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Teaching Personal Finance in Schools

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When I went to high school, there were no classes offered on personal finance. There wasn’t even a class that touched on the subject. But I sure wish there was!

I think schools now-a-days are too concerned about “book smarts” and less concerned about “street smarts”. You know, tools on how to live your life. I think back and feel it would have been much more beneficial to my present day life if we had discussions about how to handle your money.

I’m not placing blame on my high school for my debt. I will honestly admit that I got myself into it. But it would be nice to see a shift to some coursework that will help you live your life once you leave high school. I think that would do wonders once for teens once they hit the “real” world.

Technorati Tags: debt, personal+finance

Calling Credit Cards To Reduce Your Rate

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I decided today to start small and I called Credit Card #3 to see if I could negotiate a lower balance. Currently, the interest rate on the card is 16.47% and my balance is $900. I figured I had a good chance of lowering the rate on this card.

Here’s how the telephone call went (not word for word, but you’ll get the idea):

Me: I noticed on my statement that my interest rate is 16.47%. I’m calling to see if I can get that lowered.

Operator: Sure mam, I would be happy to take a look into that for you. Just give me a moment to look over your account.

Me: Okay (cool – sounds like I am getting somewhere).

Operator: Sorry mam, but you do not have a lower rate available to you at this time. However, you do have another program that you may be interested in where you can defer your payments … BLAH BLAH BLAH (selling a program that you have to pay into).

Me: No thank you, I am not interested. I will be paying off this card now (which – I am not bluffing after hearing that they won’t lower my rate). What do I need to do to cancel my card (trying to get him to say, “no wait a minute” and offer me a lower rate)?

Operator: I can do that for you right now mam. (WHAT??? The call isn’t supposed to go like that?? At that point I am flabbergastered that they don’t care about my business – which I have NEVER paid late to this company).

Me: I can’t do it yet, I have automatic payments coming out right now that I need to cancel. But when that is done I just call back?

Operator: Yes.

Me: Okay. I will do that then (giving him ONE last chance to change his mind).

Me: Thank you very much. Goodbye.

I’ve read so many times to call the companies and you can negotiate a lower rate. Why didn’t it work here? Are they getting more gutsy and not buying into people calling and doing that? Or maybe because I only have $900 on the card I don’t matter to them.

It makes you wonder. I’m tempted to call again tomorrow and ask to speak to the manager. You know what – I am going to call again. This area needs to be explored more

UPDATE: 3/31/07 – I didn’t end up calling again. I ended up paying off the card 🙂

Technorati Tags: credit+card, credit