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Ramsey: Credit card churning scheme is a dumb idea

Published: Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Dear Dave,

What do you think about the practice of credit card churning?

– Ethan

Dear Ethan,

I think it’s a pretty dumb idea. The concept is to run up the balance on one card as high as you can, then flip the balance from card to card in order to get perks like airline miles. But if you want to go through all the trouble and hassle over such a small amount of money, be my guest.

I’ve met thousands of millionaires, and none of them have ever credited their success to credit card churning. Think about it: With all the time you’d spend, and risk you’re taking on a scheme like that, you could actually have made some money.

If you want success, Ethan, you have to mimic what successful people do. This means living on a detailed plan, saving, and investing!

– Dave

Dear Dave,

Both of our daughters will start college next year. We have $25,000 set aside for each in their custodial accounts, but my financial adviser says we should take the money out because it will keep them from being awarded as much in scholarships and other assistance. What do you think?

– John

Dear John,

I disagree. It’s like saying you should quit your job to get food stamps. You guys obviously aren’t poor, and any financial advisor who says you need to fake being poor in order to get help is not a person whose advice I want to follow.

When your kids apply for scholarships and assistance, your entire financial picture will be assessed. More funding goes to kids from poor families than rich ones, but that’s only fair. Chances are, you fall somewhere in the upper-middle portion of the scale.

But no, I wouldn’t move the money or try to hide it. It’s just not honest to try and act like you’re poor when you’re not. I don’t believe in that kind of stuff.

– Dave

• Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books: "Financial Peace," "More Than Enough," "The Total Money Makeover" and "EntreLeadership." The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

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