28 Apr Debt Cures: Does Kevin Trudeau Make Money or Sense? Part 13: Three Ring Circus (credit card/financial industry)
Part 13 of my review of Kevin Trudeau’s book, Debt Cures They Don’t Want You to Know examines Chapter 18: Three Ring Circus. 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?
Trudeau starts the chapter by comparing the credit card contract to a magician’s disappearing act (now you see it, now you don’t). The chapter borrows heavily from the PBS Frontline documentary: Secret History of the Credit Cardand its interviews with Edward Yingling (president of the American Bankers Association) and inserts the interviews under the heading of “Send in the Clowns”. The next sub-heading, “Trained Animal Acts”, compares the credit industry against itself and the techniques which drive consumers deeper into debt.The next subheading: Fire Eating Sword Swallowers, is not clear whether he is calling the public Sword Swallowers or the credit industry. In the next subheading, Human Cannonballs, finally Trudeau gives step-by-step information by suggesting that consumers:
1. Call their credit card companies and ask for a lower interest rate.
2. Call the credit card companies and ask that they remove annual fees.
3. Call the credit card companies and ask for a higher credit limit.
4. Call the credit card companies and ask that they remove late fees.
Trudeau suggests that simply calling provides results, although he qualifies that statement with “sometimes the savings as not as substantial”.He then invites the reader to join the success stories in his book and ends with the subheading: You are the Ringmaster Now! Trudeau again uses the “us vs. them” strategy employed throughout the book.
This chapter has material which was presented in earlier chapters or is largely word-for-word from a documentary on the credit card industry. As mentioned in my earlier reviewof Trudeau’s chapter suggesting negotiation, most of the suggestions outlined above, quite simply do not work (although a one-time waiver of a late fee is generally given). The folks reading Trudeau’s book are usually in financial trouble–otherwise why would a reader be interested in a book on how to cure your debt woes? As stated in the earlier review, if a financially secure, never-late-payment credit card holder cannot get a lower rate, then how can someone with high debt to income ratios or late payments or overlimit fees let alone get interest lowered, late fees waived, credit limit raised, or annual fees waived? It is my position that once again, Trudeau offers false hope to desperate readers. This chapter gets a failing grade for being a repeat of previously mentioned information.
- 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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