THE DAY OF THE NUMBERS – Marilyn Armstrong

I’m not big on numbers, but I had to deal with them anyway. Our banks have this sneaky way of offering you “free money” that of course, isn’t free. It’s just free of interest if you pay it off within a specified amount of time. Very tempting. The secret is that no one pays them off in time or on time or within the time limits.

I thought it would be a good way to deal with some of the stuff that needed repair in the house. The hot-water heater and the broken heating unit, the sagging window, the massive infusion of mice and ants — and … well …

It all added up and suddenly it was more than I could reasonably handle. I could barely manage it, but it was hard and we’d never dig out. I couldn’t get a big enough loan to take care of the house and its needs as well as the cards, so everything else will have to wait. Hopefully, nothing will collapse or fall down while I wait for a better situation. I spent all day adding numbers and trying to figure out if this was a decent deal.

It is a decent deal. Not a great deal, but not bad, either. All of the big cards will get paid down. I’ll save a couple of hundred dollars. In six months, I can renegotiate a lower rate and a reduced payment.

Tarpit in Los Angeles

I’m not done with numbers yet. I’m still going to have to manipulate numbers to make room for this big payment that will pay for all the smaller payments. I feel like I worked for a week.

Beware anytime the banks seem to be giving you something. They are never giving away anything. They’re just luring you into a trap, sucking you down into the tar where you will die with the mammoths of old. With banks, it’s always a tarpit and you will always end up a loser.

10 thoughts on “THE DAY OF THE NUMBERS – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. When I was much younger and getting to think about a future marriage, I knew ONE thing: I’d never, ever get married to a bank employee….. !!!! I didn’t but I got to know and still do, know a few very decent and great human beings working as bank employees.

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  2. You’re right to warn of the dangers… I don’t trust banks at all. They’re run by a load of 12-year-old marketing managers nowadays. My dad was a senior bank manager, but that was in the days when banks were much more trustworthy and straightforward, and you had a real manager sitting behind a desk who dealt with people personally. Those days, and those values, have sadly gone.

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  3. Banks here are continually offering “bonuses” if you bring them so many dollars in new money. The catches are that 1. you have to have a fair amount of new money, and 2. the bonus is not paid until that money has earned the amount of the bonus in interest. For example, if you open a savings account with $2500, they will pay $200 after the account has been there for 6 months — and there are penalties if you withdraw it after the next 6 months.

    The other offer that is quite popular now is reverse mortgages — you borrow an amount from the bank, which they pay to you in monthly amounts to create extra income. These loans must be repaid according to contract, usually at the end of a time period or upon the death of the borrower. The downside is that any equity in the home must be repaid to the bank rather than left to heirs, and might need to be repaid before the borrower dies, leaving him/her with a large debt at a time when it can be least afforded. In a very few instances, this is a good alternative, but it’s usually not beneficial.

    Having dealt with students who have overborrowed against their cards, it sounds to me as if you have taken the best approach, borrowing enough to cover specific payments, and yet little enough to be manageable.. Good work!

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