How to Han Solo your Debts

“Scoundrel? Scoundrel? I like the sound of that.”

If you haven’t noticed yet, I like making comparisons of things that I find completely mundane to things I absolutely love. For instance, in my life I’ve compared how to murder my debts by personifying them as the Imperial Empire vs Han Solo…me ( Alright peanut gallery, I can already hear your comments! Simmer down).

Here are some ways I’ve envisioned how a Han Solo persona can help you thwart the Empire’s reign and evade pesky bounty hunters.

Han Solo, the Scoundrel

I’ve always loved how Han could get himself out of almost any situation. But what makes him able to do that? For starters, balls of steal. More importantly, he always seems to know something, if not a lot, about the circumstances in front of him. Having a an understanding of the debts you have will make defeating them more obtainable.

For instance. How many of you out there have a credit card that’s annual interest rate was increased? For no good reason what so ever you’re bumped from 9.8% to a whopping 21%. Most people, when they find out this injustice, get really upset. They immediately call the card company and complain without any results. In the end they either keep the card and swallow the increase, or they close the account in some fashion or another. So, WWHSD?

Let’s make a comperison. Your credit card is the Millenium Falcon. The Credit Card Company is the Imperial Empire and the interest rate is the cost for smuggling black market items. You are, of course, Han Solo!

Here’s the story with real life comparisons.

You’re in the verse (I know different movie but Joss has even admitted to basing Capt’n Reynolds off of Han.) minding your own, when all of a sudden you are stopped by a blockade of Imperial Cruisers. Imperial Troopers board your ship and inspect it to see if you are, indeed, a smuggler.

You’re not dumb, I mean come on! You’re f@#cking HAN f@#cking SOLO! You’ve managed to hide the black market items inside secret compartments on the Falcon (compare this to obtaining a card at 9.8% interest). At the moment of boarding your costs for the goods went up because the Empire decided to fine you for being suspicious … those Fascist bastards! (compare this to finding out your interest rate was hiked to 21%). You know that the troops are completely apathetic to anything going on.  If you just talk to the Sergent in charge of this fishing expedition, say the right things and slip him a few credits you could most probably have them reduce or remove the fine. (compare this to calling your credit card company, speaking with customer service and saying the right things to have them reduce the interest rates. More on this in a sec.) 

If that fails, and you sense that the Imperial Troops are getting close to your stashed goods, you can always signal Chewie to jettison the goods from the ship. This might incur Jabba the Hut’s wrath, but at least you don’t end up in jail! (Compare this to refusing to pay your bill. In the end you are turned over to a collections agency and your credit score drops.) It’s possible that Jabba might send a bounty hunter to collect but you have your blaster at your side and a best friend that could possible rip the doors of a speeder (compare this to a collection agency paying an attorney to drag your ass to court. Just remember, your blaster  are the laws that protect you. Your best friend are people like myself, who post information on the nets, to help you defend yourself against the shenanigans off companies preying on you!).

Is this a lose comparison? Hells yeah. Is the story  more enticing to me then the boring reality that my credit card company is trying to screw me out of more money? Abso-freaking-lutely! Can story telling an lose comparisons for tackling your debt help you? You betcha. Grabbing the persona of a character you admire and addressing a problem the way they would can absolutely give you the mindset to address the bills you have in front of you.

When it comes to Han, he always seems to know something about his adversaries. In this case your adversary is the Credit Card company. Here are somethings you should know when calling them (or when you attempt to sling blasters with the tenacious yet apathetic customer support troopers.)

Your credit card company wants your money. They will generally make a deal if you know what you’re talking about. Whenever dealing with them do some quick research first.

  1.  Find out what other companies are offering new card members, including your card company. Jot them down in your notes.
  2. Go to a couple bank and credit union websites and get a quote for a personal loan.
  3. Pull your latest statement and compare your current interest rate to the local promotions and loan quotes
  4. Check your account online and find out what the transfer charge will be, if there is any at all. Most cards have a transfer charge as it assures they will make some money from you.

Once you are in the know of how the competition is stacking up you can give your card company a call. As you most probably know by now, calling any financial institution and asking them to make less profit from you is like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer. It sucks and it’s beyond aggravating!  So before you call I want you to remember Han Solo’s stint with Greedo. Greedo pulls a blaster out and forces Han to sit down at a table. Greedo and Han have a conversation where Greedo threatens to take Han to Jabba, threatens to take the Falcon from Han, and threatens his life. What was Han’s reaction during the whole conversation? He was passive and coy. He calmly pulled out his blaster while Greedo thought he had the upper hand and finished him in the end. Remember, you are Han! Stay calm and fire your shot when you need to without getting aggressive.

When you call start off by asking the support repetitiveness “Can you please tell me your name and ID #. I like keeping detailed records just in case I need to reference this call.” Make sure to write it down! Some company reps. will tell you the information at lightning speed. If they do just ask them to repeat the information. This is the companies attempts keep you from pertinent information. The rep. might give you attitude, but just calmly ask them to repeat the information until you get it.

Once you get their name and ID# tell them that you noticed your interest rate has increase and you want to verify if it has. Then ask them why it was increased. When they give you the information ask them straight up, ” Do you have the authority to reduce my interest?” Generally they won’t. If they do then you are in luck. If they don’t, then ask to speak to someone who does. They will try to stall you by saying the manager isn’t available or is unable to speak with you. That’s crap! Their manager is always there monitoring the reps. Calmly explain that you need to speak to someone who has the authority to reduce your interest rates. Be stubborn yet passive.

When you get a person with the authority to make the decisions you need, start off by asking them to reduce your Interest Rate. “Hello Corporate tool trooper manager. I noticed that my Interest rate was increased and after talking with rep. blow hard trooper, my observations were confirmed. I would like my interest rate reduces to my previous rate.”

Chances are that won’t happen. They will tell you they can’t and give some crap reason. Ask them what rate they can bring it down to. All of these questions can be compared to Han idlely playing with the wall while he’s pulling his blaster out. You are assessing the situation and slowly arming yourself to retaliate if need be.

Generally, once you ask what your rate can be dropped to, the manager or rep will give you a number. In all honesty, they don’t want to argue with you, they don’t want to be on the phone with you and most support centers have time limits on how long a rep should be on the phone with you. The first number you hear will be bad. That’s ok. Once they quote you a reduced rate ask them if that’s the best they can do. Can they drop the rate lower? If they drop the rate lower, ask again if that is the best they can do until they confirm that they can’t drop the rate any further.

If the rate is not agreeable with you, or if the rep. tells you they can’t reduce your rate, that’s when you need to fire your blaster. Here is were the information you collected comes in handy. If the say they can’t reduce or they still have you hovering above 15% explain to them that if they can’t lower the rate you will be forced to close the account by either transferring your debt to another card provider or paying off the balance with a low interest rate personal loan. This should get their attention. Then ask the person if the company still wishes to make money from your debt. Shot fired. If it hits the rep will extend a better rate to you. If it doesn’t they will tell you to stick it in your pooper!

If they decline to reduce you interest rate to a level that you’re ok with, you have several options. You can transfer the debt to another card or pay it off with a personal loan (that is if you qualify). You could ask the card company to place you on a forbearance or a debt management plan (not that this could effect your credit if the company reports it. You need to ask the creditor if they will report the action before you agree to either action!).

Or if you are so f#@cking outraged by the criminal actions of your credit card company you can always tear up the bills and give the company the finger (I don’t recommend this option even though I’ve done it in my youth. There are plenty of legal ramifications as well as the hit to your credit. If you are going to do that, first consider asking for a forbearance which will stop your payments for a small time, though interest will still accrue.)

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