Posted in Finances

Are More Learning to Live an All-Cash Lifestyle? Perhaps We Should Start a Movement? - By Steven Ciantro

Steven Ciantro is a certified credit counselor, a management representative of American Debt Enders, and a former finalist in Inc. magazine and Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year contest. He is also a Talk-Show Radio Host and successful published songwriter and musician (his album January Tyme can be heard on YouTube), the inventor of a patented medical device, a public speaker on debt issues, and the official debt expert for motivational speaker Gail Kasper’s Top 1% Club.


As more and more Americans see the banks become less and less cooperative when they run into tight cash flow, they are getting motivated to enter debt settlement programs as a first step in moving to an all-cash lifestyle. I have been counseling on debt for over ten years, and never before have so many debt-ridden consumers been less concerned about their credit scores and more interested in eliminating debt.

People are finally realizing the freedom that living a debt-free life affords them. Just imagine for a moment suffering a sudden loss of income and not worrying that the bank was going to take your car away. No choice to be made between paying the mortgage, eating less food that week, or going to Uncle Vito and getting a usurious payday loan at 350% annually! Yes, that is correct. By the way, there is now a specialized program for payday loan debt settlement to break you free of these.
Consumers have actually mentioned to me that they are stressed by trying to remember the due dates on their credit card payments because there are so many of them, and they know that the banks will punish them with 29.9% interest rates or a lifetime payment plan that will enslave them if they do miss even one payment.

Do you think that any of this is accidental? Why won’t the banks extend even an ounce of mercy to hardworking consumers doing everything to try and pay off their credit card debt in full over 40 years? Simply stated, it is because they have a central bank, known as the Federal Reserve, to back them up. When a bank loans you, say, $10,000, they only need to put up a fraction of that money from their own reserves, and the balance comes from the Federal Reserve Bank—hence the term “fractional reserve system,” which is what we live under. So, if they do not help you in your default status, they will actually be made whole again, and that will offset their loss. Very pragmatic on their part, and very bad for you. The bank is operating with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude. So, frankly, what’s in it for them to help you? Nothing.

As someone who has taken this step personally, I would urge you not to just let this be an interesting article you read, but to give serious consideration to the idea of living without credit as a liberating lifestyle change. One of the reasons is simple. Remember the Bob Dylan song “A Change Is Gonna Come”? I absolutely guarantee you that we are a year or two away from a change so sweeping that it will make 2008 look like a Boy Scout jamboree. Yes, let’s start a movement!


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ABOUT STEVEN CIANTRO: Steven is well suited to advising on debt issues. Growing up from humble beginnings, he personally made a fortune from nothing in his earlier years and lost it. The experience completely altered his value system. It seemed every professional debt expert Steven and his wife spoke to wanted to put them into even more debt to help them. It took years for them to untangle the financial mess, which they ultimately did on their own, gaining a tremendous education in the process. However, the experience left Steven with chronic kidney disease, which he still battles today. In 2004, Steven found work at a national nonprofit credit counseling company. After six months, he became regional manager; Steven had found a new calling. He is in the unique position of not only being a true expert on debt relief issues, but also understanding firsthand how oppressive debt can be. In 2006, American Debt Enders was started as a company that would offer free credit counseling; it was among the first companies in the nation to use the business model of offering multiple debt relief programs and solutions under the same roof.

This article is courtesy of the Top 1% Club and the Top 1% Club Mentor Gail Kasper. For additional information on Gail Kasper, her television appearances and speaking engagements, please visit