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Author: ust One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308782  
Subject: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/29/2000 4:37 PM
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Hello Fools!

I have been living without credit cards for the past 8 months. Previously I had six different cards, but I paid off the balances and closed the accounts.

Is there anyone else here who dosen't use credit cards?



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Author: VMSoui Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50361 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/29/2000 4:52 PM
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Is there anyone else here who dosen't use credit cards?

They're kind of necessary if you have to travel often...

--Soui

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Author: Leviathan Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50362 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/29/2000 4:52 PM
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I have been living without credit cards for the past 8 months. Previously I had six different cards, but I paid off the balances and closed the accounts.

Is there anyone else here who dosen't use credit cards?


I don't. The only card I have is a Visa check card that I use in situations where I have to have a credit card. Any other time, I use cash or checks (and really I only use checks to pay those bills that come through the mail).

Leviathan

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Author: jbales Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50363 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/29/2000 4:57 PM
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Is there anyone else here who dosen't use credit cards?


I don't use them in my personal life. I do for my business. Thus I can use one to reserve a rental car for personal travel (but not pay for it). I think you can't rent a car with a debit card - am I right?

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Author: ust One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50364 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/29/2000 5:00 PM
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Thank you Leviathan. Could you please tell me more about your Visa check card and how it works?

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Author: JABoa Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50365 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/29/2000 5:13 PM
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ust: Is there anyone else here who doesn't use credit cards?

Yes there is, and his name is Leviathan. He is sort of the proprietor of the Budgeting board, and is clearly one of the most well liked and respected posters on these personal finance boards. I happen to disagree with much of what he says (in details anyway), but his positions are well reasoned, and he is on my faves list, which is small.[*] If you enter Leviathan in the Author box at the bottom of the screen and change "Last 10 Posts" from the default 10 to 50, you'll see what he is about.

[*] I'm on his too and feel honored.

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Author: DeltaDog2 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50368 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/29/2000 7:06 PM
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I have been living without credit cards for the past 8 months. Previously I had six different cards, but I paid off the balances and closed the accounts.

Congratulations!

Is there anyone else here who doesn't use credit cards?

Nope, but that's my goal!! I am still wavering about keeping one for stuff like Internet purchases, but as things like PayPal get more common I may use those instead. Or I may use my check card, and then have a separate bank account that is a debit card only account to help with some of the security problems noted here in the past.

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Author: johnmoni Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50388 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/30/2000 12:28 AM
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"Is there anyone else here who dosen't use credit cards?"

We only use credit cards to accumulate rebate points. In other words, if we can't afford to pay off the bill immediately, in full, when it arrives, we don't buy it. So, we don't "use credit."
johnmoni

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Author: Mark0Young Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50392 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/30/2000 1:01 AM
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We only use credit cards to accumulate rebate points. In other words, if we can't afford to pay off the bill immediately, in full, when it arrives, we don't buy it. So, we don't "use credit."

Technically, you ARE using credit. It's just that by paying it off in full each month you are not paying for use of that credit. That is a worse banker nightmare than not having a credit card account. 8)

I use my credit cards the same way--making use of free credit by paying it off each month. Usually, though, I don't wait for the bill to arrive before I transfer money to the credit card account.


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Author: Catleen Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50395 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/30/2000 8:12 AM
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I ahve two credit cards but use them rarely. I will occasionally make a big purchase on them, but in reality I have the money in the bank. I use the cc in case there is something wrong with the purchase and I have to dispute. I budget and use cash otherwise.

Catleen

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Author: foilrat Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50426 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/30/2000 11:58 AM
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I don't use them in my personal life. I do for my business. Thus I can use one to reserve a rental car for personal travel (but not pay for it). I think you can't rent a car with a debit card - am I right?

I believe you can-it's just not too smart to do. When you make the reservation, the car company blocks off a hunk of your credit to make sure they get paid. Hotels do this too.

If you use a check card, then they're blocking off your cash!

Something else to remember is that if you are traveling, and it might be tight, be sure to ask the rental company/hotel to remove the block.

d

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Author: foilrat Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50427 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/30/2000 12:01 PM
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Thank you Leviathan. Could you please tell me more about your Visa check card and how it works?

I'm not Leviathan, but I'll take a crack at it.

They might differe from bank to bank...

I have a Visa Check Card, which has a VISA number, but is tied directly into my checking account. I can use it as an ATM card, debit card or VISA card, but the money is all coming from what I have in the account.

I have found this an excellent way to force no credit card living. It's easier than carrying a wallet full of cash around, and you do have some protections in case of fraud.

Downside-
If someone does use your card, then BAM, you're out of money, and possible your savings account/LOC if you'ce connected them up for OD protection.

I like mine and use it a great deal, and wouldn't want to be without it.

david

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Author: kaellner Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50429 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/30/2000 12:21 PM
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Is there anyone else here who dosen't use credit cards?

But when a credit history is pulled, it shows you have all closed accounts. Your credit rating will reflect no available credit. If you want a loan for anything, you do not have current experience with dealing with credit. That makes you a risk.

This maybe your own worst nightmare, not the banks.


Jeff

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Author: johnmoni Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50430 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/30/2000 12:23 PM
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"Technically, you ARE using credit. It's just that by paying it off in full each month you are not paying for use of that credit. That is a worse banker nightmare than not having a credit card account. 8)"

You know when people talk about "the cheapest money you'll ever borrow?" That's what this is - an interest free loan subsidized by other interest payers. A pretty good deal, I'd say!
johnmoni


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Author: johnmoni Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50433 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/30/2000 12:33 PM
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"But when a credit history is pulled, it shows you have all closed accounts. Your credit rating will reflect no available credit. If you want a loan for anything, you do not have current experience with dealing with credit. That makes you a risk. This maybe your own worst nightmare, not the banks."

A myth perpetuated by the credit industry. Example - my parents have hardly ever used credit cards in their entire lives (I'm not kidding.) Throughout their marriage (on a middle class income) they LBYM's, saved their "pennies" and paid whatever recurring bills on time and in full. They get CC solicitations almost every day. If you checked their "credit file" they might have one card with a low balance available. Bottom line is that the CC/finance companies are falling all over themselves to loan them money, without them ever having any significant open credit (other than a mortgage). Their experience (which isn't unique by any standard) refutes the credit industry's contention that you need to use credit cards to qualify for credit. Thanks for your post.
johnmoni


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Author: Leviathan Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50437 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/30/2000 1:16 PM
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Thank you Leviathan. Could you please tell me more about your Visa check card and how it works?

Well, sure. The card itself has a number that is exactly the same length as a Visa credit card number. It also has the Visa logo on it, along with a banner saying "Check Card". It also serves as my ATM card for my bank.

It is linked to my checking account at my bank so that anytime I "charge" something, it comes directly out of my checking account about 2-3 days later. Effectively, it works the same as paying by a check as the money comes from my account and it doesn't put me into debt.

I use it the same as you would use a Visa credit card, as I can use it at stores and over the Internet. Visa, in fact, recently changed their policy so that there is no fraud loss if your number gets stolen and used fraudulently on an Internet transaction. About 98% of businesses don't care that the card you are using is a check card. The difference is that *some* hotels and car rentals agencies won't take the check cards. However, I've never had a trip where I couldn't find at least one hotel that didn't care I was using a check card, but you'll have to be diligent and call ahead if you plan on traveling.

As I said though, I only use it in situations where I find a credit card is required. If you need any more info about the check card, let me know!

Leviathan

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Author: Leviathan Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50438 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/30/2000 1:19 PM
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Yes there is, and his name is Leviathan. He is sort of the proprietor of the Budgeting board, and is clearly one of the most well liked and respected posters on these personal finance boards.

Wow, thanks!

I happen to disagree with much of what he says (in details anyway), but his positions are well reasoned, and he is on my faves list, which is small.[*] If you enter Leviathan in the Author box at the bottom of the screen and change "Last 10 Posts" from the default 10 to 50, you'll see what he is about.

Double thanks. I think it can be good to have someone disagreeing with me whose arguments are also well thought-out. Keep it up!

Leviathan

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Author: WLonsdale Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50455 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/30/2000 3:33 PM
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I agree with the Cash primarily doctrine. I, however am real paranoid to give my Debit Card number out over the Internet. Granted, protection is there but what about the time your money is tied up if there is a problem? Car/ Hotel Room rental; I prefer to use the CC because of blocking. I any case I want the leverage if there is a dispute without tying up loads of my cash.

Walt

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50458 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/30/2000 3:50 PM
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"Is there anyone else here who dosen't use credit cards?"

We only use credit cards to accumulate rebate points. In other words, if we can't afford to pay off the bill immediately, in full, when it arrives, we don't buy it. So, we
don't "use credit."


We do basically the same as johnmoni. We charge everything [I hate carrying large amounts of cash, and only write checks to pay the bills] including groceries, gas, and dinners out, and then pay the bill monthly when it comes in. There is only 1 place that we regularly shop at that does not take Discover, so we also get a pretty hefty rebate check back once a year since we put all our expenditures on that. But if we don't already have the cash for it, we don't buy it.

I also find it much easier for my record keeping as I can put all the charges in Quicken, but with cash, I tend to not track the expenses and so have this black hole of wherever the discretionary funds went. Since we don't take much out every week, it's not that bad, but it would be awful if I were actually doing all my shopping with cash and not tracking.

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Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50483 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 11/30/2000 7:32 PM
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We do basically the same as johnmoni. We charge everything [I hate carrying large amounts of cash, and only write checks to pay the bills] including groceries, gas, and dinners out, and then pay the bill monthly when it comes in. There is only 1 place that we regularly shop at that does not take Discover, so we also get a pretty hefty rebate check back once a year since we put all our expenditures on that. But if we don't already have the cash for it, we don't buy it.


I always find this topic very interesting because everyone always has a system that works best for them.

In my case, I almost never use cash simply due to convenience and to accrue airmiles wherever possible. Of course, I always pay the bill in full, so there's never an expense involved which would undo any good I was doing.

The one exception that I have is when dining out. In that case, I always bring cash with me to pay the bill. I'm not comfortable giving my credit card to a waiter to walk off with. I was burned that way once, and it's just too common to hear of problems with someone stealing a card number, or double swiping. If it's a place like a diner where you take the check to the register, that's another story, but if someone needs to "disappear" with my card, I'll pass on that. ;)

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

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Author: bpaulien One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50501 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 12/1/2000 9:08 AM
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The one exception that I have is when dining out. In that case, I always bring cash with me to pay the bill. I'm not comfortable giving my credit card to a waiter to walk off with.

Interesting. I've never had a problem with that, but it's definitely something to think about. I think I'll be a little more careful about letting the card actually leave my sight. It's so obvious, yet for some reason I just had never realized that was a bad situation.

Thanks for the tip. I'll either take cash, or stick a check in my wallet when I eat out next time (doesn't happen that often, so that's probably why I've never had much of a problem)

bdp

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Author: johnnstace Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50502 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 12/1/2000 9:17 AM
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The one exception that I have is when dining out. In that case, I always bring cash with me to pay the bill. I'm not comfortable giving my credit card to a waiter to walk off with. I was burned that way once, and it's just too common to hear of problems with someone stealing a card number, or double swiping. If it's a place like a diner where you take the check to the register, that's another story, but if someone needs to "disappear" with my card, I'll pass on that. ;)


Actualy I was a victom of just the other case. I paid a dinner bill of 3 couples with cash ($150) in twentys and fiftys. I counted it at least twice, perhaps 3 times, my bride whatching. Gave it to the waiter and had a nice $20 tip included. As we were walking out the door the waiter and manager stopped me and said I was fifty dollars short. I asked to see the cash I gave to the waiter and he gave me back the cash and it was missing a fifty and a twenty. I said, 'No I gave you x dollars.' Long story short I had to come up with another $50. The waiter stole the other $70. Cash is NOT a good idea. If not a credit card a check. ALWAYS a check. no disputes.

john

john

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Author: aditya Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50582 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 12/1/2000 10:46 PM
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you said I use my credit cards the same way--making use of free credit by paying it off each month. Usually, though, I don't wait for the bill to arrive before I transfer money to the credit card account.

OTOH I always wait for the latest possible date to make the payment to maximize my free loan from the card.

I pay them through my bill paying service that sends them payment electronically so that I can be sure that it reaches them just a day before the due date.

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Author: aditya Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50583 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 12/1/2000 10:59 PM
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Cash is NOT a good idea. If not a credit card a check. ALWAYS a check. no disputes.

I agree with you 100%. I never keep more than $20 in my wallet and pay every item by credit card since even the grocery stores now accept credit card. Only a few MOM-POP stores do not accept credit card on purchases less than a certain amount. It is only for these stores that I keep cash which I can replenish from the next ATM machine as soon as I need.

I pay my bills in full every month and get up to $40 rebate for using the credit card in addition to the interest free loan for 45days.

I have even stopped using a check since I can pay every one by my bank's free bill payment service so that I even save $0.33 for the postage.


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Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50593 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 12/2/2000 11:16 AM
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Interesting. I've never had a problem with that, but it's definitely something to think about. I think
I'll be a little more careful about letting the card actually leave my sight. It's so obvious, yet for
some reason I just had never realized that was a bad situation.


Hi bdp!

Yes, you're sitting there enjoying a fine meal, the waiter has been attentive, and then it's time to settle the bill. The check arrives in the little black case, and you slip your charge card inside. It's taken away, and you're brought back the slip to add the tip and sign. You go home satisfied.

That satisfaction can be short lived when you find out weeks later that someone has been having a field day at your expense. That's what happened to me.

This was quite a few years ago, but it was very disconcerting to get a bill with charges that weren't even close to my lifestyle. About $3000 was charged to a Big and Tall Man's Shop in Brooklyn, $500 in a diner in Brooklyn, and another $2000 charged in car repairs in Brooklyn. Sheesh! I never even go to Brooklyn!

I will say that the company (Chase--they were good, but not a company I currently use) didn't even bat an eye. They went through every charge with me, and had me simply tell them if it was mine or not. The charges were removed without question, and a new card was issued to me.

I was certain that this had happened when I was in a restaurant, and it was the only time that my card wasn't "secure". So, from that point on, I always pay in cash when dining out. :)

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

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Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50594 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 12/2/2000 11:18 AM
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Actualy I was a victom of just the other case. I paid a dinner bill of 3 couples with cash ($150) in
twentys and fiftys. I counted it at least twice, perhaps 3 times, my bride whatching. Gave it to the
waiter and had a nice $20 tip included. As we were walking out the door the waiter and manager
stopped me and said I was fifty dollars short. I asked to see the cash I gave to the waiter and he
gave me back the cash and it was missing a fifty and a twenty. I said, 'No I gave you x dollars.'
Long story short I had to come up with another $50. The waiter stole the other $70. Cash is NOT
a good idea. If not a credit card a check. ALWAYS a check. no disputes.


Hi John!

Wow! That's really a scary story! I can definitely see this happening, though I can't imagine it would be a common occurance. I do understand why you'd be very hesitant to use cash after that experience though.

It's very sad that there's so much dishonesty.

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

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Author: Mark0Young Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50640 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 12/2/2000 9:57 PM
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Example - my parents have hardly ever used credit cards in their entire lives ... If you checked their "credit file" they might have one card with a low balance available.

But that is still an open credit card account, probably one that has been active for a long time, and one without any negative information. Those three characteristics improve the credit score.

That would be far different from having no open credit card accounts.

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Author: felipej Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50708 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 12/4/2000 10:13 AM
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<<I will say that the company (Chase--they were good, but not a company I currently use) didn't even bat an eye. They went through every charge with me, and had me simply tell them if it was mine or not. The charges were removed without question, and a new card was issued to me.>>

I had an experience like that with Chase and have not used their cards since (or banking). I had a card sent to me because the old one was expiring. However, I never got the card just a call asking if I had made all these charges. I said 'huh?' and they listed all this stuff at pep boys, and other car related stores when I don't even own a car (I live in Manhattan). Then... I get a letter in the mail asking me to sign something for an automatic monthly payment for the credit card (those auto ACH things). I called them up to say I had never requested such a thing and they said that 'yes, you called on such and such a date'. That's when I got really freaked out and cancelled everything I had with them. I am convinced it was someone within Chase doing the fraud, because they knew all my information and it was conveniently timed. I think that answer is more likely than mail theft (because they knew the personal info). They handled the fraudulent charges pretty well, but I really lost my confidence in their security practices. The thief had maxed out my card to about 5k and it was about 2 weeks after that that they contacted me.

I ordered my reports to check for identity theft and notified all the other cards but it turned out to be only with Chase.

I still pay for everything (even restaurants) with cards. But thanks to daily updates to MS Money and the online statements if it ever happens again I will catch it very quickly.

cheers
Felipe



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Author: felipej Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 50710 of 308782
Subject: Re: A banker's worst nightmare Date: 12/4/2000 10:16 AM
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<<Actualy I was a victom of just the other case. I paid a dinner bill of 3 couples with cash ($150) in
twentys and fiftys. I counted it at least twice, perhaps 3 times, my bride whatching. Gave it to the
waiter and had a nice $20 tip included. As we were walking out the door the waiter and manager
stopped me and said I was fifty dollars short. I asked to see the cash I gave to the waiter and he
gave me back the cash and it was missing a fifty and a twenty. I said, 'No I gave you x dollars.'
Long story short I had to come up with another $50. The waiter stole the other $70. Cash is NOT
a good idea. If not a credit card a check. ALWAYS a check. no disputes.>>

The way around this (and believe me, I would never go through this trouble) is to write down the serial numbers for the $ bills you use to pay the bill. Then if this happens you can ask them to call the cops and say that you paid with such and such notes. They can search the waiters and find the original $ bills. The more likely event is that the restaurant people will see that you CYA and take the loss.

cheers
Felipe



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