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Everyday Cheapskate: The Fine Print - Deal With It!

Mary Hunt on

Just recently, U.S. consumer debt (that's everything except mortgages) hit $16 trillion. Of course, that fact is often buried in the fine print, where most of us don't pay attention. Or, if we do, we have no idea what that means.

So what is a trillion? It's a million million, a thousand billion or 1,000,000,000,000.

A billion is a thousand million, or 1,000,000,000.

A billion seconds ago, it was 1991. A billion minutes ago, it was the year 121 A.D. A billion hours ago, our ancestors were living in the Stone Age. But a billion dollars ago in consumer debt was just about two weeks!

Managing your debt starts with understanding what's in the fine print. When it comes to ads, mass mail or any other kind of offer, never trust the big flashy print, the cool logos or the enticing promises. There's always a catch in the fine print!



When you signed by your signature, you gave the company the right to change the terms at any time. They can raise rates, shorten grace periods and change the rules and terms to their advantage whenever they feel like it -- as long as they put those changes in writing.


This is where they're most likely to tell you about changes. But you think it's just filler material and nuisance ads. Start paying attention. Read everything.



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