According to a 2017 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a child from birth through age 17 is $233,610. That does not include inflation. With inflation, the price tag increases to $284,570 (2015). Want to know what else that does not include, the expense of going to college?
Successful Black Parenting readers, this is where I come in: I will write articles, produce educational videos, host monthly live video chats, and write more content for the magazine to help you decrease the financial burdens in your household. I was one of those greedy children eating my mother out of house-and-home, and I have worked with hundreds of parents throughout the country. I am sympathetic to the cost of raising children to become successful adults. I want your engagement. I want you to be involved! If you have any questions, comments, or topics that you want me to address please send them to me. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. With your permission, I will be posting the responses to your questions on the site so others can learn as well.
Let’s begin with a simple topic but an important one, negotiating with credit card companies. My mother once told me stories about credit card collection companies calling her on Christmas Eve to demand late payments. They don’t play. I don’t want you all to go through this. Here are seven simple tips to help you to negotiate with credit card companies.
Build your FICO score. Credit card companies don’t want to lose good customers. High credit scores and people who pay their bill on time are good customers. I will write a separate article about this soon, but if you would like a copy of my “Seven Steps to Improving Your FICO Score,” email me at email@example.com. Again, I’m writing that article next but if you just can’t wait for it hit me up!
Appeal to the Supervisor. When you are going into battle, don’t be afraid to speak to the manager or the supervisor at your credit card company. Call the toll-free number on the back of the card, but if the representative won’t budge, ask to be transferred to a manager. If they are too slow to respond to your request, be polite yet firm, and insist.
Do Competitive Research. When you call your credit card company, be sure to have balance transfer offers from competitor credit card companies in hand to refer to. Be prepared to tell the representative, which company has the best offer and don’t be afraid to threaten to take the competitor’s deal if your current credit card company can’t match it.
Settle Reasonably. The credit card company might not want to budge on an interest rate, but they might be willing to budge on a total settlement amount to pay the card off. Have a reasonable amount in mind when you call and pitch your own settlement offer.
Be Prepared to Walk Away. Know that you will not always get a better deal every time you call a credit card company. I have walked away more often than not and I have gotten a better deal for myself or my client. That’s right, I do this for myself as well. I wouldn’t give you any advice that I wouldn’t take or do for myself.
Suggest a Temporary Fix. Often times a credit card company will be more willing to do a short-term fix for you. For example, I’ve gotten a zero percent interest rate for six months.
Know Your Credit Card Company. You’re familiar with annual fees that credit card companies charge their customers, right? I was able to trade an annual fee card for a fee-free card in the same issuer. Make sure you know all the product offerings.
A great website to do research on credit cards is bankrate.com. They have lots of information, on credit card balance transfers, rewards, interest rates, cash back, credit card reviews, and even the best credit cards available for travelers.
Don’t be shy about hitting me up. Email me to tap into my network. Look for my next article, “Seven Steps to Cleaning Up Credit.” Stay tuned for the dates of our first Facebook Live chat too! Let’s work together to make your family financially successful. Let’s thrive!
President of Optimum Capital Management, LLC
Ryan Mack (A.K.A. “The Financial Evangelist”) has a life mission to build and develop a durable financial empire geared towards educating his community and beyond. Mack graduated from the University of Michigan Business School (ranked number one in the country) with a concentration in finance. His career in equity markets began in Detroit, Michigan as a stock trader and later as a trader for the largest NASDAQ trading firm in the nation, Knight Securities. As a renowned public speaker he has provided keynote presentations to organizations across the country such as Harvard University, Columbia University, Princeton University, NAACP, National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Housing Preservation and Development, National Urban League, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Black MBA Association, the National Basketball Association, Microsoft Corporation, HSBC, KPMG, Johnson and Johnson, Six Flags, and Deutsche Bank. He can be regularly viewed on television networks such as GMTV, CNBC, CNN, Thomson Reuters, and BET discussing economic and social issues that impact American citizens. Mack has also authored books “Living in the Village”, the “Playing Smart” financial handbook for athletes, and “The Stop and Frisk Handbook”; has been profiled in Tavis Smiley’s Covenant and Action (a New York Times Bestseller); co-authored a book with Kevin Powell entitled “The Black Male Handbook”; and featured in Black Enterprise, African American Family, The Source & NV Magazine; contributes regularly to Huffingtonpost.com, The Network Journal, Fortune, Ebony, Essence, and Black Enterprise. Whether he is counseling a group of doctors at a convention or in Rikers Island providing a free course, Mack’s comprehensive, exciting approach to teaching economic empowerment to all income levels has generated a level of much-needed interest in a volatile economy.
New York, USA