#SchoolLenders – Personal finance expert Gail Vaz-Oxlade and Ross Taylor chat on Twitter about irresponsible lender practices

Most of us know Gail from her famous television series entitled “Till Debt Do Us Part”. She speaks with passion and conviction, and is on a mission to better our lives and educate lenders about the wrongs in their lending processes.

She has a Facebook Page, called “School Lenders” which is evolving nicely as a discussion group about debt (and other personal finance) matters.

Last night, September 22, 2011, Gail hosted a Twitter Forum for one hour from 9 PM to 10PM.

Her theme was “I’m trying to get people to 1) not use credit during credit education week and 2) push to stop use of credit score solely to grant credit”

The night before her Forum, we had this Twitter exchange:


GailVazOxlade: So tomorrow, let’s talk about lenders, what dumb-asses they can be, and how we’re going to stop the Credit Score in its tracks, K?

RossTaylorMoney@gailvazoxlade What do you mean stop the Credit Score in its tracks Gail? – I will try to be there – I know LOTS about credit scores

GailVazOxlade@RossTaylorMoney It’s a bad credit adjudication tool. It should not be the only measure for granting credit. And lots of times it is.


So I logged into Twitter and Hootsuite at 9 pm last night, and watched Ms. Vaz Oxlade go to work. She is tireless, passionate, and shoots from the hip! Love it!

Of course, given we have both been in the personal finance industry many years, we each have our own opinions about some things – but we are eye to eye on much.

Besides, disagreement makes for good copy, and gives people something to think about.

Using Twitter for something like this is perhaps not as favoured an approach as say Facebook  (Even my mum uses Facebook, but has no clue what Twitter is)  – but I am sure there were many Twitterers hanging on every word Gail typed.

Here is a reprint of Gail’s Twitter broadcast – you’ll see I jumped in now and then to express my own points of view. And I only got my head chewed off once! 🙂


GailVazOxlade: Have you joined the SchoolLenders FB page yet?

GailVazOxlade: #SchoolLenders on FB: facebook.com/groups/2158010…

GailVazOxlade: Could you go a week without using your CC? #SchoolLenders

GailVazOxlade: #SchoolLenders I’m trying to get people to 1) not use credit during credit education week and 2) push to stop use of credit score solely to grant credit

RossTaylorMoney@gailvazoxlade hi gail – thanks for setting this up. Which types of lenders are granting credit solely on credit score?

GailVazOxlade@RossTaylorMoney Banks issuing credit cards for one #SchoolLenders

GailVazOxlade: #SchoolLenders 1) don’t use credit during credit education week 2) write to MPs to make law to stop using credit score solely to grant credit

GailVazOxlade: If you’ll put away your CC for week of Nov 13-19 and TELL EVERYONE say “I’m IN” #SchoolLenders

GailVazOxlade: It’s best if you can put away ALL PLASTIC #SchoolLenders

RossTaylorMoney@gailvazoxlade But if you are truly on top of things – pay in full every month, never miss a payment etc., then why give up the benefits?

GailVazOxlade@RossTaylorMoney You don’t have to. I’m trying to make people aware of how manipulative lenders are

GailVazOxlade: DYK If you only pay your min, you have a better credit score #SchoolLenders

RossTaylorMoney@gailvazoxlade This one I am not so sure about – better credit score than someone who pays more or all the balance?

GailVazOxlade@RossTaylorMoney all

GailVazOxlade: Use #SchoolLenders MP Letter under my Resources: gailvazoxlade.com/resources.html

GailVazOxlade: Do you think retailers should give a discount for if you use cash? #SchoolLenders

RossTaylorMoney@gailvazoxlade For large ticket items, why not ask for a cash discount? For small items, handling and reconciling cash has a cost 2 retailer

GailVazOxlade@RossTaylorMoney not 2.5%, which is what some retailers pay to process cc transactions

GailVazOxlade #SchoolLenders When you get an unsolicited CC app, write “no thanks” and send back in the pre-paid envelope!

GailVazOxlade: Email your friends and fam and get them on board. We have to change the system… make it better #schoolLenders

GailVazOxlade: DYK If you use more than 50% of your CC limit, that neg affects your credit score #SchoolLenders

RossTaylorMoney@gailvazoxlade True – actually at 30 to 40% utilization it starts to reduce your score in some cases

GailVazOxlade Have you used a pre-paid CC? #SchoolLenders

RossTaylorMoney@gailvazoxlade Prepaid credit cards are not much use imo – do you favor them for some people Gail?

GailVazOxlade@RossTaylorMoney No, I don’t like them at all. But they’re getting used.

GailVazOxlade Gail Vaz-OxladeShould parents co-sign for kids to get first CC? #SchoolLenders

RossTaylorMoney@gailvazoxlade No way and no need – I have 4 kids already over 18 – never had to do it – but I have been involved in the early going

RossTaylorMoney@gailvazoxlade My 18 year old, I had to bail her out of an early large balance and kept the card till she paid me back – she did in full…

RossTaylorMoney@gailvazoxlade Now she is managing it perfectly – using it like a debit card; paying several times a month; and I can breathe easier

GailVazOxlade: DYK Paying only the min on a CC means it could take 10 years to pay off #SchoolLenders

GailVazOxlade: DYK Your “stopped cheque” can be cashed at a Money Mart #SchoolLenders

GailVazOxlade: Do you think your credit score should impact your ability to get a job? #SchoolLenders

RossTaylorMoney@gailvazoxlade some jobs I understand the need – like banks, and companies with lots of intel, or proprietary knowledge

GailVazOxlade@RossTaylorMoney It’s none of their f’ing business! 

RossTaylorMoney@gailvazoxlade hate to be contrary but someone with severe debt issues could be compromisedRossTaylorMoney@gailvazoxlade I suggest they let you bring their own report – at least it is not a hard enquiry – this approach works with landlords

GailVazOxlade: Some employers now checking credit score before hiring. DAMN RUBBISH! #SCHOOLLENDERS

RossTaylorMoney@GailVazOxlade Yep, when my daughter was 21 and applying for an intern at Amex they insisted on an enquiry. Her score dropped from 850 to 770GailVazOxlade: Payday loans banned in 11 states. We need to get them banned here too. #Schoollenders

RossTaylorMoney@GailVazOxlade They are a scourge on our nation – Once people get on the payday loan treadmill, it never ends

GailVazOxlade: Credit Score also being used to set insurance premiums. #SchoolLenders. This has GOT TO BE STOPPED!

RossTaylorMoney@GailVazOxlade I agree with this completely – a few years ago i fought vigorously with All State to remove an enquiry on an auto renewal

GailVazOxlade: I’m going to be blogging about this in Oct/Nov leading up to Credit Education Week when we will #SchoolLenders

GailVazOxlade: If you’re chasing a high credit score, they’ve won and you’re a sucker! #SchoolLenders

RossTaylorMoney@gailvazoxlade ok – that makes me an octopus 

GailVazOxlade: DYK 94% of credit cards charge over-limit fees #SchoolLenders

GailVazOxlade: DYK Cost of borrowing on CC has tripled in the last 25 years #Schoollenders

GailVazOxlade Join #SchoolLenders on FB. Follow my blog and let’s teach lenders that we won’t put up anymore

GailVazOxlade: Download the #SchoolLenders MP Letter and mail to your MP in Ottawa. gailvazoxlade.com/resources.html

GailVazOxlade: DYK your CC can reduce your limit pushing up your utilization and credit score so you end up paying more interest #SchoolLenders

GailVazOxlade: RT @letsbounceideas: @GailVazOxlade 2 of my least favourite industries: insurance cos & credit industry colluding to screw Joe Public….

GailVazOxlade: Thanks for coming to #SchoolLenders. FB chat on Oct 20. Tell friends/family/co-workers. Let’s get busy changing things.

GailVazOxlade: And join #SchoolLenders facebook.com/groups/2158010…

GailVazOxlade: RT @eastcoastknits: I finally get it now. You’re schooling the lenders. Duh  #SchoolLenders

GailVazOxlade: Goodnight my sweets. Chat again soon. Biggest hugs. #SchoolLenders

THANKS GAIL !


What about you? Has your credit taken a hit because of shady lending practices?

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