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In Your Own Best Interest

Updated on January 25, 2014

From one debtor to another, live and learn.

I can only speak from my own experience, but it is said that the best way to learn is from another's mistakes....not your own.
I can only speak from my own experience, but it is said that the best way to learn is from another's mistakes....not your own. | Source

Plugging the leaks is preferable to continuously bailing.

Solutions exist for many property owners and others who have debts that are draining their finances.

What follows is from my own personal experience, and if learning from my experience helps you, I'm glad.

I have just completed a drastic overhaul of my finances. In the process I lowered the interest rate on my interest payments to 4.375% while eliminating all my credit card debt.

It is foolish to be a slave to what I will call MVD, using the initials of some of the major players in plastic card lending.

For all the convenience MVD offers consumers, their interest rates can be what is actually consuming!

In the process of working on authoring five books, I had resorted to being one of MVD's major consumers, and the debts piling up had interest rates ranging from a low of 4.49% to a high of 24.99%. That high rate (and even some lower ones) is my definition of the biblical term "usury".

I once asked former Utah Governor Michael Leavitt why a very religious state like his allowed interest rates on credit cards to be clearly usurious. He replied that he believed in giving Utahns "the maximum number of choices" for their financial needs.

I suggested to him that, if Utah set reasonable upper limits on what interest rates the credit card companies could charge on cards issued in Utah, credit card users would flock to have a credit card provided by Utah banks; and, Utah would be doing all such users a favor by better protecting credit card users from the extreme fees and rates the MVDs of the world were getting rich from (often to poorly educated consumers who had no idea what they were getting into).

While I still believe that permitting usury in modern times is as repulsive as it was in biblical times, the fact remains that credit card users are left responsible for the consequences of their own choices, just as I was.

When my own financial boat was sinking, I looked to see what I could do to plug the leaks (other than publishing my books so I could simply keep paying off the credit cards over time).

I consulted a bankruptcy attorney and examined the different types of bankruptcies. After going over my debts and finances, he suggested getting the popular Reverse Mortgage.

After looking at the up front charges and the possible end results of taking out a Reverse Mortgage (besides noting that each time I queried the possible lender about the closing costs the costs seemed to edge upward!), I chose to simply refinance the mortgage on my home.

I found that by doing so the closing costs were lower than those of a Reverse Mortgage, the interest rate was slightly better, and that by doing so I could not only drop the existing rate I was paying on the mortgage, but best of all I could also eliminate all my credit card debts to MVD!

I estimate that doing so is now saving me approximately $3,100.00 per year, while at the same time eliminating the hazards MVD thrives on which come from any possible late payments and their accompanying rate increases.

Yes, my mortgage payments are only some $180 less per month by replacing a mortgage that was due to have a balloon payment in 2019, with a 30 year term on a larger mortgage, but look at the math. When would I have ever been able to pay off MVD at their usurious interest rates, fees, and possible penalties? By contrast, I can now meet all my living expenses and the new mortgage, even If (perish the thought) no one of my book manuscripts sell.

If you are looking at a similar topsy turvy world caused in part by MVD and their peers, take a serious look at where you might have any assets you can tap before they do. Bankruptcy is more difficult than in past years, but it is one alternative for gaining a fresh start. A Reverse Mortgage is another alternative with its own needs for caution.

My own choice was to tap the improved equity in my home. It might be a choice you and others can evaluate, along with looking at other assets.

The best solution for everyone? Don't let MVD and their peers start creating leaks in your financial boat. Never take on more monthly debt than you can handle easily at the end of each month, and never make routine or major purchases using a credit card when a little patience, and an effort to save for such expenses, can permit paying cash.

AND, best of all you will eliminate the stress of being 12 years (or more) a slave to MVD.


© 2014 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.

There just might be a pot of gold in your own property or assets.

© 2014 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
© 2014 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved. | Source


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    • Tolovaj profile image

      Tolovaj 4 years ago

      Credit cards are not so popular in Europe as in USA but they are coming, that's for sure... 24,99 %? Oh, my! This kind of interest rate is illegal (you can go to jail for usurious interest), but I guess the rules are not the same for everybody...

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Nothing theoretical, just real life in a pinch.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 4 years ago from US

      Nice hub, I think coming from your own experiences, this hub is helpful.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Interesting, useful and thank you for sharing.


    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Credit Cards are a rip tide which can easily carry a person and a family farther and farther from shore, if every due diligence is not exercised. It is a shame that so many of us have to pay the price of learning the lesson, but others cannot learn from our experiences rather than having to learn it from their own.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 years ago from SW England

      I fell foul of the system here and ended up involved in a ruinous business, due to bad management (not by me) and banks then being allowed to persuade everyone to borrow when they clearly couldn't.

      It ruined several lives. I was brought up to buy something only when I could afford it. That was the only time I didn't do just that and, boy, did I pay for it and so did others close to me.

      I later had a mortgage on a house (on my own!), worked hard to pay more than I needed to each month, paid off my mortgage and now have a house I own totally. It's hard work and I feel greatly for those who find themselves in a financially breaking situation.

      You've worked out the solution that suits you and I congratulate you.

      I hope others read this and take onboard your wise advice. The bottom line is 'if you can't afford it, don't do it!'

      The banks here have far more restrictions than they used to have but I don't think it's changed their moral outlook - money is king and they're greedy!

      All the best to you. Ann

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond


      Indeed they have a House but their mortgage already has a balloon payment that was due yesterday, and sane Americans are unwilling to give them credit for living the high life at the expense of hard working job seekers. As for the Senate? They are too busy counting on Capital Hills!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 4 years ago

      Very wise advice. Perhaps you should write toWashington and advise them to behave accordingly.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Back in the early '80's I sued a guy for usury and won. Of course he did not really care as he was off to the pokey for loan sharking. Oh well he was not listed on the NYSE so he could not get away with it.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      At one time not more than a few years ago the banks were in some distress and their literal sales of credit cards helped them out. Sadly, when Congress again stepped in and helped them out more recently, nothing was done about their usurious rates, fees, and penalties. The banks got new tips for their spears, consumers were left with the shafts.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great job on a great article. I think that we need to talk about this stuff more. I get the logistics and numbers but what I see more is the hell it causes on families. More discussion is needed.

      Thank you