Are you ready for week 19 of our 2012 Debt Free Challenge! I know you are all working so very hard at paying down debt. And, since it is so new to many of you, it can be very tempting to just sign up for new credit card offers when they come into the mail. Sometimes, the new cards offer a great lowered introductory rate. Often, you might find that the rate is much less than what you are paying now, which can save you money. Or do they really?
It is always very important to look at the terms of the new rate. Is it only good on new purchases? Perhaps it starts at 5.9% for 3 months and then skyrockets to 25%? By signing up for a new card, you can sometimes pay more in the long run than you would have if you had left your balance alone. Not only that – it can be very tempting to use the new card.
There are times when the offer is very lucrative and you can determine you can save money. These instances can be very rare, however, when they do come up, it can be a wise financial move. Just remember that you need to cut up the card and not use it, if you opt for that transfer. And then, keep up with getting your debt paid down as you were before.
If you find that the offers are just far too tempting, you can elect to opt out of credit card offers. As part of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Consumer Credit Reporting Companies are permitted to include your name on lists used by creditors or insurers to make firm offers of credit or insurance that are not initiated by you. These are referred to as Firm Offers.
The good news is that the FCRA also provides you the right to “Opt-Out”, which prevents Consumer Credit Reporting Companies from providing your credit file information for Firm Offers. You can opt out for five years or even for life! You just need to head over to OptOutPrescreen and sign up. It will take a little time, but the offers will cease. I don’t get any now – and I really love that! Instead, my mailbox is filled up with free samples and coupons – and I’ll take that any day of the week!
|**Please, if you have recently paid off another debt, share with us! You can report every single debt — so that we can have an accurate amount reflected!! As a reminder, the survey is completely anonymous – there is truly no way for me to know who you are at all. You can share your amount you have PAID OFF HERE.|
(I am not a financial advisor and the information listed within these Debt Challenge posts is not to be construed a financial advice. This is knowledge we gained through our own personal experiences and information as outlined in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Makeover — and is being shared as such. Participants are not required to follow any steps listed if they do not wish to do so. Financial concerns/issues should be addressed with a professional in order to receive advice and assistance.)