Credit Cards and Debt Interview with KGO Radio San Francisco

By Media Relations Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz spoke on Tuesday, December 29, 2015 with Jason Middleton of KGO Radio San Francisco about credit cards and debt. The interview and transcript are below.


Jason Middleton: When it comes to New Year’s resolutions paying off debt is one of the more popular aspirations but what is the best kind of concrete plan to make sure that resolutions like that come to pass. Joining us on the KGO 8:10 Live Line with more is Matt Schulz from Jason Middleton is also in the studio. Good morning Matt. You say we should start by basically asking the credit card company if we can just pay less at least lower interest rates. How does that work?

Matt Schulz: Most people do not think that they can negotiate at all with credit card companies but as we found in a survey that we did that is not true. We found that about two-thirds of credit card holders who ask their issuer for a lower interest rate were successful. But the problem is only about one in four credit card holders actually did that. So that means a lot of people were paying more interest than they need to.

Middleton: Is that two-thirds number a little higher than usual Matt? By the way this is Jason.

Schulz: Yeah, it was a surprising high number and I think that speaks to how competitive the credit card market place is because people are spending a little bit more and credit card issuers are having to work a little harder to keep their good customers.

Middleton: Now would you say Matt that it would be a good idea to get a financial planner or advisor for those of us that are serious about our debt?

Schulz: It can be. A lot of it is kind of about knowing yourself first and your own tendencies. For some people it can be just as simple as doing a simple budget and getting a handle on exactly how much money is coming in and how much is going out. And if you start with that. That can really give you a baseline to attack that debt whether you go to a financial planner or not.

Middleton: Okay. Matt before we let you get away, we are talking with Matt Schulz from Can we talk to you a little bit about making charitable donations? I mean this is crunch time right. So what would you recommend or can we look out for? That kind of thing.

Schulz: In my mind with charitable donations I tend to stay with big name groups whether it is something like the American Heart Association or big organizations that you know that you can trust. And actually a lot of credit card issuers have deals set up where you can donate through your credit card issuer. Whether it is points or actual money or whatever. And they will handle all of the transaction costs. So that is an option that people have.

Middleton: And don’t forget you can deduct those charitable donations on your taxes if you itemize schedule A that is.

Schulz: Exactly.

Middleton: Okay. Matt Schulz thank you from on the KGO Live Line.

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