know or even comprehend.

I do not wish to get this forum way off its intended topic. I would suggested, anyone desiring to carry on this conversation, replying via e-mail rather than use the blog.

I agree so much with you about the income tax

I agree so much with you about the income tax—although, like you said, it will never happen. But we can always hope.

But as far as bankruptcy, you are also entitled to your opinion. I’m so sad every-time I hear someone comment on persons who file BK as their “decision” and that they had a choice to get into debt or not. It’s insulting to people like myself who weren’t really in “debt” (the picture comes to mind in most people of irresponsible use of credit cards and general credit, i.e., overspending). Sometimes you just, because of circumstances beyond your control, lose everything. Filing BK is not an “easy” decision for a lot of people – it’s a gut-wrenching decision. And I owe no one an explanation of what my circumstances were – but I will say that I was not the typical stereotype that so many have fixed in their mind.

It’s almost unbearable at times to know that others put you in the big, one-size-fits-all bankruptcy category – the category who are “taking” from the the “honest, hard-working class” and taking a free ride, compliments of them. Perhaps one day there could be legislation to put person who have filed BK in colonies, like lepers (well, no that would take government money, too). But that it how the opinion of people who lump us all together makes one feel. Well, at least if we were separated into colonies, I might get to meet Dave Ramsey, since he filed bankruptcy, too.



Without a doubt, nothing is ever free

It’s a matter of priorities, however, and I don’t think that anyone minds paying taxes if they agree with how they’re spent. Like yourself, many people like myself see our government’s money squandered to protect special interests and to make corrupt rich people richer and even more corrupt. This is just simply wrong in a country that purports to exist for the people.

I’m not sure what a “fair tax” is and one may not exist, but this country did extremely well for all of its people all the while the highest rates were 70 to over 90 percent. The recent tax breaks for the top have largely gone straight out of the country and it’s unheard of to cut taxes during a war. By any measure it’s stealing from the little guy to give to the rich. There was never a “trickle down” and it’s one of the reasons so many people are hurting. Give a break to the people, not as a handout they way the rich and the mega corporations get it but in the form of a low interest loan or grant for education, and we’ll spend more at the corner store. One of the best investments this country ever made in itself was the G.I. bill which educated millions of people. My brother wouldn’t have his PhD otherwise. Who has such vision in today’s government? It’s every man for himself now.

Oh, in my case, my debt is due to being a business owner who ran a successful company for thirty years until this administration demolished the local economy. I sell a lot to other businesses and most of my customers have been hurt, bankrupted or moved out of the area. As a result, I’ve had to lay off many people and downsize to the point where my wife and I work for free just to make minimum payments on our secured business loans and my daughter may never finish college. Certainly, it’s people like ourselves whom the framers had in mind when they began this experiment. Meanwhile, I know a fellow who never worked a day in his life who’s spending his inheritance windfall millions to purchase a Czechoslovakian jet for himself. Sales of foreign made private jets and yachts have experienced staggering growth the last few years. What’s wrong here?

This is not the land of opportunity any more unless you’re a poor immigrant who had it even worse elsewhere. “The Economist” recently reported a study that showed that the US is one of the worst places in the industrialized world to change one’s standard of living through hard work, so pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps is now more a myth than ever. Even with their socialist tax rates, there’s a better chance of getting ahead in Sweden or Finland than here because their priorities tell them to reinvest their taxes in people. These days, you have to either be lucky or corrupt to get ahead in the USA.

I’m sorry to disagree with some of you

I’m sorry to disagree with some of you, but I could not vote for a person who wants to put a gun to my head to take my money to give to someone else. I have my own financial woes, though I should not. But I have heard Doctors call Dave Ramsey about their debt and them making over $250k. I (my wife & I) created our mess and it is our responsibility to get out of it, not the Government’s.

Among the legislative pieces that really need to be changed is:

Why shold cc A raise your rate because you were late to cc B? ; Stiffer penalties on any creditor or collection agencies for violating the law & Why should car/housing insurance companies be allowed to use you FICO score to determine rates? The latter I have been beating my state reps up on for the past 2 years.

Keep in mind, that Terry McCauliff – former DNC Chairman – turned $100k into $18 million in what was far worse than Enron. BTW, Hillary also profitted from Terry’s ‘coaching.’

Who put a gun to your head? Nobody ever put one to my head.

Dave Ramsey filed for bankruptcy protection around twenty years ago, thereby asking for the governments help. I see no shame in asking for help if you need it.

You absolutely have a right to your opnions and I admire people who are willing to stand up and speak their opnion.

What many people do not understand when they state that medical, college, retirement, or whatever someone wants to add to the equation is free in some countries is the misundertanding of the word FREE. None of it is free, someone is paying and the puzzle becomes, ‘who is paying?’ Watching the travel channel over the weekend, they talked about the little country of Monaco makes so much money off the tourist trade and casinos, that they offer free medical care to the country’s subjects (Monarchy – means subjects). But even that money is coming from the tourists and gamblers.

Here in the US, money from the goverment is being borne by taxpayers in the form of income tax. The best thing we can do here is eliminate the IRS and replace it with the Fair Tax. Then the rich will truly pay more and the poor will have better benifits. The Dems will never give up this power and few republicans are either, though it is picking up steam.

When it comes to filing bankruptcies, that loss is not absorbed by the companies, it is passed on to other comsumers. Call it pride if you want, but I do not believe in making someone else pay for my decisions. Before someone goes off about not ‘deciding’ to get sick, that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about the decision to get into debt to begin with. No one twisted my arm, I made that decision myself and it is my responsibility to pay it off.

I already stated that I believe there should be some reform in the credit industry, but business are in business to make money. They will attempt to make it anyway they can.

One final thought, the framers of the Constitution did not set out to necessarily protect and serve the individuals, but the population as a whole; and one of their first priorities was national defense.

At the risk of being political on the blog here

Don’t you think it’s time for A CHANGE IN THE USA????

The only way we’re going to get some of these things to change is to get legislators in office who care about people like us, not the profits of the credit card companies.

Voting in your Democratic candidate in November might be a first step.

Thanks for letting me say that.

Good idea. I’m going to print a few copies of my stories out today. This has to be done.

It is ridiculous, the returned payment was only $40.00 it isn’t like I stopped paying it, or was intentionally skipping out on the tab…. Just last month and this I have paid almost $250.00 and have another payment scheduled for $120.00 next week. I’ll keep paying extra every payday to be rid of this stupid company.

I’m glad you are going to fight back by telling your story. Do you get CNN? If so, check out “In The Money” on Sat afternoon. Repeated Sunday. They always have a question of the week. You can go to thier webiste to reply. Sometimes they ask a question about credit cards.

I had a portion of a note I sent them read on the air. It was long. It would probably taken half the show to read the whole note! LOL! The host of the program, Jack Cafferty is no fan of the CC co’s and the dirty tricks they play.

The CC co’s call all these charges penalty fees, but I have to wonder just how much penalty is enough? If a person can’t get caught up after they have had thier interest raised and very possibly went over the limit because of that, therby creating another fee and then have that amount added to compound interest it’s no wonder they are caught in a spiral of debt.

There are criminals in this country who get much less punishment for bad crimes than the punishment some debtors recieve from these CC Co’s who keep them in debtors prison with fee after fee because they can’t pay off a balance!

It isn’t fair when you are faithfully paying that they will not lower your interest. Maybe they will like the negative publicity you will give them by your letters! LOL!

Down-payment when financing through a CU

It is always better to have money to do a down payment. But, the last car was on a whim and I did not and I have a CU. Call and ask them what the difference would be for the two different loan amounts for what ever you can put down.

my son [ 20 ] just financed a car with a credit union. he was not a member thereof. he is a member at another/different one [ totally different, not just a different branch !!!]

anyhow they financed it and he did have a down payment. then a week later the carsalesman called him and now he owes another 600 for a downpayment, since [ appearently ] they do the financing/ downpaymant on a sliding scale.

I have no clue beyond this, since he did this on his own, with my inlaws support. i was not privvy to info and just heard about this in passisng.

School loans question

My son has a school loan in default. How would he go about making payments now, when they only want a lump sum (which he doesn’t have obviously) and won’t speak to him about any other option.

Thanks for any direction.

It may not be important but, what happen that he defaulted on it? Does he have other bad debts also? There are so many variables about what his other situations are.

He may be able to get a personal loan to pay it and then pay off the loan, since they won’t hear about a payment plan directly to them. This may be a good option, if he has accounts in good standing with a bank he uses. Does he work full-time?

Or it may be a matter of perseverance, where he goes to the top of ladder in the financial office at the school and explains the situation to someone else. It’s always worth a chance and not give up very easily. Obviously he’s an adult and knowing what I know about parents wanting to help their children, you should also be careful about how much you help. It’s probably a great lesson for him about why defaulting on a loan was a mistake…for whatever reason.

Does he live in your home or is he on his own?

I had a similar situation where I defaulted.

I wrote too them and told them why I did and i asked if we could start payments again. They set it up and I pay $100.00 a month.

I think your son should write and not you. It may look better, being he is a student and it was his loan.

Write to:

American Education Services
Customer Service Divison
1200 North 7th Street
Harrisburg, PA.
Attention: default loan

They have a website but I often find it too not be too good. I am not sure where you are located, but I am in Florida and just found out from a girlfriend that works for NelNet about a company that he can consolidate with and take the loans out fof delfault. They will add 18 % to it, but when he gets in a better place with his money he can offer to pay it off. She said they will normally take it if it is not too far fetched.

Home improvement loan

Hallo ,

our house is paid for a while now . during the bad hurricane season we had the eyes of 3 hurricanes go over our house . we have roof damage and need to replace the roof .

does anybody have a suggestion to a good home equity lender ??? any good suggestions what to look for ??

i would appreciate any help and maybe phone numbers ???

thanks !

Good luck with this. I have a great deal of equity in my house and was trying to get a home equity loan from Wells Fargo with whom I have banked for nearly 30 years – NO DICE!

Yeesh! My fella and his CU cc got JUNIPER and CompUSA done off me. I’ve only to pay HIM. Good! His 12% interest per year will be easier to handle here. He says $150.00 a month is fine by him, and that is a little under half of what I would have had to pay them separately.

He and I both see CHASE and Capital One going the way of BOA/MBNA

Barclay… hard nosed twits..

I wrote to Barclay asking if could lower the interest, reminding them of how good I’ve always been except for that one problem in December.

They said they can’t lower the interest. I wrote again, asking them to review, as I know thay have greater power than that.

They wrote back today:

“We realize that circumstances arise which may cause you to make a returned payment on your account such as the case with your payment for %40.00 that was posted to the account on 1/10/15, However, as part of the terms and conditions in your customer Agreement, if a payment is received late, your payment is not honored by your bank, or you exceed your credit line, the rate will be removed and default APR will be applied.

Your current APR is a variable rate of 26.24% for the balance. We are not able to reapply the original APR.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call our customer service at 1-888-232-0780, between 6 am and 2 am EST, seven days a week.”

I had called CS already to find them as hard nosed and unbending as this is.

So my good for all that time is wiped by one.

I just want to bawl. Others get 14% when they call, But it seems I get no help from these @$$h**es.

One lousy error and they strip us. I hate them and all card companies.

I know how you are feeling. There have been many times when I did just lay down and bawl because I felt so helpless. Fight back! Write to your representatives and tell them your experience. Write to newspapers and blogs and any place else you can.

If the representatives put you on their mailing list and ask you for money with a self addressed stamped envelope then use that envelope as an opportunity to tell your story again!


It may seem like a waste of time, but I believe we all need to speak out about how these co’s treat people.

It doesn’t make any sense when a person is trying to repay a debt and makes one mistake to be held hostage by this co because you are unable to pay the full balance.

Does that bring back old memories! Hey—-start now paying them off! Get rid of them as fast as you can! Good riddance to them!

To All of us’ Scarlet O’haras’

Loved those comments about “I will never go hungry again’. Just finished the 13 week Financial Peace University from Dave Ramsey and words fail me.” When the student is ready the teacher appears.” I first heard about him thru this website and I am a changed woman. I am still 13k in credit card debt plus 7k in a hell loan and a 60 k mortgage and even had to totally spend my 1k ER account to repair my car after a traffic accident. ” But now I know the deal.” Your wonderful discussions and insight are just gravy but this Scarlett sez, “Keep the cheese I want out of the trap”!

I’m looking thru new eyes- the fellow employee who cashed out her 401k for ‘moving expenses’ last week- shes 30 something, the 50 plus coworker working tons of overtime for manicures, jewelry, vacations- in terrible health, smokes like a fiend saying’ What retirement? Uncle Sam will pay”. The other worker with nonstop 4.00 lattes from Starbucks every day when we have an employee coffee pot free sitting right behind me.You get the picture- and that is EXACTLY how I was about 2 years ago. (just didn’t smoke) Just wanted to add my 2 cents and love to read all your’ in the trench’ wisdom.

Best wishes for your future, and hang in there! I like what you’ve said – it takes that kind of determination, and I finally have it, too. I think one that really inspired me was a comment by a member of another group – she said that people mistakenly think that power is the illusion of money – credit cards, financed possessions, etc. But real power is actually having MONEY IN THE BANK. I have kept that in my mind always – it’s so true.

Charging for credit reports

Hi. Sorry if this question has been asked before, but what is the justification in these credit reporting services charging US for our own information. I realize there is a minimum cost for getting a school transcript or something like that but these guys are charging close to $20 a month!

Are there ways to get these reports monthly for free without having to apply for a card or loan every month?

Thanks for your replies.

you are allowed 3 credit reports free a month (1 per agency). You can chose to pay for the credit score. What i do is i get 1 every 4 months for the report and every 6 months i pay for the score to see how i’m doing ( its about $5 depending on the agency). Here is the web address for the free creidt reports (keep in mind this is not the same one as they advertise on tv!!!)


Good Luck! 🙂

Also, I subscribe to myFICO® Identity Theft Security Deluxe at MyFico.com. The annual cost is $49.95. It will give me my FICO score and let know if anyone has checked my report, any of my cc’s go up or down signifcantly, etc.

Also, here in GA, you can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the 3 agencies twice a year. These do not include the FICO, but I can compare the other 2 to the one I get from TransUnion via MyFico.

That is one suggestion.

Whatever you do, don’t apply for a loan or credit card to get the report. Inquiries like that show up on your re report and can go against you.

The following states allow you to receive free report every month if you wish: Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Vermont.

You can get this report by going to www.annualcreditreport.com and selecting your state.

If you live outside of those states www.myfico.com is one of the cheapest sites.

ALot more states allow free credit reports every year… 3 per years.. i know my family in maine and connecticut and i can in texas…. i’d just check out hte site and go from there:)

Wish we could in Florida. I just disputed some items on my credit and have not heard anything back about it and want to see if they have done anything to correct it.

Advice about debt settling

I have a Citi card with a balance of about $5000. I will be getting some money next week and was wanting to settle with them. Any advice on a good approach??

I don’t have an answer about settling, but I have a question for anyone who has settled. Did you get anything that said you owed taxes on the balance of what the debt was settled for?

You are subject to a 1099-C for any amount forgiven over $600 that you have to claim on your taxes.

However, it is up to the creditor to send them out. I have had some send them for $601 forgiven and some not send them for over $2500 forgiven. And you do have a tax liability for the difference in settlements – it’s considered “income” since you’re not paying for something you’ve received.

House Fires and Financial “Fires”

As a New Yorker, I’d like to update the poster who joked about the “guy who set fire to his house so his wife wouldn’t get it in a divorce settlement.” He didn’t set fire to the house; he blew it up.

And innocent people were injured, at least one very seriously. His wife may get less money than you think, because the injured and inconvenienced are likely to sue the heck out of the estate. Perhaps the lesson to be learned is that there’s no gain in lashing out at real or perceived injustices. In a financial dilemma – lost job, cancelled account, usurious APR, etc. – we’ve got to focus on the future and act constructively. Of course. few in this group need a reminder, since (from what I’ve read) most of us are doing exactly that.

I wasn’t joking about it. I am sorry if you thought I was. I realize it was/is a very serious matter. I knew he blew it up and it resulted in a fire.

Re: ER Solutions collection agency

I had friends who told me several years ago that these heartless, greedy collection agencies just phish (to use an email term) information and will take a chance that someone will pay the bill since it is from a collection agency.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was getting these from an agency and the original creditor was someone with whom I never dealt. I sent a letter to the collection agency and have not heard anything back.

Biggest question here is – DID YOU GIVE ANY PERSONAL INFO LIKE YOUR SS#?

If you did not, breathe easy and be angry. If you did, contact the authorities and see if it is a legit company. There are many similar scams.

Now, to the other piece. I would not bet they would return a dime had you actually sent the money. That is also a scam used by collection agencies. However, you have a legal right to send a letter demanding they prove you owe the debt. That usually scares them off right away.

I once had a big fight with Bellsouth over what turned out to be my bill, but they had a hard time convincing me. That sounds like Cablevision Morris. They’re my cable company and I have nothing nice to say about them. All screwed up in their office too.

No, I didn’t give them any info. Her first question to me was “what is your phone number” Hah! If she only knew what I just went through with IC Systems to stop them from calling me! I said you don’t have it and I am not giving it to you.

I know it is not my debt. Thank God! But I feel for all the other people with similar names that may send them a check. What a scam! Is it legal to just send mass mailings without the absolute correct info on the person owing the debt??

ER Solutions (now Convergent) is a legit company, and like any third party creditor, they are typically less than personable. I joined this group to try and answer questions that I may be able to. My name is Mike and I work in the debt settlement industry….

Hello all, and please feel free to ask any questions that you might want assistance with.

I have a question for you… Do you believe there should be a law that debt collectors need to inform people that they are charging interest and what amount that interest is? I did not know a thing about debt collectors when I was contacted by one 2 years ago. I didn’t know one should ask a lot of questions before making any payment arrangments. I didn’t even know they could charge interest !

I could not pay the balance they asked for so set up monthly payments. They said they were going to send me a satement every month which they failed to do. I got suspicious and starting asking questiosn which they refused to answer. Finally after sending this agency a total of $1700 I get a response from them “oh, you’re not getting out of debt, you are getting farther in debt. It was quite devastating to find out the $1700 did not affect my balance at all as far as reducing the debt. I was getting deeper in debt with this agency. They knew when I agreed to these monthly payments what was going on. I think it was not only unethical to not tell me , it was downright dishonest.

I hope I will never have any contact with a collection agency again. If I have that misfortune, they can take me to court. None of them will ever get another dime from me. I would much rather deal with a judge.

ER Solutions collection agency


I need your help again!

I want to know if I am maybe overreacting and getting myself in a huff over nothing.

I received a letter addressed to me except there was one letter off of my real name.

My name is Alex Jin…the letter was addressed to Alex Jins, same address as mine, so I opened it.

It is from a collection agency. I immediately thought I may have had forgotten to pay a bill and it went to collections. It said I owed $305.55 but they would settle for $155.28

Upon further reading, the original creditor was a cable company called Cablevision Morris. I have never lived anywhere except Essex County NJ. There is a Morris County in Jersey but I never lived there.

I knew this was not my bill. So I called the 800 number and asked for the person listed on the letter. He was not in so explaned to the young lady that my name was Jin and not Jins and I received a letter asking me to submit $155.28. She asked me if my social ended in **** I said no, it did not. She said, okay, just throw it away. I wanted more of an explanation. I said if I had been an elderly person or a person under a lot of stress because of bill collectors and I sent in the money on a bill that did not belong to me, would they return it? She said yes! How on earth do they know I am the right person? What if they mass mailed out bills to all the Alex Jin’s/ Jins’ or whatever’s and they received multiple checks? There is no place on the bill asking to confirm a SS# or any other way of knowing that the check was actually from the right person. See my point? Also, what if someone is using my name and a different SS#?

Isn’t that something I should look into? She was very rude and hung up on me so I called her back. She transferred me to another lady and she wanted to know what my problem was and why was I harassing them!!! I wanted their main number in Washington State so she gave me a bogus phone number. I called her back and asked for a real number, she said I had to call information and get the number. I did get the number from information, but no one answered the phone. Should I just drop it?

Thanks in advance.