As if the pandemic didn’t take enough from us, there are companies you are using right now that are totally taking advantage of you. Some in a really big way, and most you had absolutely no idea were pulling the wool over your eyes.
But you’re no sucker! Now that you know, you’re ready to fight back. Here are the worst companies that are practically stealing your money — and what you can do to save it.
1. Your Credit Card Company: Stop Paying Them
When you don’t pay off your credit card balance in full, you can be subjected to some insane interest rates. Like, almost 30% of your balance every month. What your credit card company is charging you should be criminal.
But unfortunately, it’s not, and you agreed to it when you signed up for your credit card. But you know better now! So — 1. Don’t ever overspend on your credit card and again and 2. Pay off the rest of your credit card debt immediately.
If you don’t have the cash on hand, a low-interest rate personal loan can help you do that (and save you money in the long run). We recommend using a website like AmOne.
If you owe your credit card companies $50,000 or less, AmOne will match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every single one of your balances.
The benefit? You’ll be left with one bill to pay each month. And because personal loans have lower interest rates (AmOne rates start at 2.49% APR), you’ll get out of debt that much faster. Plus: No credit card payment this month.
AmOne keeps your information confidential and secure, which is probably why after 20 years in business, it still has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
It takes two minutes to see if you qualify for up to $50,000 online. You do need to give AmOne a real phone number in order to qualify, but don’t worry — they won’t spam you with phone calls.
2. Funeral Homes: Get Covered with Life Insurance
You love your family. The last thing you’d want to do is leave them to foot a huge expensive bill after you die. Did you know it can cost $7,000 to $15,000 just to cover funeral costs? And that doesn’t include other final expenses, such as leftover credit card debt or medical bills. Yikes. Your loved ones shouldn’t be stuck paying thousands out of their own pockets to cover outstanding credit card debt, medical bills and memorial services.
If you’re between the ages of 50 and 85, there’s an answer for this: a final expense life insurance policy through a company called EverQuote. And it’s probably cheaper than you think — you can get $10,000 in coverage for as little as $26.08 per month.*
This process used to be a pain. But with EverQuote, you can get started in just a few minutes. They’ll show you all your options at once so you can pick the plan that’s right for you. Final expense policies range from $5,000 to $30,000, and you don’t even need a medical exam.
Click here to get started — then never worry about this again. Your family will thank you.
*Rate is for a 50-year-old non-smoking woman.
3. Your Credit-Monitoring Service
Are you paying a company to watch your credit report? You might be, because you know how important a good credit score is to buy a car, take out a mortgage or even open up a business.
But if you’re looking to get your credit score back on track — or even if it is on track and you want to bump it up — stop paying anyone to monitor it for you. You can get the same help from a free website, like Credit Sesame.
Within 90 seconds, you’ll get access to your credit score, any debt-carrying accounts and a handful of personalized tips to improve your score. You’ll even be able to spot any errors holding you back (one in five reports have one).
James Cooper, of Atlanta, used Credit Sesame to raise his credit score nearly 300 points in six months.*** “They showed me the ins and outs — how to dot the I’s and cross the T’s,” he said.
Getting your free credit score takes only 90 seconds.
4. Your Investments: Get up to $200 in Free Stock
If you have investments, you likely have a broker — someone who manages your investments and offers advice. If you’ve worked with them for years, you might not even notice that you’re losing a little cut of your investments with each trade. These fees can be a percentage of each transaction or a flat fee. Either way, it’s a rip-off.
And if you feel like you don’t have enough money to start investing, and definitely couldn’t afford the fees, you’re not alone. But guess what? You really don’t need that much — and you can even get free stocks (worth up to $200!) if you know where to look.
Whether you’ve got $5, $100 or $800 to spare, you can start investing with Robinhood.
Yeah, you’ve probably heard of Robinhood. Both investing beginners and pros love it because it doesn’t charge commission fees, and you can buy and sell stocks for free — no limits. Plus, it’s super easy to use.
What’s best? When you download the app and fund your account (it takes no more than a few minutes), Robinhood drops a share of free stock into your account. It’s random, though, so that stock could be worth anywhere from $2.50 to $200 — a nice boost to help you build your investments.
5. Your Banking Account: See if You Can Get More Money
Yep. The place you trust to keep your money safe and growing is getting rich by ripping you off. First, with all those insane fees they charge. Then, by making tons of interest on your money — but only giving you .06% (on average).
So if you’re sick of getting ripped off, find an account that won’t charge you ridiculous fees and earn you way more interest on your savings — it is your money, after all.
By signing up for a debit card called Aspiration, you could get up to 5% back when you swipe at certain stores, plus they give you up to 83 times the normal national interest rate on your savings balance.
To see how much you could earn, enter your email address here, link your bank account and add at least $10 to your account. And don’t worry. Your money is FDIC insured and under a military-grade encryption. That’s nerd talk for “this is totally safe.”
Kari Faber is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.
***Like Cooper, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.
Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.