Advice Needed

Published

Hi,

I have an account with Bill Me Later, which is an online credit company that lets you buy things and pay later. The problem is that I lost my job 6 months ago and I am no longer able to pay the minimum that they are asking. I also explained to them my situation and I still get bills. I have already issued them a do not call letter and I haven’t had any calls for three months. What can I do because I desperately want this to be over with? I am not sure if anyone here has an account with them, but I would greatly appreciate any advice.

Savings Accounts Online

Published

Has anyone used Emigrant Direct for savings? They offer 5% interest. Would love to hear from anyone that has had dealings with them or other suggestions.

If that is the same as ING Direct, I use them…. I’ve had no complaints about them. My sister has been using Emigrant for some time now and has been pleased with it. ING is similar but a different bank.

Emigrants Direct and ING Direct are two different companies. I also use ING Direct and have no complaints.

I Have accounts both with ING direct and Emigrant direct. When I first opened an account I chose ING. It had a lower interest rate than Emigrant,but i heard that setting up Emigrant was a nightmare. It has gotten much better since then so last month I set up an account with them. It was very easy and the rates are better.

Emigrant Direct %5.15

ING Direct %4.40

You will be happy either way. 2 great banks.

The bank you are referring to is Emigrant Direct (www.emigrantdirect.com) in Ossining, NY 1-800-836-1997. I use Emigrant Direct, they currently pay 5.15% on your money in the savings account that is linked to your checking account, no minimums. I have been very pleased with them over the last year that I have had an account with them. They are a real bank in NY, there was an article written about them in Barron’s Magazine in 2005. There are two more banks that I know of HSBC Direct (www.HSBCdirect.com) pays 5.05% and ING direct (home.ingdirect.com) pays 4.4%. I have accounts with all three but the best one is emigrant direct for ease of use and pays the highest interest rate on the deposit money.

I got a notice this week that my ING savings account was now at 5.20%. Seems like them, HSNB and Emigrant all have much better rates than my Chase Bank savings, which is VERY low.

are these “online banks” ? Can someone tell me how they work? thanks

ING is a online bank. You can go to their website. When you open a savings account with them, you link it to a savings account. Within a couple of business days, they will make a small deposit into that checking account (just a few cents), you then go back to their website and enter the amount of the deposits. You can either set up automatic savings deposits or just transfer money over when you want to.

I’ve been pleased with ING- I chose to go with them because someone gave me a referral code to get a free $25 when I opened up an account with $250. I do automatic withdrawals every two weeks and don’t notice when they are taken out, but it adds up over time. The interest rates keep going up every few months, and its convenient to use. The only drawback is that it takes a couple of days to make the funds accessible, but that works for me since it doesn’t let me get into my savings for a spur-of-the-moment splurge.

Right now, I am using ING to save up money to pay off a credit card that has 0% financing that expires in January. I figure I may as well earn interest on the money instead of paying it off early. I do have a couple of the referral codes, if anyone ever decides to go that route.

New budgeting ideas

Published

Just spoke about not having enough $$$ to buy a freezer . do you all know about freecycle ??? google it and it will get you to a national freecycle website . you can find groups in your state there … or to make it MUCH easier … look for them in yahoo groups . it is AMAZING what people will give away !!!!!especially if you live in a larger town /city / well populated county .people give away freezers all the time and plenty of other things to boot .

of course if you want to get rid of something , you can always ask there first , rather than throwing it in the dumpster or dropping it off at a thriftshop .

if there are more than one group in your area , join all ! i would recommend though to set your email preferences to indiviual emails . if you do digest by the time it finally gets to you its liable to be gone or spoken for . speed is imperative . honestly , check it out !!!!

what i have seen being offered : computers , cars , freezers ,, books , toys , clothes , furniture , food , bathroom decorations , christmas trees , fishtanks …. pets …cooking utensils … go join and start saving money by recycling !!!

freecycle is okay but it’s easier if you post a message telling what you need any giving a little information about why. right after my seperation i needed a bed so that’s what i did. when i went to get the bed frame the woman admitted that wihtout my message she’d have left the bed stored in her garage collecting dust.

also, check out big universities. i live about half an hour from Michigan State University. sometimes graduating seniors dump great stuff when they leave school cause it’s easier than hauling it all whereever they’re going. there’s also a store where the university sells off used furniture like desks, bunk beds, dressers, the odd bit of electronic gear, and even some mattresses. oh, and lots of bicylces. i think they also had phones, lamps, and things you’d find in dorm rooms that were replaced or left behind when students went home for the summer. i found th store listed in the phone book under the university heading.

We have a membership to costco

Published

We have a membership to costco and 2 teenage boys. talk about hollow legs! A lot of times it is fine to go with generic things, but we discovered early on it is better to spend more for some name brand products that DO taste better because it meant not only that our children would not waste food, but funny enough, they eat less because the better ingredients filled them up more than did the lesser priced who knows what is in it food. My mom-in-law also bought us a stand up freezer (love her!) a few years ago so when there is a sale, you can bet we are at the local grocery store buying and then freezing. milk freezes wonderful, just remember to shake it well when you unfreeze it, as ingredients settle. you can freeze almost anything.

recently discovered flour tortillas freeze great, and if you don’t want to slice cheese later, just grate it, it can be frozen also. eggs can NOT be frozen (interesting story with my children) and a few other things. buying in bulk at costco has saved us money. If you are in a city with local groceries, you save money on paper products and things NOT at costco, but otherwise, costco is the best. When the wednesday paper comes with the coupons, I make out a tentative grocery list for the week, subject to change. i take college classes a few nights a week and work during the day, so there is not a lot of time. Love the crock pot and making food for the freezer with instructions on heating it later. Stay away from pop and a lot of convenience microwave foods. Empty calories and everyone is still hungry. we are still learning!

eggs CAN be frozen !!!!! freeze the eggwhites in icecube trays , and when solid , put in freezer bags . i think the eggyolks will freeze if seperated and in milk . [ not sure about that though ] . but i just watched the foodchannel yesterday and that came up [ with the eggwhites ]

I started to look into this way of cooking but have decided (reluctantly) that I can’t do it. All i have is the small freezer with my fridge. It’s not big enough to hold enough food to last a whole month. there’s also no money to buy a freezer. But I can plan out menus to last a couple of weeks and buy enough to last that long. I also use the crockpot often. So nice after workign all day to come home to the wonderful smell of dinner cooking.

Have you ever thought about going to a school?

Published

Have you ever thought about going to a school …I know it sounds odd but they are Dr.s in their last year that need to do their practical I went for plastic surgery here in Canada and it was great and about a 10th of the cost ..you should check it out if your comfortable with that they do have licenced Dr.s there with them and its all supervised…

hi donna i’ve read dave ramsey’s books and i too skipped around .i was alreadyu on the process of paying a couple of bills off then i started saving for the emergency fund…good luck and stay motivated… Well you asked for our thoughts so here goes. At the risk of offending you and possibly many other people, I’ll say that if you have as little financial acumen as you say, then having kids may not be the best thing for you in this day and age. There’s probably nothing more expensive than kids.

For starters, you’d better have your health insurance in good order. I have an employee who just had one and the hospital bill was over sixty-four thousand dollars. Fortunately our group coverage paid most of it, but this was for a perfectly normal birth. This birth invoice caused him to get a vasectomy. Things aren’t what they used to be even five years ago. Forget about college costs. I have only one there now and that’s why I’m lurking around here!

The two of you are just married. Maybe you should give it a little time before jumping in. The people I know who are just shy of making six figure salaries say that they can’t have kids because of the cost and those who do have only one unless they’re over 150k in household income. Certainly it can work out for you and I hope it does if you go ahead with it, but I’m less trusting of fate without good planning for the worst.

All the best to you and congratulations. I hope you understand that I have your best interest at heart as well as the interest of the new life or lives you’re planning.

I’m also new to the idea of getting out of debt

Published

I woke up a few weeks ago and realized that I’m over my head in debt.

I’m not defaulting on anything – it’s just that with just paying minimum payments, I never have any money left at the end of the month and I can never save for extra expenses so I keep having to charge things. I’ve decided I want to get out of debt as quickly as possible – it’s become a real issue for me.

I joined this website and I also purchased a book by Dave Ramsey, “The Total Money Makeover” (I’m not saying anyone should or shouldn’t read it). In his book, he recommends starting out by saving $1,000 for emergencies, then going to work on the debt. Once that’s done, you can go back and finish the emergency fund.

He does recommend budgeting for every expense and saving for those once or twice a year type expenses as well.

In my case, I’m going against one of his rules – I’m refinancing the house to incorporate the debt. I’ve thought long and hard over this – it’s a way for me to lower my outflow of cash (considerably) and free up that extra cash flow that I need to build up savings and then to be able to budget for all my expenses. I’ll have the emergency fund built up within a few months and can make extra payments on the house.

I’ve already been tracking my expenses and cut out all the unnecessary (almost all) expenses – I kept the internet and cable tv – everything else has been eliminated.

My plan is to not use the credit cards – close all accounts except one – another area he and I disagree on. He says to close them all and not have a single one – I remember my car breaking down a couple of years ago on the way home from vacation – I was far from home and by the time all was said and done, it cost me $450 to get on the road again – I would have been in serious trouble without that little plastic card.

I also plan to be more involved with my finances and accounts – not just pay the bills – I want to read more books and keep up with things a little better.

Okay, enough rambling – sorry.

I am new here too and am just on the start of the same journey as you.

We (dh and I of 13 years) have a personal loan that started out as a consolidation loan 10 years ago with a 5 year term but it keeps getting refinanced by rolling credit cards into it and buying different vehicles. I am just so sick of owing that bank money and I want to start saving for a house deposit (about $10K).

I too intend to keep our credit card for a while as we earn good reward points with it and I also use it to purchase our meat in bulk and things like flour, sugar etc. I am planning to pay it off and then hopefully save up for a good portion of the next bulk purchasing spree before it happens. With 3 children shopping with me at the supermarket there are too many temptations and I am not good at ignoring specials. Not really so special when they make me go over budget every week! So the plan is to avoid the shops and get things delivered in bulk, could be fun!

I would love to also get my emergency fund set up. Lots of planning to do.

New here and very motivated!

Published

Hello everyone. I’m newly married (less than three weeks), and I am so tired of living paycheck to paycheck. I’ve recently cut out a bunch of unnecessary stuff, and I can already tell a difference in my bank account. I do have a few questions though–and anyone who has any financial acumen, please feel free to advise because I have none!

I make pretty good money, but I haven’t been working very long (almost two years). I guess my main question at this point is this–I have several immediate financial goals, and I don’t if I should tackle one of them in earnest first (and if so, which one) or if I should chip away at all of them. Here is what I’m hoping to do:

  1. Save up about $5000 for a rainy day fund.
  2. Pay down about $7000 worth of credit card debt (about $6000 is already consolidated in bank loan, but I may need to see if I can find a lower interest rate anyhow).
  3. Buy a house (100% financing?).
  4. Save up for a surgery that isn’t covered by my insurance (this one is sort of time sensitive, and I may need to obtain a loan to cover at least part of it).

What are y’all’s thoughts?

My DH (stupidly) got a vasectomy a few years ago. The insurance was all too happy to pay for that, but they won’t even look at a reversal. He had two kids with his ex and thought he was done, but now we both want more. Price = $7,000-$12,000.

Your situation sounds very similar to ours. If I can be nosy, what is the surgery you are saving for? Mine is a abdominal hernia/ muscle repair with TT. My hernia is 10.6 inches..and it is very necessary…but insurance sometimes doesn’t touch these. Pricetag…..$10,000!!! YEOWWWW. How about u?

I was adopted at the age of 14 months. Three months preemie and ‘written off’ as a possibly to be severely handicapped child.

That adoption saved my life. I am nearsighted, but my GPA in college was 3.8. I’m not otherwise handicapped than the visual impairment.

I work in the Computer field, and was for a good part of my life a musician.

Barring all else, consider giving another kid a chance at having a normal life. My ‘Natural’ mother couldn’t cope in those days, but things are indeed a LOT different today. I call the Sutherlands my Mom and Dad, because they were the ones who raised me and all. They considered me their ‘Blood’ and never once was it thrown at me about being an adoptee.

I know I probably gave them gray hairs and did not make it easy for them, but that’s what ‘Family’ is all about. even though they’ve both passed on now, I remain ever grateful to them for what they gave to me.

It should be feasible to pay back the $10.000

Published

It should be feasible to pay back the $10.000,- in a couple of years. What I would try to do is refinance your debt complete, so try to get $4000,- from either your parents (in other words raise it to $10.000) or somebody else. If that is not possible refinance with a company like lowermybills.com or something like that (just Google lower my debt or something). I would recommend paying your parents a market efficient interest rate like 5% or 6% to reward them for helping you.

Then assess what you can save per month to pay back your parents. Don’t spend any money on things you don’t need and be very strict to yourself in the first couple of month to show that you can do it (set targets, don’t buy $4 frappucino’s etc.). Every penny counts.

Try to lower your monthly bills. Plan your budget. And again, be strict.

what i did once was call to verify my interest rate. it was 25%!!! I told them i was surprised it was so high becuase my other cards are around 10.. a few at 6 and one at 0 (i didn’t say those were bc dh is military and deployed LOL) but she talked to her supervisor and lowered it to 14% and that was just by calling and asking.. worth a shot!

It’s usually best to go after the debt with the highest interest rate first. The higher the interest rate the more you end up owing. I’ve got a debt I’m trying to pay off but the interest alone consumes most of every payment so that sometimes less than $10 goes toward the actual debt. That means it will take me longer to get it paid off, probably years longer. Before you decide what to pay on look at how much interest each debt, loan, or bill will cost you.

Actually there are 2 predominant schools of thought and I chose a third option.

Option one, like Vivian wrote, choose the one with the highest interest rate. By doing this, you will save a tremendous amount of money in the form of interest expenses. But what if it has the highest balance?

Option two, Dave Ramsey’s baby steps. Pay off from least to most and get a snowball effect going. Great idea, in the long run, it may end up costing a whole lot more in finance charges, but you can still get through it.

Option three that I chose. I chose the one with the highest monthly minimum that I could pay off in the quickest time. That was my wife’s car. This freed up $400 a month to apply toward the option two. So, if you have the means through some kind of savings, windfall, or whatever, I suggest option 3. This gives you the good feeling that one is paid off and you are well on your way towards everything else.

We have roughly $10,000 debt

Published

We have roughly $10,000 debt from $4000 loan and about 6000 in credit card. My wife’s parents are going to give us $6000 to get cought up because we are always behind and so we end up paying late fees and over limit fees. Plus our mortage a.r.m. keeps going up. Our credit is already in the pooper. We would like to make this money stretch as much as posible because we have other bills too. ( medical, power, phone and so on) Question is, if we negoiate a settlement with the cc companies, will that hurt oure score even worse. My wife wants to pay off loan ecause it is 25% interst. I say that we need to deal with the credit cards because of the over limit and late fees. Also I have read that if your credit cards are max out, that hurts credit worse. So, should we try to just pay on balance or try to get settlement with the credit card companies ?

You can negotiate the percentage rate that your cards are at say 6.9% down to 3% and then tell them that you are willing to make a huge payment also if they say that they cannot ask to speak with their supervisor …all credit card companys will do this you have to be firm with them. I’ve heard of negotiating down the rate on cards but am not sure how to do it. I’d like to try that if I can- I’ve been with one card for 10 years and would like to stay with them, but with a lower rate. Do you have to have another card offer to use as leverage or can one negotiate successfully by making a large payment?

This is what I used….hope it helps:

Call your credit card companies, tell them you’ve got offers for cards at lower rates and ask them to lower your rate. If you’ve paid regularly, they are likely to negotiate. If the company says no, tell them that you will be closing your account this week and transferring your balance to a competitor who offers better rates. So there’s no doubt about your seriousness, tell them the name of the competitor you have in mind. (It shouldn’t be difficult to come up with a name, since you’re probably constantly getting applications in the mail from credit card companies who want you to transfer your balances to them.) Ask to speak with a supervisor. Supervisors have the authority to give you a lower rate right then on the phone. In many cases, you can cut your rate in half simply by asking.

Not sure what to say? Follow this sample script:

“I have [name of card] with you and my interest rate is [X] percent. I received another offer in the mail from [other bank’s name] for [X] percent, but before I take it, I want to see if you can lower my interest rate instead.”

If the representative says they’re not authorized to do that, you say:

“Look, you and I both know that if I transfer my balance today, next week your bank is going to send me an offer to come back at an even lower rate. Why don’t you just save the bank the cost of that effort by giving me several points today?”

If the rep says it’s not possible because your credit card is at a fixed interest rate, you say:

“Actually, that doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not you have the ability to lower my interest rate. A fixed interest rate only means that my rate doesn’t vary with fluctuations in the prime rate. In fact, the bank can raise it on my account at any time by just giving me 15 days written notice. And the bank can, if it chooses, lower the rate today.”

If the rep still says they’re not authorized to do that, you say:

“I’d like to speak to your supervisor.”

Then speak to a supervisor and follow the above script again.