Do you know what freedom feels like? It’s an amazing feeling! There’s nothing holding you back. Nothing following behind you. Complete freedom. Liberty. Independence. Dependence on God alone and not on credit cards, auto loans or payday loans.
I just sent my final two credit card payments today and I am now completely debt free! There are no words to describe this feeling. Now my income can go to investing, saving, and giving without just funneling it to the banks. Be debt free! Live debt free! There’s nothing like it.
So I saw an unrecognized number ringing on my cell phone. Normally, I don’t answer unknown numbers, but I didn’t have anything to do at the moment so I answered it. Well, what do you know? It was my credit card company calling to do a customer satisfaction survey. It was about the phone call I made a couple weeks ago when they decided to mess me up.
I wanted to have some fun with it so I said, “sure.” The nice lady on the phone started with, “on a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with the outcome of your previous call?” I thought for a second. Well, they did reverse all the finance charges and the late charge. But then again, they really should have never been that crazy to begin with. I was only a couple days late and I had never been late before in my life.
“Eight,” I replied. She asked a couple more similar questions. “Eight…seven…nine…” I felt that I was treated all right given the circumstances. The next question started the fun. “On the same scale, how likely is it that you would recommend this credit card to family or friends?” I said, “zero,” without hesitation. The CSR sounded flustered. I couldn’t help but smile. That definitely wasn’t the answer she was expecting.
Nervously, she asked, “could I ask what the reason is for your previous answer?” Again, without hesitation, I said, “Dave Ramsey.” She said, “excuse me?” Again I said, “Dave Ramsey.” Short, sweet, and to the point. Silence. I decided to help her out. “He’s an author.” She said, “oh.” I told her, “I’m getting out of debt. In fact the payment is already on the way to pay off this card.” She quickly ended it, “well, thank you for your time and good bye.”
Good bye is right! Good bye to credit card debt! Later this month I’ll be free!
President Obama signed into law today credit card reform that was long overdue (no pun intended). The legislation had bipartisan support in the House and Senate and President Obama has been pushing it for a while. The legislation passed despite opposition from the credit card industry and I’m glad it did.
These credit card companies are taking advantage of consumers and just plain not treating them right. But if people didn’t get into credit card debt in the first place, so many Americans wouldn’t need this legislation.
Now the legislation doesn’t take effect until February 2010 which is not soon enough in my opinion.
Here’s how it protects you:
It makes it harder for anyone under 21 to get credit cards.
It bans rate increases until you’re more than 60 days late and restores the original rate after 6 months of minimum payments.
It forces credit card companies to post credit rules on the Internet.
It mandates a 45 day advance written notice of any interest rate hikes.
It forces them to apply payments to the highest interest rate first.
It bans universal default, where credit card companies can increase rates if you’re late on payments to any lender.
Well, here’s how you can protect yourself between now and February 2010 when all this takes effect. Get out of debt! You can’t pay any penalties if you don’t have any credit card debt. You don’t have to wait for the government to help you. Help yourself! God bless.
P.S. Did I just notice that President Obama is left-handed? I wonder how many left-handed presidents we’ve had.
MyFICO is offering a free 30-day trial of their FICO Score Watch which offers 2 free Equifax FICO scores and credit reports! Each FICO score is worth $15.95! This is the real FICO score that most banks and lenders use today.
Your score will be pulled on the day you sign up and you get another one that can be used later on. I would pull the second one towards the end of the trial because it would be more helpful to see the differences further down the road.
Just make sure you cancel before the 30-days ends or you will automatically be charged $89.95 (yikes!). You will get a reminder email from them a week before the trial ends but I would still put it on my Google calendar, sticky notes, bulletin boards, etc. to make sure I don’t forget. In fact, you can cancel immediately after getting your FICO score if you want so you don’t have to worry about canceling later on.
Also, here’s a post about how to pull your free credit report, not your credit score. You get three free credit reports each year from each credit bureau so stagger them every four months and you’ll have them all year-round!
And here’s another post with some basic info on FICO scores.
Black Friday, the traditional kick-off to the Christmas shopping season, is fast approaching in a couple weeks. I go every year and camp out on Thanksgiving night after dinner. Some of the ads are already out at bfads.net. So far, I’m a little disappointed in the “deals”. But, some ads are not available yet so hopefully someone pulls something out.
Last year I camped out at Best Buy, but I’m not sure this year. I may just decide to stay home and do Black Friday online this year. It really depends on the deals. You would think that with the economy the way it is that retailers would pull out all the stops to get the shoppers out.