My grandfather was a good man, an honorable man from a time when a man's word was more binding than a contract. He paid his taxes on time and never took advantage of any tax breaks or loop holes feeling it was his duty to pay his due. Luckily, I was having lunch with a friend who worked for the IRS, and he set me straight, saying it was our duty to prosper within the rules of the system.
My friend's opinion was that the system was setup a certain way, and had certain rules, and it is only fair that exemptions we are due as as taxpayers should take advantage of. I could not help relating this advice to credit.
There are many programs, tips and tricks available to a consumer to help best, within the rules of the system, get the most benefit from your credit providers. Often I will shake my head when advising a consumer to consider a balance transfer to lower interest rates or a debt consolidating loan or numerous other strategies, when the consumer replies that that they do not think this is fair to the bank!
Trust me, the banks have already made sure to take care of their interests with fees, expenses, contract terms and other tools to take care of their interests. The banks leave it up to you to take care of yours, and more often than not consumers do not take advantage of these strategies.
I will outline just a few strategies that can help you position yourself for greater savings with your lenders.
- Credit card balance transfer promotional rates. There is no reason you should not take advantage of relocating your credit lines to promotional 0% promotional interest rates on new cards or through balance transfers. By shifting and managing debt you can drastically save on your payments.
- Pay your mortgage weekly to cut 7 years off your principle. Did you know you can cut 7 years off the life of your loan if you pay your mortgage in quarters each week? Well you can, it works because of how the banks build your interest charge using a per diem which is thrown awry by paying in this way.
- Use the phone to call and reduce your rates and increase your credit lines with your credit providers. Also, any fees can be removed, if you are charged an expense and one representative will not have it removed, politely call back and get someone else.
- Dispute, dispute, dispute. Credit repair boils down to properly disputing line items that affect your credit report. You can dispute a bankruptcy, a creditor or collections charge. With time and effort your credit can be cleared within the rules of the system.
These are just a few of the tips that immediately came to mind. Armed with information a consumer can take control of his or her finances from the bank and get back in the driver's seat. My friend the taxman helped me to see that taking advantage to get the most from my credit profile was my duty and obligation.