Friday, June 6, 2008

Consumer Scams: Credit Cards are the DEVIL!

Haven't blogged in forever; go figure! I guess that's just what happens when life is crazy busy. All the good kind of crazy so I have no complaints. But I do have one complaint today, and that's about all the slimy credit card companies out there. What's the deal with them trying to scam consumers out of money without them know. Those sneaky bastards just tried it on me today and I let them have it.

There is no such thing as valuing the customer that pays on time and pays their balance. I honestly think that they prefer the consumers who are in a bad way, run up their cards and can't pay the balance. Those are the consumers that they are able to really poach with fees and charges that make no sense.

Long story short, (meaning not short at all if you know me) :) I have had a credit card with HSBC for about 3 years. I don't use it much but when I do I pay off the balance right away. Somehow they charged me a random late fee, I called, they "fixed it", done deal right? Nope, 2 months went by and I am thinking I paid off the balance. Not the case. In fact they didn't remove the late charge and charged me 2 more, and closed the account due to 2 late payments in a row. I wasn't even notified that any payment was late until month 3...gotta love it!

Result: $107 balance on a card with no transactions in the previous 4 months, a 30 day late fee reporting on my credit, a closed acct I have had open for years.

Final Result: $0 balance, a 30 day late fee reporting on my credit, a closed acct. No way to take off the late fee(all lies) they claim it was a legitimate late payment...again lies, and no way to re-open acct. I would have to reapply for a new card.

HA!! Sorry HSBC, I don't really use credit cards as it is but I sure as hell will never yours again. Thanks for "trying" to scam me out of money and I appreciate you lowering my credit score by your bogus late payment.

Folks, I will be writing letters to all three credit Bureaus to let them know this late payment is bogus. This is a lesson to everyone with a credit card to check your account every month whether you have a balance or not.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

MIA from Blogging, Whoops!

Well hello folks! It's been a while; yes I know. I've been crazy busy at NextStudent but it's all for the good. A few things have changed but all for the better. I recently rescued a Lab Pup that is absolutely sweet and adorable. You can check him out on my myspace account. Also, the house is coming along well just not as fast as I had hoped.

I got out to San Diego for Memorial Day Weekend and had a blast and now I am gearing up(saving $$) for my trip to Hawaii in September. I can't wait for that because I will be spending time with my family and laying on the beach for a full nine days.

That's all for now but I will try to get back to posting regularly!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Luck or life; how to deal with those damn lemons

Recently, my life has been pretty crazy. Some may say down righ un lucky. I like to think of the most recent occurances as dealing with life. Maybe I'm crazy, you tell me. I'll take you through the chaos and you can decide.

November 15th-Stitches in the forehead from Flag Football which resulted in $1,000 bill from the hospital. Yes I have insurance...
December 18th-Unauthorized withdrawal fo $450.00 by my lender who was also my part time employer.
December 26th-Lender/Employer fesses up that I'm not approved for the mortgage loan they had been working on for 3 weeks, lying the whole time obviously. Risk of losing my new home purchase.
January-not sure when...I lost my Great Grandmothers hierloom engraved bracelet that I wear constantly as well as my favorite sweatshirt. Still not found and one theory on why I have such bad karma. Grandma Hemingway is probably rolling over in her grave.
February 17th-Assualted by a guy in a bar while waiting for my cab. Result; black eye, concussion, migraines, nausea, and medical bills yet to come. Investigator assigned to the case less than enthusiastic to close the case.
March 6th-$600 unauthorized debit from my checking account. Error on the banks part and they respond that the error will be corrected in 7-10 days. It's handled but only because I did the research myself and demanded to speak with a manager.

With all that said, as I was driving home from work the other day, stuck in traffic as usual, I was thinking about all of the crazy things that have happened to me in the last five months. It is a little depressing; I won't deny that. More than anything it is very eye opening as to the dangers out there(the assualt and the un authorized debits) and how easily anyone can be harmed and taken advantage of. As I was surfing online today, reading the latest news stories I saw this Dateline NBC special about this guy Wild Bill that is a private investigator out to make the world aware of the dangers that exist. It's really crazy how easy it is for scammers and robbers to get away with anything.

All in all; I just like to think as all of these occurance as life lessons that will make me stronger in the end. I hope that taking a positive outlook will help me deal with whatever life deals me. I know one things certain; after these last five months I can make some bad ass lemonade.

Monday, February 26, 2007

A Good Excuse to Miss my Awesome House Warming Party

As you all know by now, I recently accomplished my goal and bought a home. This past weekend I had my house warming party and it rocked. Of course some people didn't show which was kinda lame. The only good excuse that I heard came from a group of my co-workers who attempted to kill themselves by sky diving. Check out this Video of I am better that you trying to kill himself.

Friday, February 23, 2007

5 Reasons I LOVE my job at NextStudent

I'll make this short and sweet!

  1. My co-workers ROCK!
  2. I get to use my wicked awesome negotiating skills everyday.
  3. It's the norm to ROCK OUT on your Ipod while you're working.
  4. I get to plan pranks on my co-workers that actually create a benefit to the company. C'mon; who doesn't think a fake Civil Union Party isn't funny? Even the Prankees loved it!
  5. My boss, Chris Hooley, is crazy. No, really. Crazzzzzyyyy Fun!

Let me just say that NextStudent is anything but the typical corporate streo type. Rarely do I have a case of the 'Mondays' or what to take our fax out back and show it who's boss. It is a great company to work for where your opinion and ideas are valued and appreciated. Everyone makes a difference here. It reminds me a lot of my previous employer; Sheetz; Inc. It is a family owned company that several of the family play intrical roles in daily operations. It was not unusual for anyone, I mean anyone such as a salesperson to walk up to the President of the company and discuss ideas for improvement. Those ideas were taken into consideration. No matter where you stand in the hierarchy, you have a voice. That is how I feel at NextStudent. I am encouraged to push my self and my efforts are appreciated. With NextStudent you not only have stability, but they make sure that you have a future as part of the NextStudent Family.

If you have any comments or questions about my experiences here; please do not hestitate to ask.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

New Student Loan Bill is the Destruction of Capitalism

As you all know, I work for a student loan company. As we are all knee-deep in industry news on a daily basis, you can imagine my surprise when I heard about this Bill.

Now, at first glance this Bill (H.R. 5) sounds gravy to undergraduates. The benefits to this Bill include an interest rate drop from 6.8% to 3.4% over a four year period as well as an increase in the amount of Pell Grants available. That sounds good right? It will be cheaper to pay for school and there will be more free money available to pay for tuition. Well, not exactly. As you should expect, politicians promote Bills by only informing citizens about the perks.

By now you should be thinking, "What's it going to take to get these perks?" The answer is the breakdown of Capitalism in the Student Loan Industry. Specifically this Bill prevents "banks" from competing with each other. The Bill makes it more expensive for the private lenders to conduct business and this will most certainly hurt borrowers when it's time consolidate. The Direct Loan program that is being promoted through this bill does not offer any benefits for borrowers to consolidate. Private lenders currently hold that competitive advantage over the Direct Loan Program. They are able to offer rate reductions, cash back, and compelling customer service. They compete so that YOU the borrower get the best program out there.

Students are NOT affected while in school only after once they go into repayment. It does not increase the students ability to get student loan funding to pay school. Very few students are fortunate enough to go to college on a full ride scholarship. I personally went to school on two atheletic scholarships as well as an academic college. I went to a private school. Take a guess at what was left over with 85% scholarship. I'll give you a hint; three times more than what I paid for my car. My car is a Saturn Ion 2004.

The Bill ONLY affects the subsidized stafford loan which most middle class students do not qualify for. I know I have very little in subsidized loan debt as compared to my unsubsidized debt. A quick reminder; subsidised means the government makes the interest payments while you are in school and unsubsidized means you are responsible to pay on your own. While 5.5 million students will take advantage of this benefit, how many more aren't affected at all? If they were to increase the amount that students can borrow in Stafford loans by a large percentage wouldn't have to settle on their third choice or even Community College. It's not fair to students who have the mental capabilities to attend an elite school but are not eligible for federal aid because their parents income is above the threshhold. Think of the amount of students that are stuck in that Catch 22 and forced to take out loan after loan.

Consolidation isn't the devil. Considering I have experience in the Mortgage Industry, Consumer Debt/Bankruptcy, and now the Student Loan Industry I am well aware of the benefits to consolidation. Think about it like a refinance on your home. Most consumers are forced into taking high interest mortgages when purchasing their first home becasue their credit has not been established long enough. After signing up for adjustable rates that start low and increase substantially at the end of the term they are able to refinance into a better term and rate once they are out of their pre-payment penalty period. This can save homeowners anywhere to $100 to thousands each month which automatically increases the amount of disposable income for the household. What can that do??? You can pay off other high interest debt faster, open a retirement account, afford better healthcare, and even save for home improvements. The effects of a student loan consolidation mirror those of a refinance. You receive a tax deduction at the end of the year for all interest paid, your payment is lowered, decreased interest rate, lower DTI and more.

I will continue to write information on this subject simply because I know several people who are affected by this bill.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Oops she did it again

Well Britney is back in the spotlight. I think she needs to give up and just realize that she needs to focus on the babies she is popping out. My guess...her career is done.