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Financial Conversations with Fitz #16 - Credit Cards - 4/28/2009

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Received some much needed rain.  Visited with a couple of seed dealers this week.  About 70% of the corn seed picked up.   Soil temp at Kanawha is at 51 degree.  Elevators are just as busy.   Tanks and people were running high speed.    Actually saw a lot of corn planted.  A reminder for everyone to be on the lookout for the other person.  Young or old.  Was busy with Earth Day activities.  We had eight different groups working.  I see a lot of communities doing the same.   They had the ISU Solar car in Mason City.   Had to be careful with fuel used since it was a cloudy weekend.  One of the drawbacks from Solar energy.   It is growing much faster in Europe than here.

I was going to visit about Community Gardens this week, but will do that next week.  It is still in the planning stages, but moving forward.  Something financial is big in the news and I ran into a good example of it last week.   Please monitor your credit cards for new charges, interest rates, and other changes. 

Case in point:  I had a customer in to visit about their $7,000 Discover card.  Seemed they just couldn’t get ahead with it.   Here is what was happening:  The minimum payment was $181/month.  The interest on the balance was $149  (21.9%).  They had two charges for ID insurance, which we have for our customers at no charge, and one for some form of credit life.  The total for that was about $53.00.  I figured our bill for credit life and disability and it was $8.90.   Not sure what else they had.   With no purchases this month and $181 payment his new balance was $21 higher than last month.  It would never pay off.   We made some arrangements for collateral and set it up over 60 months to be paid in full.  I am not one for additional mandates from gov’t on business, but this case is way off base.   They never would have paid off the credit card. 

I am going to a SBA Meeting at NIACC on Wednesday night about the new regulations on SBA loans with the ‘Stimulus’ dollars involved.   I know they have dropped or lowered the fee in most cases.  Will update you more next week.

Remember that you should deal with people in community banks and organizations. That when they put something together for you that they will  be sitting with them at ball games, church or community events.  So, if in doubt give us a call.