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Author Topic: credit card mole  (Read 14791 times)

canaan

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credit card mole
« on: September 22, 2005, 05:38:27 pm »

 :mellow:

hi, my name is 'bob' and i'm a credit card company mole.  It's been 24 hours since my last intervention.


~~ In all seriousness, even though I don't work for the government (used to, but I needed to save my soul) I DO work for a huge bank that charges a LOT of customers 29.99% interest. I feel that's just wrong on a lot of levels. The interest rates are high for the people who can least afford it...

At least until they talk to me.....

I have been working with customers up to their eyeballs in credit card debt and where possible (legitimately so) I gladly set them up on repayment programs at less than 10% interest.

Yes, they have to pay the full debt, but they don't end up doubling their debt every 3 years, and they're paid off within 5.

Does this qualify me as a MOLE in the freedom sense of the word??? Or do I need to monkey some more wrenches?

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rayray

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Re: credit card mole
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2005, 06:36:55 pm »

First of all, it's great to see my name works after all these weeks, I stopped coming by for a while. Now, to the mole aspect of your situation- Keep using your creativity and imagination, lots of things can be thought about and done in that situation, especially by providing quality information from an insiders perspective in my opinion.   Good to see everyone, my tent has survived the outage I see :)
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merlin419

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Re: credit card mole
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2005, 07:11:00 pm »

You might have helped out a TCFer and not known it. We each must do what ever we can , when we can, for it is all a step in the long journey to freedom.  :brave:
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Claire

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Re: credit card mole
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2005, 07:54:33 pm »

Yes, canaan. I think you can call yourself an Official Mole.

And even if you couldn't, you could still say you're doing good deeds as part of your job. That must be a good feeling.


 :laugh:Of course, you can still monkey some more wrenches. Why stop when you're on a roll?


P.S. Got a credit card question for you. Are you able to get people below 10 percent even on the "cash advance" portion of their credit card balances? So-called cash advance, with its super-high rates, seems to be the real killer for a lot of people -- especially since so many cc companies consider the most amazing array of stuff to be cash advances, these days. One friend of mine had to put a thousand dollar car repair on his credit card -- and was horrified to find himself paying 19.99 percent because it was a "cash advance." Needless to say, he never saw a dime of the alleged "cash."
« Last Edit: September 22, 2005, 07:58:21 pm by Claire »
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rayray

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Re: credit card mole
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2005, 09:18:11 pm »

Claire that's an interesting question and I would think it would depend on how high up in the company structure this good mole is.  By the way, I think you are on to something canaan.  Cash advance negotiations  from what I understand take a higher up employee to work with you.  Anything is possible if you can reach the higher levels.  Debt can't be forgiven as it's been said, but there is no good reason to charge crazy interest on cash advances.  More monkeywrenching to do eh?
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Dave Polaschek

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Re: credit card mole
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2005, 08:47:43 am »

So-called cash advance, with its super-high rates, seems to be the real killer for a lot of people

For someone who's still inside the system and has multiple credit cards, the solution is to transfer the cash advance from one card to another. Now it's a balance transfer at whatever promotional rate was available, rather than a cash advance.
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Claire

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Re: credit card mole
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2005, 09:29:35 am »

So-called cash advance, with its super-high rates, seems to be the real killer for a lot of people

For someone who's still inside the system and has multiple credit cards, the solution is to transfer the cash advance from one card to another. Now it's a balance transfer at whatever promotional rate was available, rather than a cash advance.

Yes, but unfortunately, there are huge pitfalls in that, as well. For starters, the promotional rate is usually in effect only for a few months -- then the rate may go up even higher than you were paying on the old card. And all of the transferred balance is now "cash advance" balance -- including the part on which you were previously paying the lower purchase-based finance rate. Also, the advertised promotional rate and the rate the new company gives you may not actually be the same.

Transferring a balance to a new company may be beneficial if you read the fine print as thoroughly as if you were an IRS auditor and if the new company doesn't change the "agreement" on you. But in many circumstances, it's just a trap.
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

Scarmiglione'

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Re: credit card mole
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2005, 09:34:03 am »

If you stay on top of the balence-transfer game you can do well with it.  But you have to make sure you put big red signs, flags, alarms, air-horns and sirens to make sure you don't forget and allow the intro rate to expire for you transfer to another card.

*and* cancel that bitch as soon as it's zeroed out. 
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Dave Polaschek

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Re: credit card mole
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2005, 09:53:13 am »

And all of the transferred balance is now "cash advance" balance -- including the part on which you were previously paying the lower purchase-based finance rate.

My experience is that the balance goes to the purchase rate, rather than the cash-advance rate on transfers.
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enemyofthestate

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Re: credit card mole
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2005, 10:45:29 am »

:mellow:

hi, my name is 'bob' and i'm a credit card company mole.  It's been 24 hours since my last intervention.


~~ In all seriousness, even though I don't work for the government (used to, but I needed to save my soul) I DO work for a huge bank that charges a LOT of customers 29.99% interest. I feel that's just wrong on a lot of levels. The interest rates are high for the people who can least afford it...

At least until they talk to me.....

I have been working with customers up to their eyeballs in credit card debt and where possible (legitimately so) I gladly set them up on repayment programs at less than 10% interest.

Yes, they have to pay the full debt, but they don't end up doubling their debt every 3 years, and they're paid off within 5.

Does this qualify me as a MOLE in the freedom sense of the word??? Or do I need to monkey some more wrenches?



Rant on:
I've had credit cards of various kinds for over thirthy years and in that time I've rarely been late on a payment and, except for a couple of emergencies, never run a balce for more than a couple of months.   So were my special rate?  Seems I've have to be irresponsible with my credit to get a special rate and sometime that strikes me kind of a s**ty deal.   I suppose the interest rates wouldn't be as high if those of use who pay our bills didn't have to subsidize the deadbeats.
Rant off

In truth I'm glad you help people get out of debt.  Debt is a bad place to live and I am surprised at the the number of people who willingly relocate there.   I hope your clients are smart enough to stay out once they get out.
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Claire

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Re: credit card mole
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2005, 10:51:08 am »

And all of the transferred balance is now "cash advance" balance -- including the part on which you were previously paying the lower purchase-based finance rate.

My experience is that the balance goes to the purchase rate, rather than the cash-advance rate on transfers.


Good on you, then. Mind if I ask who these cc paragons are? Cause with many (if not most) of these balance-transfer offers, it borders on being a scam to rook people into higher long-term rates.
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi

Evil Twin

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Re: credit card mole
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2005, 11:16:46 am »

I am so glad I got out of the credit card game.  Right now the only card I have is a debit card for online purchases.  When my wife and I had just graduated college and gotten married, we had a ton of debt, and it took a lot of years and a lot of money to pay them off and get back on our feet.  Here are the two most important life lessons I have learned:

1)  Credit cards are evil. 
2)  Never work for anyone but yourself.

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Dave Polaschek

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Re: credit card mole
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2005, 02:02:32 pm »

Mind if I ask who these cc paragons are?

I've only had bad experience with Chase Manhattan and MBNA. MBNA is about the worst in the universe. I'd rather borrow money from a knuckle-dragger named Guido.

I suggest sticking with CCs based in South Dakota (CitiBank, for example) and Nebraska. The credit laws in those states are more consumer-friendly.

The main trick is calling in to talk to a human to do the balance transfer, and asking if they have a better or longer term offer before you transfer. There are often unpublished rates you can get if they're after your business. And if the rate does go up, transfer the entire balance to a card that's more reasonable.
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Dave Polaschek

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Re: credit card mole
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2005, 03:06:40 pm »

Thinking about this more, I think I see some of the problem.

When Claire asks:
Quote
Mind if I ask who these cc paragons are?

The implied (or at least inferred) assumption is that all CC companies are evil.

I don't think that's the case. They're capitalists who've found a way to coexist with a large, bureacracy-laden government. The effect may be evil, but that's not quite the same thing as the company actually being evil, any more than a baseball manager who figures out a play that's within the rules, but so surprising that he wins a game with it is evil for knowing the rules better than his opponents.

The thing to rememer when dealing with credit is that these companies want to loan you money, and they want to get paid back. But only after they've collected a "reasonable" amount of interest, where "reasonable" means "as much as they can milk out of you without pushing you into bankruptcy."

Understanding that is the key to knowing how to get a good credit rating. The credit rating expresses how likely you are to pay back the money you borrow. So to improve your rating (which offers the opportunity to improve your rates), you need to show them that you're willing to borrow money, pay interest, and eventually (but not too quickly) pay the money back.

Once you've improved your rating, getting a good rate is just a matter of shopping for the best rate you can get, and knowing how to game the system a bit to get a better rate than you might otherwise. Asking "Can you give me a better rate?" and then rewarding the company by borrowing money from them (in the form of a balance transfer) is very effective. Surprisingly so if you think the company is evil. Less surprising if you realize they're just looking to make a buck.

All that said, MBNA tends to target people who are otherwise poor credit risks, and then milk every last penny out of them before those poor credit risks default. It's a different model than banks which want long-term customers, just as 7-11 has a different business model than Target.
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Claire

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Re: credit card mole
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2005, 08:54:46 pm »

I don't think that's the case. They're capitalists who've found a way to coexist with a large, bureacracy-laden government. The effect may be evil, but that's not quite the same thing as the company actually being evil, any more than a baseball manager who figures out a play that's within the rules, but so surprising that he wins a game with it is evil for knowing the rules better than his opponents.

There was a time I would have agreed with you completely. There was a time I was so proud to have credit cards. I considered my debts to be a sacred honor. I'd have paid the credit card companies before buying food. I'd have never, ever considered defaulting on even a dime's worth of debt.

But since then I've had, and have witnessed, dealings with credit card companies that tell me that, if they're not outright evil, they are -- even the alleged best of them -- practitioners of a very, very dirty art. It's not the high interest and sometimes brutal terms. As long as they're straightforward and honest about their charges, I can't quarrel with those. And I understand high interest for unsecured debt.

But I've seen even the "good" credit card companies use extremely deceptive methods against even the most sterling customers. I've read the big, bold offers vs the fine print and have come to think of the people who make such offers to be less honest than the alleyway thug who at least openly tells you he's going to charge you 20 percent a week. I've seen people try to resolve credit problems, only to be lied to repeatedly by credit card company reps. I've seen (as I noted above) an absurd variety of transactions called "cash advances" when they patently were not -- just so the company could charge a punitive rate. They change their "agreements" with customers at will -- and often sneak one, big brutal change into two or three seemingly innocuous changes of fine print over a period of months. Then when a customer runs afoul of the new, impossible-to-see rule, they say, "But the new terms were written in your statement" -- leaving the poor debtor feeling rather like Arthur Dent before the bulldozers

This is just not how honest business people treat honest and valued customers.

Maybe there are still some credit card issuers out there who give value for value and treat their customers as customers, not as a carny treats a mark. But IMHO, the entire industry is steeped in dishonesty and deception.

And if you object to MBNA for seducing the poor risks ... well, the credit card industry as a whole (and now the mortgage-lending industry, as well) has been doing that for some time now.

Anyhow, it's good to be out of that world. Even if the cc companies were honest, that kind of debt is usually just selling one's own future, and my future means too much to me to give up.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2005, 08:59:03 pm by Claire »
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Just as the flattery of friends often leads us astray, so the insults of enemies often do us good. -- St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IX, Chapter 8


When faith ceases to be a challenge to the standards of polite society, it is no longer, or has not yet become, faith. -- Donald Spoto, Reluctant Saint:  The Life of Francis of Assisi


My life is my message. -- Gandhi
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