It’s Friday again, and that means it’s time for the weekly SpendOnLife grab bag! Here we share some of the week’s more interesting tidbits from the world of credit. Enjoy!
Home free for the holidays
A debt collector’s aggressive tactics prompt a judge in Long Island to wipe away a struggling homeowner’s debt of $525,000. Diane and Greg Horoski now own their 3,400-square-foot home outright—no mortgage required. This is one of the few instances where it worked in a debtor’s benefit to be so harshly harassed by their mortgage lender. The lender will be filing an appeal to the court’s decision, of course.
Couple arrested for not tipping
We’ve all been there: you’re at a restaurant with a large group and the gratuity is automatically built into the bill. But the wait staff did a less-than-stellar job and doesn’t deserve the full tip. In these situations I normally just shake my head and pay what is asked of me. But a Pennsylvanian couple recently decided to skip the “mandatory” tip. The restaurant called the police, and the couple was charged with theft (which is unlikely to hold up in front of a judge). FYI, if a waiter or restaurant ever tries to change the tip amount you leave on the bill (for instance, alter a $3.00 tip to read as $8.00), you can dispute it by contacting your credit card company. Just make sure you keep your original receipt.
Visa “Black” is whack
I am so over “prestigious” credit cards that carry annual fees of hundreds of dollars. This is the biggest gimmick of all that credit card companies pull. What kind of rewards could be worth shelling out additional funds to your creditor? The only way I can see these platinum or black cards being worthwhile is if you charge vast amounts to your card each year, and the lower interest rate on all of your purchases justifies the annual fee. Dual Income No Kids talks more about Visa Black.
Mortgage rates at all-time low
The latest interest rates on home loans make me jealous of all those who are buying a home right now. 4.71%?! That’s almost as cheap as the interest I pay on my student loans! I’m especially envious of all those first-time homebuyers who are getting thousands of dollars from the government for purchasing a house. Oh well, I guess I could always refinance…