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ADVANCED (Step 3):

Can't Live With It and Can't Live Without It
OR
How to Reduce the Annual Bonus of a Visa Exec


Ouch, the cuts and scrapes from your financial "accidents" are taking
their toll. You should be focusing on your school work. Unfortunately,
you can't sleep at night worrying over how to pay your bills. You don't
laugh at the bumper sticker that exclaims "I pay Visa with Master Card."
Yeah, debt sucks. But, it's no reason to give up. Time for financial
therapy and use of the advanced tricks of the credit card trade. The
situation is serious--maybe desperate--but not one that requires drastic
action. At least not yet.

In this step, we discuss how to cope with serious credit card debt and
the strategies for surviving financial difficulty. These include the credit
card "shuffle," debit card and checking account "over limit protection"
programs, the cheapest ways to use "courtesy checks," cost
effectiveness of credit card security, life insurance, and unemployment
insurance programs, how to stop an increase in your credit card interest
rate and penalty fees, how to respond to rejection for credit cards, when
to obtain "secured" credit cards, how to improve your personal "credit
score," consumer rights when pursued by debt collectors, how to obtain
and correct your credit report, when you can negotiate lower finance
charges, refinancing credit card debt, and the most
worrisome--"identity" theft.

Also, a sample letter is provided for contesting a policy of your credit
card company or other agencies for filing a consumer complaint. For
those whose financial situation requires immediate professional
assistance, we offer suggestions for finding a reputable and inexpensive
consumer credit counseling company near you.

And, in our quest for your financial empowerment, this step requires a
fee of only $10, much less than the "courtesy" check fee that you now
will not have to pay.

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