Please don’t be dumb.

July 20, 2009 · 6 comments

Did you get the memo that the economy is in shambles? I’m willing to bet if you turn on the TV right now and flip through the channels you will see one of two commercials. The first, “Give us your gold, and we’ll pay you big money” The second, “We’ll eliminate all of your credit card debt.” If you find either of these two commercials appealing you are either a douchebag or braindead. Take your pick.

The only thing worse than the companies behind the commercials, is the actors in them. If you haven’t seen ‘em check out this gem :)

Although I think Cash 4 Gold is a joke, I want to communicate the shear stupidity of signing up with a credit counseling company. The first indicator that these “credit counselors” are shady: You gotta pay them a crapload of money for them to “try” and reduce your debt. That’s right the majority of these companies will charge you a couple thousand dollars without guaranteeing the reduction or elimination of your debt.
Even more stupid than giving the sketchy companies your hard earned cash is the fact that you are most likely paying them to do something you could do on your own. They will try and sell their counseling with phrases like “We’ll use secrets the credit card companies don’t want you to know about.” WTF! These aren’t secrets. Just google “How to reduce credit card debt” and I bet a million PF blogs will come up with helpful strategies!

Did you know you can almost always negotiate down your credit card debt if it is 3+ months late?

or

Did you know you can call the credit card companies and ask them to lower your interest rate?

I assume the majority of the people reading this have the common sense to know these are scams, but I still can’t help but wonder why people fall for these traps? Is it out of desperation? Is it lack of self responsibility? Are they truly convinced these companies have the individuals best interest at heart?

Please don’t mail your gold jewelry to some company hoping they will give you top dollar for it. Please don’t pay someone $5K to “help” you get out of debt. And remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Anyone out there ever heard of a positive experience with a cash 4 gold or credit counseling company? Maybe I got it all wrong, but I have heard nothing but bad news.