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Credit Card Debt Calculator”

How a Boot Camp member saved $75,000 on his mortgage

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Here are early results from Week 1 (credit cards) of my ongoing Boot Camp.

Last month, I launched the 6-week I Will Teach You To Be Rich Boot Camp, which is currently happening on a private site.

I was tired of people reading and reading but not actually taking DOING the necessary steps to dominate their finances, so I put together a six-week Boot Camp to power through the logistics and help people start of 2010 with a fully automated system.

It doesn’t matter how many blogs or books or magazines you read — ultimately, results matter.

A few hundred people decided to invest in themselves to take action.

Let’s see what some of them have done in the first week alone.

She saved $75,000+ on her mortgage

“Refinanced my mortgage from a 5/1 interest only ARM at 6.375% to a 30 year fixed at 5.25%. This will cost me ~$100 more a month, but I am paying ~$120/mo on equity in my house instead of it ALL being interest to the bank. Assuming that my ARM interest rate would have stayed the same (almost certainly would rise with inflationary pressures I see coming) at 6.25%, refinancing to a fixed @ 5.25% will save me $75,106.47 over the life of the loan. This is a CONSERVATIVE estimate!

Thanks, Ramit, for the bootcamp. It made me take ACTION!”
–T. Munroe

Raised credit score

“With a single phone call, I raised my credit limit from $9,000 to $15,300 (even though I asked for $11,000).”
–E. Yee

Uncovered $200 in free gift cards

“I checked my rewards points on my credit card and found out I could redeem $200 dollars worth of gift cards, which could’ve gone without notice.”
–S. Shin

Saved $600/year on car payments

“OK, good one. I refinanced my car to both lower the interest and the monthly. Now I will own the car and have $53 less per month to pay. I can use this to ‘snowball’ the payments on my credit cards. yes!”
–E. Friedman

Started paying off debt

“I have 3 credit cards with 5K spread across them. This week I have finally paid off one credit card (1K) off after having had a balance on it for 3 years. I was grinning with glee as I paid it off on Thursday!! 1 down two more to go. I plan to use the snowball effect to get the next one paid off in the next 6 weeks, making payments every two weeks. This will increase my credit utilization ratio and increase my Fico score. This will help me leaps in bounds as I have learned that my Fico score can save me thousands in interest rates as I prepare to take out student loans to go back to school!! Talk about big picture savings. Andy’s chart really struck home.”
–C. Dewey

This week’s material included:

  • A live mini-talk from me on productivity & time-management tactics — with tactics I’ve never released
  • A private webcast from ex-MyFico executive Andy Jolls of videocreditscore.com

The Boot Camp is closed, but if you want to get notified when the next one launches in 2010, click here.

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39 Comments

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  1. Not to nitpick or anything, but raising one’s credit limit and raising one’s credit score are very different things…

  2. Andrew: Asking for credit limit increases on a periodic basis, typically annually, does increase your credit score since part of the FICO formula includes your credit utilization ratio. By increasing your available credit, your credit utilization ratio decreases, which increases your credit score.

  3. Andrew is right though: that’s kind of a large jump to make. It will take time for that credit score to change and who knows by how much, especially depending on the other factors.

  4. Hi! please Do the Boot Camp again! I know you told us in advance…but…
    I was afraid it took too much time to follow the Boot Camp. I work for a company and overtime as a freelance. Do you think there is an express version?

  5. No offence to Ramit, but quite alot of testimonies posted are seriously simple stuff. Refinancing mortgage? Raising credit card limit? Redeeming some gift cards from your credit card rewards program? Come on… these stuff are basic common sense! Does the Boot Camp *really* work, or does it just appear to work because the participants of this Boot Camp are just plain idiots?

  6. WTF? Every one of these examples has to do with debt. Is this bootcamp about “Getting Rich”, or is it about how to make the most of your “living-beyond-your-means” lifestyle?

    In the first example, is T. Munroe’s old interest rate 6.375% or 6.25%? Both are mentioned, and it’s not clear. Also, does the $75,000 he’s “saving” on his/her mortgage include the $36,000 in extra payments (extra $100/month for 30 years)? I wanted to do the calculation myself to see, but there are too many variables missing.

    As others have mentioned, the second example is also misleading. Credit limit and credit score are very different beasts, and neither one is very relevant regarding building wealth. I’m not sure there’s anything here worth celebrating – all they’ve done is obtained more rope with which to hang themselves.

    The $200 in gift cards is a good one, but again, was obtained through judicious use of debt.

    C. Dewey should think outside the box a little and figure out a way to pay CASH to go back to school, instead of just assuming the only way to do it is through piling on more debt.

    All in all, I really hope there are more rewarding examples of people building actual WEALTH in future updates regarding the bootcamp. It really is disappointing how much “Personal Finance” blogs focus on poor people and debt, especially when they profess to be about building wealth (“I Will Teach You To Be Rich,” and “Get Rich Slowly” being the obvious worst offenders).

    I have no debt. I already have an awesome credit score. I’ve already beaten down my phone/TV company to get the best rates. I already cook all my own meals. I already take the bus to work. I have $40,000/year available to invest and build wealth. What should I do with it?

    • Kevin, that was week 1 (credit), so of course the biggest results generally have to do with debt. But we also had dozens and dozens of Big Wins in productivity, automation, and more in the first week. In general, I rarely write about debt on this site and prefer to focus on the things to do once you’ve paid off debt and are earning a great income.

      For Garrett, please re-read the post launching the Boot Camp. This is where I talk about the Manifest Destiny Fallacy, where people think they need some secret new information to get rich, but they actually already have what they need — they just haven’t done it. The entire point of the Boot Camp is to get them to implement the changes, no matter how complex or simple.

      If the Boot Camp isn’t for you, I’m also working on a few more advanced projects that might be a better fit. Stay tuned. And send me an email if there’s something specific you’d be interested in seeing. Thanks guys.

  7. Garrett,
    The whole point of the boot camp is for people to take ACTION regardless of how simple some of the ideas might be. Please reread the boot camp details before you start tossing insults.

  8. @kevin
    If Ramit knew what to do with it he’d be rich himself. The title of the blog is misleading. Ramit can’t teach you to be rich. He can give you sound financial advice for a price. That will make him rich and might save you a few bucks if you had bad financial habits. I always laugh when i see suzie orman yelling at people not to buy a bike for their daughters birthday but pushing her 200$ financial package as if there’s no tomorrow when most of the advice is already on the net.

  9. Ramit,

    I missed the part about Week 1 being about Credit. I look forward to future updates. I love hearing about peoples’ successes, especially when their tactics are applicable to myself.

  10. I get the benefits of refinancing, but to claim that your correspondent ‘saved’ $76,000 is ludicrous.

    “Saved’ is a word that refers to the past tense. If and when the mortgage is paid, then you can count the savings. In fact, it’s likely this house will be sold far earlier than when the mortgage is paid off, reducing the savings by a huge amount.

    I like your enthusiasm, but let;s be honest with the numbers used.

    Thanks

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