Subscribe NOW

Enter your email address:

Text Message our CEO:


or on twitter

Free Resources

Click Here to learn more

In The Media

Ideas to save money

Ten Mistakes Sophmores Make

College is back in swing and those poor freshman are just getting bowled over. Sophomores can avoid the slumps by avoiding common pitfalls

Here are the mistakes and credit tips summarized

  1. Don’t focus on a card with points. Worry about points when you company is reimbursing you for expenses. As a rule of thumb… MORE after the jump

Christmas Debit Card Blunders

1)  ‘Authorization holds’ can lead to overdraft.

For example if you use debit at a hotel, the processor can hold 2x the purchase amount for up to 30 days after you check out. Gas stations can do the same thing where 2x of your gas purchase is “authorization held”

Avoiding overdraft fees… more after the jump

Bloggers tell financial secrets

PALO ALTO, CA– (MARKET WIRE) – November 20, 2006 — Tricia and her husband live in a small town in Michigan . They are in the hole over $25,000 – to be exact, it’s $25,320. They have a 4-year old, a loan from and student loans burdens that made their debt swell. Their debt is down from a 2006 high of $37,000 set in February.

Do I have a crystal ball? >>more after the jump

Your $100 jeans just cost you a house two years out of college

FICO is a credit score similar to your SAT. Slipping 50 points could mean getting zung from your second choice college. Drop 150 points and hello community college. Click to see the difference 780 is from 650 – about an iPod a month

Call out a bank ripping you off

Bad banking needs to be seen and shared. Nominate a bank for a Lemon Award. Did a bank charge you $33 for being 2 hrs late on a $10 payment?! Report them!


The Truths we know but do not share

When does 20=20,000?
When Trans Union Equifax and Experian compile your data.

The bureaus make no distinction between 20 paid ontime vs 20 grand paid ontime.

36 1s = a FICO of 750
1 9 = 550

Avoid 9s and get as many 1’s as possible. MORE after the jump

Ideas to save money

Five Debit Card Traps Students Fall Into

•  Disputing bogus charges on debit is much more difficult. US laws clearly protect you when you get ripped off with borrowed money (Credit Billing Act and Truth-in-Lending don’t address debit cards as cash). When your cash gets ripped off (i.e. a debit transaction) you’re at the mercy of the card agreement / merchant)

•  Debit is off the credit bureau grid. Valuable FICO points are lost if you stay off this grid. Your credit report score can be inflated with small payments made on time. Bureaus make no distinction between $25 or 25,000 paid on time. A debit card doesn’t count nearly as much in recording on time payments with the bureaus. Keep using debit especially if you have existing loans or credit cards you’re trying to ratchet down.

•  Select credit vs debit at checkout. Its “authorization hold” vs. instant money zap.

•  Expiration dates are dropped from processing to ease recurring payments. Think thrice before using a debit to pay for monthly anything. A credit dispute is possible and easy. A debit dispute is very difficult.

•  track purchases on paper with debit transaction recorder

•  dispute in writing and online. Phone support is easy but you reserve no rights. Cut and paste and letter and post the same thing online similar to Las Vegas coffee bean dispute

•  Turn your credit card into a debit. Normally, a debit card draws strait from a checking account. Now you get a credit card that does auto pay from your checking account. Set an alert for when you spend $400 that goes to your cell phone. Request a low credit line (below $2000).

Debit is great if you already owe and are minimizing interest and debt. Just know how the rules work and maximize what’s best for you.

Ideas to save money

Storyboard a great script to buy your used car:

“Hi, I am calling about the car you have advertised.” If they don’t know which car, they’re selling multiple cars so HANG UP. Watch for their tonality. Do they appear beleaguered and besieged with phone calls? Does it sound like they do it for a living? Have they ever sold a car themselves? Did they bring the thing to a dealer that offered them $2,000 less than they’re listing it for?

Moving along…Are you the one selling it? Great, how long have you had it? Are you the first owner?

I think if everything you told me checks out, I’m interested… would you take X (where X is the offer price minus $500)?

Do you need help making this call? Text message us at 650-566-9600 and we’ll help. The cost? A link from your blog, journal or website.

Under no circumstances do I ever…

-buy from a guy selling more than one car

-buy a car from a non affluent male

-buy a car that has a title that isn’t clear. Don’t do it. How much he owes affects what he want to charge YOU. In a five year loan, the car loses most of its value in the first three years.


Interrogate your way into a great used car deal

•  why are you selling your car?
•  how did you drive it?
•  how long have you owned it?
•  if you got a $1000 that you HAD to spend on your car, where would you spend it?
•  do you have maintenance records?
•  is it paid off?
•  are you ok with sharing the cost of a carfax report?

Your best car deal is from a good owner. You’re buying the owner first and the car second . Ideally, the pysch profile of the seller is a lot like “a millionaire next door”. He’s a married suburban white male in his late 30s with a job that he commutes 35 miles to. He bought a new BMW that is 7 years newer than the BMW he’s selling. He thought he was going to sell the car to ________ (cousin, aunt, friend, golf buddy, co-worker) but they __________ (moved, got married, got jailed, or all the above). Now it’s sitting in the driveway and he’s GOT TO SELL it.

In his ad he mentions OBO (or best offer) and he’s NOT a dealer. Ideally he’s the ONLY OWNER but sometimes two previous owners are ok. The best person to buy a car from is a person looking for someone to “adopt” his car. He’s attached to his baby and that’s when you show him a picture of your current car. Don’t laugh, my parents neighbor was selling their BMW and I showed him my Buick (that incidentally I bought from another neighbor). He sold it to me for $7,000 less than he had it listed for because he a) was moving to Europe and b) knew that his beammer would be washed, loved and garaged.

I actually don’t like Craiglist because the people are NOT as serious as a guy that plops down $50 for an ad. Craigslist has people that still owe money on a lease and would like to sell (they don’t list because they NEED to sell. The difference can be about $3,000.) Plus I like the less internet savvy seller is more likely to take a cash offer and the title is free and clear.


Fax and Fix” – Fax us (877-369-5577) your credit report and we can recommend ideas to boost your FICO score. You must first register as a user. Get your free report here and avoid the obligations, fine print and catches with this low tech form.

Get free transaction recorders to track credit card expenditures like a checkbook.

Read an eBook on Boosting FICO Credit Scores

Sign up to be a registered user at Duck9.

Leave a Comment