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Reader’s Tips: SCRA, Waitable.com, and Skype

Skype: An inexpensive phone service alternative:

Instead
of having a home phone we use Skype. Its free to download and then you
buy credits in $10 increments , with that credit you can either pay as
you go or you can buy a subscription. 3 months is $5.60, a year is
$24.00. You can talk unlimited time to US and Canada through your
computer. You can either buy a headset with mic plug for $15 dollars at
Wal-Mart or for $70 you can buy a cordless Skype phone so its exactly
like having a home phone. A year’s worth of unlimited calling is less
than what it would cost me for 1 month of my local carriers service.
-Jenny

Military readers: Lower your interest rate with SCRA:

For any military readers you may have, the SCRA may apply. SCRA stands
for the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act and requires companies to
lower interest for credit card and vehicle payment debt to no more than
6% while a Reserve or National Guard member is deployed. However, it
doesn’t hurt to ask specific companies about their policy even for an
active-duty servicemember who is not Reserve or National Guard. My
husband is regular Army and deployed and he simply called and asked. We
were required to send a copy of orders and, in some instances, an LES
(like a pay stub) and most of the companies we have debt with granted
this.

Unfortunately, we have quite a bit of debt (working on that), so
this savings of interest (from about 4-18%) adds up over the course of
a 15 month deployment. It will allow our "snowball" to go farther! -Catherine

Waitable.com: Helping you wait to get the best buy:

I
am a 26 year old from Baton Rouge, LA, and I’ve developed a completely free website, Waitable.com, that helps people patiently wait for things they would
like, but cannot quite afford at the moment. You
can search for and add just about any item with a UPC on it to your
Waitable list, tell it the price that you would like to pay for the
item, and when it drops to or below that price, you’re sent a link to
buy it. -Richard

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15 Comments

  • Jenny says:

    SCRA, my hubby got out of the Army last year and at that time the SCRA was for debt accrued BEFORE entrance into the military. Interest on debt incurred after the date is not normally lowered. Some companies though did do this as as a nice gesture for debt incurred after joining. This may have changed since hubby got out but I just thought Id throw that in there so you can research it if you are interested.

  • Ashley says:

    I was wondering if anyone could answer a couple questions for me about Skype. I’ve been considering using it, but was unsure if I would have access to emergency calls with.

    Also, if the electricity is out does that mean no phone calls?

    I’ve heard that their monthly fee doesn’t include calls made to or from cell phones. Is this true?

  • Just a note to add to the SCRA… this does also apply to active duty military, but only to accounts and balances PRIOR to enlistment. Also, only to accounts that have the servicemembers name on it. Your mortgage counts too! And to qualify, you don’t need to be deployed…just activated.

  • Erin says:

    If a company agrees to lower interest rates for you, or delay payments for awhile because of SSCRA please keep ALL paperwork!
    When I went to bootcamp (USMC) I received no pay for 3 months while there. I contacted Victoria’s Secret and they delayed my payments during that time. It did not affect my credit and they were very nice. Sears on the other hand was not. The verbal agreement we had they did not abide by and bombarded my parents with letters while I was away. My credit took a hit. I was not happy and they did NOT work with me afterwards either to fix the hit to my credit score. They said the SSCRA was only for wartime. (Which was incorrect it directly states its for debt incurred prior to active duty). Anyway, it was partly my fault anyway because I shouldn’t have had credit card debt to begin with. Here’s the actual link to read information about the SSCRA if anyone is interested.
    http://www.defenselink.mil/specials/Relief_Act_Revision/

  • Brooke says:

    The Skype sounds good, but I am wondering about the quality of the calls. Can you hear clearly and can the person you are talking with hear you clearly? Can people call YOU from landlines and mobile phones? Very interesting. This could potentially save alot of money!

  • Erin says:

    Another great site I’ve discovered out there that’s similar to Waitable is at http://www.PriceProtectr.com. Basically you enter the URL of the item you purchased with a price-protection policy. If the price drops in that time period you get the difference. You don’t need to keep checking back to see if it’s dropped.

  • Richelle F says:

    We use SKYPE with a webcam to grandparents and it it FREE if you use it that way.

  • Shannon says:

    We have been using Skype for almost four years. We do not have a home phone, but we’ve only used SKype to talk to family in Europe, so it’s free. Haven’t looked at the home phone option.

  • Kim says:

    It appears that waitable is just an Amazon associate–just earning a kick-back from Amazon for everything you purchase by clicking from their site. Is there something more to it that I’m missing?

  • Risha says:

    We use Skype to talk to our international family members. Using it to talk computer-to-computer is free. To answer some of the questions others have posted, in our experience, the quality varies depending on how many people are online around the world. I have only used it once to talk to just one person (we usually create a conference with all my hubby’s siblings to talk to his sis in a different country), but things get a little crazy with a conference. To use it, you have to have your computer on and be logged in to Skype, so I would assume that without electricity, you have no service. Because we’ve not used it as a phone service, I don’t know about calling to cell phones.

  • irene says:

    thanks for the skype info…wanted to know from Jenny.where did you find a 75 dollar phone.? and is this the best price or does anyone found an even better price for phones…
    thanks irene

  • cristan says:

    My sister and I both downloaded Skype just before she moved to Germany with her Army husband. We each bought a $16 headset and we call each other FREE via computer, any time we want, provided the other is online, which you are able to tell instantly. She can call from her computer to an land or cell phone for $0.02 cents a minute.

    We both think it’s GREAT!!

  • tammy says:

    I wanted to comment about using Skype as a home phone. We just set it up at our new house to do just that. We paid $23.60 for a year of unlimited service in the US and then $24 for a phone number for one year so others can call us. Right now the quality sounds like I am on a speaker phone, but we plan on buying a headset for $15. So we are spending about $60 for a whole year of phone service compared to the $35/month we were paying! We’re pretty excited about it and also considering the wifi phone in the future.

  • Jenny says:

    I bought the headset but I saw the phone at our local Walmart, they actually have a section in electronics for skype. I can get calls on my computer from other skype users but not from people just calling from their phone (but in Tammy’s post she bought a phone number for 24 so people could call her). The quality has been wonderful for me, the only issue is that sometimes it drops the call but to me its not a big deal to just call back. Im not sure if it gives you access to 911, I want to say no but thats why I have my cell phone. I believe there was a time when skype did charge you to call cell phones but that time has passed, I mainly call other peoples cell phones.

  • Jenny says:

    Oh yes, and if the electricity is out then no calls. No computer, no calls. I would recommend using Skype as your home phone and buy the number that Tammy was talking about but having a small cell phone plan for emergencies and outages.

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