Tell The Best Personal Finance Horror Story To Mint, Have Your Credit Card Balance Paid Off

Do you enjoy confessing embarrassing details? Mint, the personal finance new kid on the Internet block, is offering up to $5,000 (paid directly to your credit card bill) to two people with the most horrifying personal finance disasters. The winners get free financial counseling as well. You can submit text—”sob stories”—up to 1000 words, or a video—”trainwrecks”—up to four minutes or 20 MB, whichever comes first. If you were paid to do any writing over the past year, you’re ineligible (we already checked).

From The Street:

“Personal finance is not something that people talk about often. People have financial blunders, and the idea behind the contest is that you can learn from other people’s mistakes,” said Mint founder and CEO Aaron Patzer.

Also, it’s just fun to read about other people being stupid for a change.

“Holiday Spending Hangover Contest” [Mint via The Street]

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  1. rachmanut says:

    Wow, that’s a strict prohibition — anyone who was paid for writing within a year is ineligible. Couldn’t they consider being employed by a company and writing emails as a part of the job being paid for writing? No mention of publication, which leaves the door rather open. And I guess all lawyers are out, too. Looks like somebody should have been paid better to write those rules.

  2. snoop-blog says:

    @rachmanut: that restriction is obviously an attempt to make the contest more “fair”. it would be like if they allowed profesional singers compete in american idol.

  3. oldtaku says:

    Ffft. $5000 would only be a drop in the bucket for anyone with a personal finance disaster large enough to win this. Though I guess every little bit helps.

  4. MercuryPDX says:

    It’s like that “Moment of Truth” TV show. The financial reward does not outweigh the potential embarrassment.

  5. snoop-blog says:

    @sarusa: i bet they’ll try to pick a winner that has close to or less debt.

  6. Hoss says:

    What’s with the Mint/Consumerist love tangle?

  7. discounteggroll says:

    is this a followup to that gameshow “debt”?

    [en.wikipedia.org])

    there’s a reason it only lasted two seasons…

  8. ExtraCelestial says:

    @rachmanut:
    To be fair, the phrase is Chris’s, not necessarily mint.com’s

  9. i have $0 credit card debt. this game is stupid

  10. landsnark says:

    I was going to write about the time I leased a car using my 23.9% APR credit card then drove it to get a payday loan and bought a timeshare place in a Florida swamp.

  11. Jesse in Japan says:

    It’d be hilarious if they got some entries that read, “I bought 20 PS3s on the day they launched with my credit card, figuring that if I could just hold them until Christmas, I’d make a very hefty profit…”

  12. fuzzball21 says:

    “Mint will pay the outstanding balance on each of the two winner’s credit cards as of December 31, 2007 up to $4,999.99. If the outstanding balance on a winner’s credit cards is less than $4,999.99, Mint will only pay up to the amount of the actual outstanding balance. (For example, if a winner has an outstanding balance of $2,500.00 on all of his or her credit cards as of December 31, 2007, Mint will only pay $2,500.00.) The winners will also receive a free credit counseling program from InCharge Debt Solutions of Orlando, Florida, worth $266.”

    So those of us who were wise and didn’t overspend, or who were lucky enough to get financial help from a family member or a close friend are ineligible… BOO!

  13. theblackdog says:

    I would consider applying for this, except that I didn’t do anything horrifically stupid to get into debt in the first place, and I’m not behind on my bills either.

    But 5G’s, that would pay off almost all of my credit card debt in one shot…

  14. Amy Alkon says:

    I realize some people have emergencies and have to use their credit cards beyond what they can pay, but I’d rather give a beggar on the corner money to buy some smack than pay interest (which I think of as an idiot fine) to a credit card company.

    Economics For Idiots: Pretend your credit card is a checking account card, and never spend more than you have. You will not die if you do not have the latest iPod, plasma screen, whatever. In fact, you might end up living on something other than cat food when you’re 80.

  15. FLConsumer says:

    Man… if I only had some debt to enter the contest with. I know! I can go on a spending spree with my credit card tonight! The economy needs it and I’ll get a chance to win! Or…perhaps, I’m not really a typical American which is why I don’t have any outstanding debt, therefore I don’t think I’ll bother with this plan.