“It’s important for people to look back before they’re able to move forward.”–Karen McCall

Karen McCall has a special place in my heart. She was the first one to tell me I was an underearner. And it really pissed me off!

“I am not,” I said defiantly. “I’m a writer!”

Talk about chutzpah!  Here was the leading pioneer in the field of financial recovery. And I’m arguing with her?

Of course, she saw right through my defenses and gently guided me to the truth.

I can honestly say Karen changed my life…in ways I couldn’t even have predicted at the time!!!

She stopped seeing clients years ago to focus on training Financial Recovery Coaches.

Now there’s BIG NEWS!

Jedi Master McCall (one of her students used this phrase, in an email to me, to describe Karen) is offering a special 3 month program…Financial Recovery Foundational Training…for anyone.

Yes, it’s a prerequisite for the Certification Core Training.

And it’s also ideal for professionals to augment their financial coaching skills.

But, for the first time…and here’s why I’m so excited…this training is open to ANYONE (you, maybe?) who wants to transform their relationship to money.

This is an amazing program. There is nothing like it anywhere that I know. It’s truly transformational! Karen, herself, will be teaching. And the sessions are on the phone.

You will be matched with a personal mentor, led through  your own money history, uncovering limiting beliefs, and given a tool box of “Financial Recovery’s underlying methodology.”

In other words, if you’re really serious about healing your relationship with money, this class was tailor-made for you!!! To learn more: www.financialrecovery.com.

This course will rock your world. Are you ready?

I’ve been in a tizzy ever since Suze Orman changed her tune.  Last month, the ubiquitous financial guru stood before the masses and told them to “listen up”,  stop paying off debt,  and put every extra penny into savings.

credit card debt

Now,  let me make this clear.  I’m a HUGE advocate (borderline obsessive) for adequate savings.  I personally have way more than 10 months (Suze’s barometer) socked away in cash.  But to say to everyone: “only pay the minimum due on your credit card balance and instead make it your top priority to build as much of an emergency cash fund as you can.”  Huh????  That pronouncement made my head spin!!

Then I read my favorite financial columnist (the Web’s favorite too!),  Liz Pulliam Weston,  on msn.com.  Liz did what she always does for me — made sense of what sounds complicated,  or in this case,  crazy.

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Banking/CreditCardSmarts/why-suze-orman-is-wrong-again.aspx?page=1

Liz made a critical distinction Suze apparently overlooked.  Such a severe approach only applies to those in dire straits.  As Liz explained,  the only times when “paying the minimum or,  preferably,  just a bit more is the best of bad options” if:

  • You’ve been or are about to be laid off.
  • You’re on the financial brink.
  • Your accounts have already been frozen.

For everyone else,  Liz advised, “a more balanced approach might be the best course.” As she astutely points out,  it could take years to build up a big bundle in savings.  Dumping repayment plans for a lengthy period leads to unnecessary interest,  damaged credit scores,  and possible victimization by lenders.  Instead,  Liz  wisely suggests:

  • Stay the course. Continue paying down credit card debt,  but look for extra expenses to cut to pad your emergency fund as well.
  • Open an escape hatch.  If all your credit cards are with the same issuer, consider getting a card or two from different issuers so all your credit isn’t in the hands of one lender.
  • Monitoring your accounts.  Many lenders are trimming credit lines with little notice,  so checking your credit limits at least once a month is good practice.”
  • Pushing back.  Card issuers are hoping you accept their changes without a fuss,  but if you have good credit scores (FICOs of 720 or above),  you have some leverage and should be able to get them to rescind their decisions or take your business elsewhere.

Moral of this story: Beware of experts touting one approach for all.  Cookie cutter solutions can be harmful to your financial health!

I’m using today’s blog to let the secret out of the bag.  Please help me in this effort by passing this on to everyone you know who’s in debt.

Stone arch

The secret is this: Your creditors will negotiate, and all you have to do is make the call!

I just read a fabulous article on this very subject by my friend, the fabulous financial columnist, Liz Weston: “Why lenders might forgive your debt.”

As Liz points out, “There was a time when lenders didn’t want to work with you if you couldn’t pay. Now they want to avoid foreclosure, lawsuits or repossession almost as much as you do.“

Want more?  Click on http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Banking/YourCreditRating/why-lenders-might-forgive-your-debt.aspx?page=2

If you’ve got piles of unpaid bills, this is a must-read.  And I encourage you to email it to your friends.  It’s one small way you can ease the suffering and contribute to the solution during this economic slump!