Stop Credit card companies from selling your information

Stop Credit card companies from selling your information

So the reason for this week’s blog is I was recently approved for a card that I wanted to get that gives you all sorts of points. I got all the official “disclaimers” and what made me laugh was during my approval and when the card was sent they raised the “late fee to $38.00”.

What I did like was that they provided to me and let me point out not because they are good people but they are required by law to is give me a breakdown of what they do with my information and how they sell it and how to stop them from doing most of that but of course not all of that.

That made me realize that I do not think I ever did a blog to help everyone reading this how to stop these companies or should I say limit them from “sharing our information”. As I was told by my web guy to always use “key words” (not really sure how that stuff works I will say them throughout this blog so sorry!)

As you already know I am a credit repair expert and while I hate using that term that’s what people automatically think of when they need some help with their credit in whatever form it may be.

I have been doing this for over 12 years now and always stay in the thick of it and in the trenches to see what the credit bureaus are doing and how they are “interpreting” the new laws based on case law etc… BUT back to the blog!


So I wanted to point out some things to the people smart enough to read this and act on it to stop not only the junk mail but the email spam and hopefully the annoying calls you get. While this is no guarantee everything will stop as it won’t, it will lower it and I do not know about you but I would prefer less people/companies to know about me who could care less about me.

What amazed me and I checked the papers on other credit card disclaimers it says on them “When you are NO LONGER our customer, we continue to share your information as described in this notice. However you can contact us at any time to limit our sharing”.

WOW…..just WOW….. if THATS’s not a reason to do this then I do not know what will make you take out a few minutes to stop these annoying jerks.

Many banks tell you to call them to “opt-out”. But the easiest way is to call customer service and ask them for the website to opt –out of sharing your information. Some banks use their website name and add “ /privacy ”.

I would try that first so you do not have to call but the odds are you will have to call. Once you do that it may take a bit, But there are SO MANY companies out there that take and sell our information I created a list and links to help make it easier for you.

Opt out of prescreened credit & Insurance:

**Operated by the credit bureaus & only for 5 years, to do it permanently you have to sign the form. All information requested is confidential.


The odds of this are nil as I get bombarded with calls like this regardless but who knows if I would have gotten more if I didn’t do this.

Mail & Email:

This scumbag group ( yes I said that and when you will see why) has the nerve to charge us $2.00 (told ya)for a ten year period and you can choose to decide what mail you want and don’t want. They also offer the ability to reduce your unsolicited commercial email.

NOW, is that a joke to pay them NOT to sell your info, YES, but I look at it as it’s only $2.00 but it’s your call.


This will help remove your name off the thousands of mailing lists out there, not all of course but the point is to greatly reduce it.


This one requires a little more work as when you get a catalog go to the site above and login to enter the senders information, it can take up to 90 days for it to get into the system and they are a nonprofit so if you want to donate a dollar or 2 then it’s your call. I would suggest saving a bunch then entering them all in at one time.


I don’t know about you but when I get a Valpak in mail I walk it over to the recycle bin. EVERY

Once in a while I will go through it and 99% of the time I may find something I may consider using but for me personally I got rid of this, but if you have a family and are what seems to be constantly buying things you may want to keep this for any possible deals.

Valassis Direct Mail  (RED PLUM):

Same thing as Valpak only in more of a magazine type lay out.


Go to the company website, typically found at the bottom of the page there is usually a FAQ section or even an OPT OUT link to click on. Let’s face it, maybe it bothers you, maybe it does not but at least you have the information now.

And we are at the end of this week’s blog…

This of course had nothing to do with credit issues or credit repair problems but one thing I have learned in the 12 years of credit education and consulting is the smart ones know a lot about a lot of things BUT are humble enough to let people know the only reason they know this much is they have just been around a long time.

ONE THING you will never see on this site is computer advice since that is one topic you do NOT want to be taking any advice on that from me.


Want to learn more about how credit actually works and how lenders view you? Buy my book “The Real World of Credit” on my website www.waynethecreditguy or go to and get the electronic version on Barnes and Nobles website!

WANT a HARD COPY in full color? Just contact me below to get one!


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The below article is many, many years old but shows you just HOW MUCH companies value data. And this company Epsilon Data Services is one of the vampires sucking information about our online habits, etc…. very worth the few minutes to read.

That company screwed me….. or did they? (Part I)

That company screwed me….. or did they?

Part I


This week’s blog will probably hit a nerve with some of you as its more designed to identify how as the “little guy” who signs a contract for goods or services hardly EVER pays any actual attention to what they are signing and rarely follows through. And if not done correctly you will be seeing it on your credit report and may have to hire a credit expert to help you navigate it as once you are in “the system” it is painstakingly difficult to get out of it.

NOW… we are ALL guilty of this but hopefully you have not been harmed too badly when a “company screwed you over” as I have been told more times than I could count so the phrase “you live, you learn” increases as we get older and more wise to the world.

But there are plenty of times as we move on in life that it does not happen and it is NEVER too late to learn how to not become a financial victim.

In this blog I will be going over PART I of a major life example and the “gotchas” as well as what I have seen typically over the years on the standard things that we all deal with. Hopefully this will help you if you’re currently with or in that situation and get out unscathed.

The really big one that can stop most forward progress in life:


When you move into a rental home or apartment complex it is explained at the time that for an apartment (we are going to insert example numbers to help you understand) that the rent is normally $1200 a month. BUT if you sign a 12 month lease we will give you a monthly $200 discount making the rent $1,000 per month. The agreement you nodded your head and they will also say:

  • You agree to give them 60 days “written notice” prior to moving out.

NOTE: If you don’t keep a copy for your records THEN they can hit you for MORE MONEY YOU OWE THEM and you have no proof to back you up.

  • If you break the lease you are charged a “re-letting fee” typically 80% of the rent.
  • If you break the lease then that negates the $200 monthly discount and you owe that money to the apartment complex in addition to the rest.
  • If you move out in June and the lease ends in January AND they do not re-rent the apartment until September then YOU are responsible for the rent for those two months.
  • When you moved in you did a MOVE IN checklist with the apartment reps or manager. When you leave you agree to doing a move out check list to ensure you left things in good condition and it helps as if they try to charge you for things that were already damaged you can point it out.
  • If you do not get a receipt showing you returned the keys or the garage controllers then you WILL have them added to the bill.

That is the bulk of how they get you AND you agreed to it, so now the question is since they told you everything when you moved in and you agreed to it as well as signed on the dotted line and when you left (for whatever reason)…..

Did they really screw you over?  They could say you left them high and dry and you are the one who screwed them over.

What seems like valid excuses (to you):

  • Obvious drug use in complex 9 dirty needles found in parking lot etc…
  • Burglary or crime either next door or very close to you.
  • Management is not or fixing issue like air conditioning or water, etc.(note: a hole in wall you created is not an emergency)

** now for this one above it can easily be hearsay so you need to prove this by emailing the apartment manager and say if it’s not fixed within a reasonable time ( a/c in summer is an emergency) then you are filing complaint with the city for code violations. (that is trouble for apt complex).

Understand 2 wrongs do not make a right, if you DO NOT document this then you have no leverage.

No leverage means if it goes on your credit it will stay on your credit. Typically apartment complexes like to sue so imagine going to court, showing the judge you gave written notice, you have pictures and you have complaint on living quality and then have it documented that when you left it still was not fixed.

Too many times people do not show up to fight and then they can add everything they want as you are not there to dispute it, thus you lose…..

Like I always impart to all my clients and that even includes the ones who call me and I just give them some free advice is ALWAYS remember….

Documentation is KING! It is not what you say but what you can prove.


Companies have your SS# and report to the credit bureaus and you do not. Think of it as if you went in front of Judge Judy, you tell her you gave them 60 days written notice as required and then she says did you get a copy of it from them acknowledging it by them signing for it?

When you say no she says, watch this…

Mr. Apartment complex manager, did she give you the 60 days written notice?

Answer? No she did not.

Now Judge Judy looks at you and says well what am I supposed to do now? It has become a he said, she said issue which cannot be rectified.

Now it is horrible if an apartment collection goes on your credit report but what makes it worse is if you are sued for the money in court then it will not go away.

You could be buying a $200,000 home and put down 100k and have a 700 credit score, if the judgment was $200 no mortgage bank would loan you money as a judgment can get paid before the 1st lien holder can which banks DO NOT LIKE!

And unless the judgement is removed from public records (NOT YOUR CREDIT REPORT) it will always come back to haunt you.

This ends part I of 3 of this series, ultimately you need to know what you sign. Contracts NEVER favor the consumer when you are signing for goods or services there are too many gotchas in there and majority of consumers just flat out don’t pay attention and basically get screwed.


Want to learn more about how the credit system works? Go buy my book online at here at : Barnes and Noble The Real World of Credit

Or contact me directly for a full blown color copy to truly grasp the real world of credit.

And of course have a question on credit for yourself? Contact me directly at:

Hospitals charging a “Facility Fee” for using their space?

Hospitals charging a “Facility Fee” for using their space?

This may sound like something new you are being hit with when having either a life health emergency or just an issue that’s a little above what your doctor can do for you.

You may have seen a small news article in the past on this or heard it in passing but to elaborate on the visiting and having the “hospital experience” here are some things you REALLY NEED to be aware of.

This is being explained to you as eventually if you do not pay the bill owed (even if they don’t tell you about it) after 120 days it may go to a collection company and be placed on your credit report and possibly drop your credit score up to 70 points. And then when you make the attempt to rectify the issue you are bombarded with such ignorance it is hard to believe as now you are “in the system” and have no clue how that system operates and have to enlist the services of a credit repair specialist to help navigate that system.

The medical “business” in my opinion is literally the most incompetent business I have even seen in my life. The utter stupidity of how they run their “business” more specifically to the billing department of that business is mind blowing.

So now that my rant is over lets go over a little education on how it works so you can be at least a little prepared for when it happens as unfortunately your help is never an if it happens as more of a when it happens.

Logic would dictate if you have to go to the ER then hopefully once things are better you are presented with a bill when you leave for let us say $10,000 and your insurance covers 80% then you are responsible for the remaining balance, minus a co pay.

Seems simple, right? Actually many times bills don’t get submitted on time so “other bills” trickle in and it seems that anyone that stuck there head in or picked up your chart and looked at it is sending you a bill.

What actually happens is most (not all) are looked at as contractors and not direct employees at the hospital so each one of them bill you for their service. Now there are many that belong to groups so you get a bill from “fake name medical group” which included the doctors, anesthesiologist. But then there is any specialist that may have looked at you who belong to “Doctor fake medical Specialist” and they send in their bills.

All you know is you went to ONE facility and your just looking for ONE bill that lists everything done to you, not an impossible thing to expect, right?

Now you have to hope (which is something you’re not thinking about) that ALL of those bills are being coded correctly and submitted on time to your insurance company. Nothing wrong to expect someone to do their job correctly, but people are human and mistakes do happen, you just hope the mistakes are on little ones not the $10,000 bill itself.

BACK to the actually blog topic, you would think that the bill you receive for all the services includes the “renting” of the hospital “property” since when you go to a restaurant and get a burger the $9.00 burger doesn’t cost $9.00 but it includes the cooking of burger, transportation of that meat to you the service, the location and all things included with the enjoyment of that burger.

Wouldn’t the same thing occur for the hospital? Logic would dictate that but systems in America are anything but logical and always seems to target the individual or little guy as they are the ones who cannot fight back.

Now this blog isn’t here to tell you how to fix this because you cannot, there are designed to educate you so you are not blinded sided.

One thing I have learned in my over 12 years in credit is the moment I come across something I have not seen before I dive in to become fully educated on the subject as very often it’s a sign that many others will encounter these problems and issues and as the credit expert I should and need to be prepared to help address the situation and know how to advise my client to the options available to them.

So let’s now FINALLY go into some detail about this “Facility Fee”.
The nickname is “room fee”.
Called “provider-based billing,” it allows hospitals that own physician practices and outpatient clinics that meet certain federal requirements to bill SEPARATELY for the facility/location as well as for physician services.

Because hospitals that bill Medicare beneficiaries (for example) this way must do so for all other patients, facility fees affect patients of all ages.
Doctors’ offices owned by physicians and freestanding clinics are not permitted to charge them.

Unlike other add-ons that have sent people into a rage over billing like:

– baggage charges on airlines
– surcharges for concert tickets
– resort fees tacked on by hotels

Facility fees, which range from about $25 to hundreds of dollars per visit, may involve a service that is a matter of life and death.

WHY, you ask? One billing consultant has estimated that the fees could generate an additional $30,000 annually per physician for hospitals. And as you know hospitals certainly have more than a dozen doctors of course so you do the math…..

Alan Sager, a professor of health policy and management at the Boston University School of Public Health, facility fees are a “ tax on sick people” and reflect the “financial anarchy that pervades health care in the U.S.”

“They are the latest gimmick to generate additional revenue for hospitals,” whose profit margins have sagged in the past two years as the economy has nosedived, Sager said.

“It’s like a barber saying, ‘That’ll be $20 for a haircut and $10 for sitting in my chair,’ ” said Wisconsin state Rep. Chuck Benedict, a Democrat.

Here are five things to know about “facility fees”:

1. They allow a healthcare organization to bill patients a service charge for the patient’s use of hospital facilities and equipment. In MOST cases, a patient may be responsible for the service bill if their insurance declines to pay or if the patient has a high deductible health plan. Hospitals can charge patients facility fees if they see physicians who work in an office that is owned by the hospital.

REMEMBER— when you “sign in” you fill out a form that says whatever your insurance doesn’t pay YOU WILL!

2. Ultimately, the fees help offset costs to operate hospitals and outpatient clinics, along with access to support staff and physicians hospitals state.

3. Hospitals charge facility fees for outpatient services performed by employed physicians that independent physicians do not charge according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee.

4. Facility fees have been a hot legal topic and remain controversial. Consumers have increasingly complained about unexpected provider-based billing. The practice has spurred federal regulators to examine the procedures in place for hospital service charges and pricing transparency. Federal regulators, concerned with rising care costs and consumer complaints, plan to review the impacts of provider-based billing.

5. President Barack Obama signed legislation outlawing provider-based billing at off-campus outpatient facilities; however the law does not apply to existing outpatient centers where most people get their services.

SO, in summary to this crazy educational blog this week, If you visit a doctor at a hospital-based office, be aware that hospitals sometimes charge a facility charge in addition to the physician, x-ray and laboratory charges. These charges can range from $25 to hundreds of dollars per visit.

Physicians that practice in free-standing non-hospital-based settings usually include these overhead costs into a single office visit bill.

The practice depends on the hospital’s ownership structure, choice of approach and contracts with insurers. In part because of lawsuits and new laws in some states about transparency of these fees, more providers are prominently displaying signs in their offices if they charge a facility fee.

When you visit your doctor, ask if you will be getting a separate bill from the hospital. If the doctor’s office says you will, let the staff or doctor know that you are not happy about the additional charge. If providers hear from members that they are not pleased about these charges, they may be able to reduce or eliminate them.

• Ask your doctor whether he or she practices at a non-hospital based setting where there would not be a facility charge. Consider booking your visits at these alternate locations.

• Review the Explanation of Benefit (EOB) you will receive from your health plan if a service is subject to a deductible to see if the deductible charge was the result of a hospital facility charge. If you are not sure, contact your health plan. If you receive a bill from a hospital for this charge, call the hospital and express your concerns about the charge. Sometimes hospitals will respond to these complaints.


Feel free to contact me at and ask about my book “The Real World of Credit” to learn A LOT more of how the system works if you are thinking of fixing your own credit.

Understanding how the system works is half the job!

When Life happens (Murphy’s Law)

When Life happens (Murphy’s Law)

Murphy’s Law definition:

The rule that states, “If something can go wrong, it will.” An addition to this law reads, “And usually at the worst time.” The identity of “Murphy” is unknown, but the saying was first used during the 1940s.

So why mention this is a credit repair blog you ask?

Life of course…..

However in relation to credit which is my specialty and I can state I am an expert in the matter I want to talk about things I see that may be able to help you avoid people like me for this particular situation.

Starting out on the subject of life many times if you are making a certain amount of money ( or finally do ) for your income you start making a lifestyle that fits that income.

Many times I have people coming to me who end up paying the minimum amounts on these credit cards due to fact of several possibilities such as:

  • Income was cut either your own or a spouses
  • Job loss so not making what you were & took time to find another job so playing catchup.

Both of these are life changing events unless you have a healthy amount of savings tucked away that you can tap into to cover bills until your back on your feet. No one likes dipping into savings but at least it’s there.

Many people do not have this option thus the domino effect starts.

As a life example many, many many years ago (probably longer than I care to admit) I joined a direct sales company (aka: network marketing) they became publically traded and was solid so I joined. And actually they had a product a few years later which became the catalyst for getting me into the credit industry.

Regardless of those details I met an airline pilot for a major airline and we became friendly. This was around the time that the airline filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy and many were laid off and incomes cut. At the time he was making $300,000 a year and was cut 30% to $210,000.

When he told me that the look on my face at the time basically said, “Yeah, you still make over $200,000 a year”.

He saw the look at you could tell it wasn’t the first time and said the problem I have is I have a lifestyle that needs a 300k income to support.


Many times I have clients come to me with so much credit card debt it sometimes blows my mind. I have seen some credit reports with people owing $7,000 to Macy’s or JCpennys. And I think how can you buy so much from a clothing store or let it get to that high an amount?

Ultimately it comes down to discipline. Many consumers just do not have it and it’s something you may need to work on if this blog applies to you. You cannot negotiate with the credit card companies as they have all the leverage.

If you want to settle with them for less you have to trash your credit. Until they have not received a payment for 90-120 days they will do nothing to help you.

I have a friend who lives paycheck to paycheck and have all of her credit cards maxed out so she is a good example of a possible game plan. She finally got a standard 3% raise which only gives her an extra $50 per paycheck but it’s better than nothing.

Her company finally put together a bonus plan if they reach certain goals set for them.

She hit them 2 months in a row totally at moment $1,200. She needed to catch up on a few things, treat herself as well and put a money back into a separate account to start building her savings again. I explained to her which she hates when I do this but she knows it’s needed, if she gets an average of $600 per bonus and does that every other month at least but she expects to hit that every month she needs to put half of the bonus in savings and the other half towards her credit cards starting with the small cards first to get rid of them quicker.

She has 3 credit cards with approximately $600 on each. So within less than six months she can have those 3 cards paid off. Then when she gets excited at how that is progressing she may decide to start taking the full bonus towards paying the bigger one and have that one paid off in a few months.

In her situation she could have all of her credit cards paid off in a year depending on her discipline and goals.

Now in order to get her to focus on that goal other than the freedom of no credit card debt she has a certain car that is her dream car.

I told her after assessing her finances that  these cards are paid down her credit score will jump up tremendously and she could qualify for that car easily.

NOTE: it’s going to be a 1 year pre-owned which she won’t care about as the mileage will be low and will still be exactly what she wants.

This is what you need to do to yourself. Other than being debt free you need to have an additional goal or treat if you want.

Many times it is just not enough, everyone will be different so it has to be something you want so you have to decide on what will give you the determination to be discipline enough to focus on paying down your debts.

As I always say to all future credit repair clients, “I will tell you the truth whether you like It or not”. One of the reasons why I have such a good reputation in the industry is I’m honest and direct.

That combination is not really found in our industry, plus combined with the fact I have been doing this over 12 years the odds are if I can’t help you can’t be helped in the credit repair industry so I may need to guide you towards a different professional to do what’s best for you and your family.

Want to learn more? Contact me at the email below to buy my book “The Real World of Credit” or go to and get the digital version.

Any questions just contact me on the number at the top of my website or email me at:

Cell Phone Contracts vs. You = You Lose

Cell Phone Contracts vs. You = You Lose

This week’s blog we are going to talk about what you really sign when you sign a cell phone “agreement”.

I say that as if you have noticed most if not all TV ads say they no longer have “contracts”.

So, first thing is first….

All TV ads are basically lies, or you could say, they omit many important things that would give you the full story and if you knew everything you probably would not go to that company at all. When I do a seminar and it consists of mostly college kids who have come of age (18 yrs old) I tell them you are now legally allowed to get screwed by companies whose name you put on any “agreement”.

Let’s first discuss the B.S statement of “we no longer have contracts”. Obviously a lie, as they say you will take the full price of a phone and divide it into 24 months’ worth of payments where you do not have the option to make the “monthly phone payments longer for you”.

AND, if you do not complete this and leave to go to another company you are charged a “cancellation fee”.

That sound like a “contract” to you? It should because that what a cancellation fee is used for, screwing you over to make extra money (in my opinion).

Don’t pay the fee? It then goes to a collection company who reports it on your credit file and can damage you credit report anywhere from 60-90 points.

Now that we have made that “GOTCHA” to open your eyes to this sneaky tactic clear let’s go into the next one.

“ADD Additional Lines/Family Plan”:

Have more than one person in your family? Add several family members and save money!

UNLESS you have to cancel the service then EVERY added line counts as one service so you are penalized for the following:

  • The rest of your monthly fee owed on your phone (average cost $700).
  • The cancellation fee of an average cost $275-350.00 (PER LINE).
  • Your typical final bill (most people do not pay at average $100.00)

OVERALL money owed per line $ $700-1,000.00  PER LINE!!!!

See how quickly that can add up if you have a few lines as the original plan  you had for saving money by switching?

Now imagine how angry and frustrating it would be to be told by some lender that the cell phone bill collection(which could be from $1,000-$4,000) is hurting your credit score enough for you to possibly not getting the home you want for your family or just yourself and a future family.

MORAL of the story: DON’T CANCEL the “NOT A CONTRACT” until the new cell phones you purchased are paid off!

YOU WILL ONLY LOSE this battle….

TIP:  GET THE INSURANCE on the new phone, at an average of $10 per phone it’s a better deal and protects you for when you do break the phone.

The GOTCHA you don’t think about:

You “Help” your friend or family member get a phone or you add them to your cell phone plan.

When you sign your name to “help someone get a phone” you are signing a contract that obligates you to everything we have spoken about so far.

It does not matter if you never had any of the service you signed your name to. It in fact is absolutely meaningless if you had no relationship with that cell phone company other than helping that family member (for example).

What does matter is by signing that agreement and piece of paper you said to that lender/cell phone company, if this person does not pay the bill I WILL!

The same thing for adding your friend or family member to your cell phone plan. Remember it is YOUR CELL PHONE ACCOUNT. Which means the responsibility is yours and yours alone.

This is the same way you have a credit card that is yours and you add someone as an “authorized user”, this allows that person to use your credit card as if it was theirs but have no responsibility to the credit card company. That credit card company gave the card to you and for you to use as you see fit, any mistakes in judgement or use of it is your responsibility. If that party over uses it, while you have the right to sue the party who used it to pay you back for what they spent if that was your agreement. The credit card company has to claim against that person as you gave permission for them to use is and thus it is your financial responsibility.

The final gotcha:

“Switch now and don’t worry about cancellation fees. We will pay them for you”!!

Sound familiar? You should it’s on a ton of commercials, I have heard this story so many times it crazy and its mostly from consumers who have in their eyes already been screwed over since it’s on their credit report.

This is how it works, YOU cancel the old contract, and YOU get the final bill including phone charge fees, cancellation fees and the last month’s bill. THEN you send a copy of that to the new company who said they would pay for it and they will send you a pre-paid debit card in a month or so.

Can’t pay all of that in one shot or at all? Not the new carriers issue….

Is that someone you want to be a customer of? I wouldn’t. Did the sales person not tell you that? Did you ever hear the phase it’s not what is said but it is what you sign.

The sales person there makes commission, would you have signed up if they said this is how it really works so let’s get you signed up. I would not sign up after hearing the truth.

Just like my book The Real World of credit, this is how the Real World works.

So I hope this gave you some insight as to how something as simple as “changing cell phone companies” without paying attention can cause more problems than you realize.

Want to learn more about how the credit system works? Go buy my book online at here at : Barnes and Noble The Real World of Credit


Or contact me directly for a full blown color copy to truly grasp the real world of credit.

And of course have a question on credit for yourself? Contact me directly at: