19 Mar Debt Cures: Does Kevin Trudeau Make Money or Sense? Credit Card Rates, Part 4
At the former Debt Law Network (now Bankruptcy Law Network), I am reviewing Kevin Trudeau’s book, “Debt Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know”. The purpose of the review is to examine whether Trudeau, who has had extensive involvement with credit card fraud and the Federal Trade Commission for some of his previous books, makes any sense in this latest self-help promotion or is he making money selling empty promises?
Parts 1 and 2 dealt with Trudeau’s explanations of how much profit is made in the credit industry, and how to determine your net worth. Part 3, coming soon, discusses Trudeau’s encouragement to negotiate the balance of your debt. Part 4 examines Chapter 6, “Cut Your Rate”.
Trudeau advises that a consumer who is persistent can successfully bargain with a credit card company to reduce the interest rate on a credit card. He does not advise trying with department store cards but that major credit cards will frequently cut the rate to keep your business. Trudeau’s belief is any reduction is a good reduction.
Trudea explains that talking to a manager will succeed while talking to the customer service representative generally will not work. One excellent piece of advice is to stay away from “Credit Repair” companies. Trudeau mentions bankruptcy as an option of last resort and states that shady lawyers sometimes make bankruptcy out as a “quick fix” but that they don’t explain the lasting consequences.
Trudeau again doesn’t disclose new information but does present the information in an informative, engaging manner–designed to entice the consumer into hope that he can change the financial difficulty facing him. Is this accurate information?
Sometimes, a phone call can change an interest rate. Does it happen all the time? Was it true at the time the book was written? Perhaps. Is his informaton correct about “shady lawyers” promising quick fixes? I am sure that there are some attorneys who fit the description but the majority of the consumer bankruptcy attorneys I know do not fit into his mold–they strive to present a troubled consumer with alternatives and treat bankruptcy as a last resort.
My own personal experience has been that in this troubled economy, the credit card companies are so desperate to keep the flow of cash coming in that they are extremely reluctant to change rates. Recently, my own credit card, with zero balance as of December 2008, changed its rate from a good rate to a high rate of 29.99%, with absolutely no late payments, no overlimit charges, and a respectable balance gradually paid down over six months.
I followed Trudeau’s formula, called, spoke to a manager, explained that I had better rates on other cards and that if this company could not match the rate on one of the other cards, I would be forced to close the account. I was thanked for my years of business and got told “bye-bye.” There have been stories in the news lately about American Express offering gift cards of $300 to cardholders who would pay off their balance immediately and close the account.
My rating of this chapter is “doesn’t hurt to try it.”
Part 1 of my review examines the first three chapters of Kevin Trudeau’s book, Debt Cures They Don’t Want You to Know. (gets an “okay” rating)
- Part 2 of my review dissects Chapter 4 of the book (gets a warning of “Get legal advice from a lawyer in your own state”).
- Part 3 of my review deals with Chapter 5 of the book (gets a warning of “Get legal advice before following Trudeau’s advice”)
- Part 4 of my review examines Chapter6, as Trudeau discusses how to cut your credit card rate. (gets a “doesn’t hurt to try it; don’t expect it”).
- Part 5 of my review examines Chapter 7: Fighting Back. (gets an okay rating).
- Part 6 of my review examines Chapters8-11: Credit Score (gets “good information”)
- Part 7 of my review discusses Chapter 12: Credit Reporting Errors (gets mixed review as he repeats bad information (discussed earlier in Part 3) but generally good information).
- Part 8 of my review examines Chapter 13: Student Loans (gets generally good review)
- Part 9 of my review discusses Chapter 14: Home is Where The Start Is (gets nearly failing grade)
- Part 10 of my review examines Chapter 15: No Bankruptcy (gets failing grade/adds shame)
- Part 11 of my review examines Chapter 16: Big Business (credit card industry)(gets A grade for giving information)
- Part 12 of my review discusses the information presented in Chapter 17: Stealing Candy from Babies (gets okay rating for giving information)
- Part 13 of my review examines Chapter 18: Three Ring Circus (gets failing grade for repeating information already provided)
- Part 14 of my review examines Chapter 19: Slaying the Dragon (gets A grade for giving the math on how long it takes to pay off a 20% credit card with a balance of $8000 with just minimum payments….FIFTEEN YEARS!!!
- Part15 of my review examines chapter 20: Stopping Debt Collectors Cold (gets a failing grade for some good information and then followed by really bad advice: scary!)
- Part 15B of my review goes into more detail about what was scary about Chapter 20.
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