Debt Cures by Kevin Trudeau – Do His “Secrets” Really Work?

I cringed when Debt Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau first hit the shelves. Mr. Mega Memory and Natural Cures had decided to cash in on the financial crisis, and knowing a little bit about his history, I feared the advice he was dishing out would do more harm than good. Having now read the book and researched his company, my fears have been partially realized. Ironically, Debt Cures teaches us more about finances by looking at its author and how he markets the book, than do the 310 pages inside. But we’ll take a look at both.

Kevin Trudeau

kevin-trudeauA Google search of Kevin Trudeau brings up a Wikipedia page that belies his boyish charm. In the early 1990s, he was convicted of fraud and larceny. He has been sued repeatedly by the Federal Trade Commission.

A court order bars him from promoting any goods or services, but not books. And that explains his entry into the book market several years ago. On November 19, 2007, a court found Trudeau in contempt for making deceptive claims about his book The Weight Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About. In October 2008, he was fined more than $5 million and banned from infomercials for three years for continuing to make fraudulent claims pertaining to the book. And now we have Debt Cures.

Marketing and Packaging Debt Cures to Sell

Like his other books, Kevin Trudeau uses a 2-part formula to market and sell Debt Cures. First, he claims there is a secret “get out of debt” method that the banks and even the government are keeping from the American consumer. And second, he claims Debt Cures reveals that secret, which will enable consumers to either get out of debt or substantially lower their debt. To see his marketing formula in action, check out this YouTube video clip, which also plays on Kevin Trudeau’s Debt Cures website:

In the video, Trudeau first claims that Debt Cures describes a “simple technique that nobody knows.” To underscore this, he claims that “these are the secrets that banks don’t want people to know.” In fact, according to Trudeau, the banks “are furious that I’m blowing the lid on this.” And then he moves to his claim: “there is a technique that virtually every person who has credit card debt can cut their payments in half” and do so”virtually overnight.” And if that weren’t enough, he then claims that if you have $10,000, $20,000 or even $30,000 of credit card debt, Debt Cures reveals a secret method that will enable you to “completely wipe out that debt.”

So does the book live up to his sales pitch? No, and it’s not even close. The first “secret” he’s talking about is the statute of limitations. If the statute of limitations has run on a creditor’s claim, you can avoid liability for the debt. But for those of us living in the real world, we know this hardly ever happens. Is your mortgage company really going to let you go without paying your mortgage until the statute of limitations runs? No.

And not only is the “secret” statute of limitations defense not a practical solution to the vast majority of consumers, it’s not a secret. A search on the “statute of limitations” in Google returns more than 3,800,000 results. The second result, for that matter, provides a list of the statute of limitations by state. So much for Mr. Trudeau’s secret.

Beyond the statute of limitations, Debt Cures’ super secret “get out of debt” strategy involves negotiating with creditors to lower your balance and/or interest rate. Negotiating with creditors can be an effective way to improve your finances. I requested and received a lower interest rate on my home equity line of credit just for asking. But there is nothing secret about this strategy. Perhaps Mr. Trudeau did not read my article, An Incredibly Simple, Free and Easy Way to Improve Your Finances.

Does Debt Cures have any value?

Sure it does. The chapters on how credit scores are calculated and how to improve your credit score are helpful. The information provided is very basic and freely available on the Internet. But those chapters cover some useful material. The book shows how your credit score affects the cost of debt. Just a few points difference in your credit score will impact your mortgage rate. Over the life of the loan, the result can be thousands of dollars in extra interest payments. All of this information is important to understand. In the final analysis, though, it doesn’t save this book.

Don’t buy Debt Cures from Kevin Trudeau!

If you do plan on buying Debt Cures, please do not buy it from Mr. Trudeau. His website (which I refuse to link to) charges $19.95 for the book. The book is available from Amazon for $9.95. But it gets worse.

In the fine print of Trudeau’s website, you’ll also learn that he charges the consumers he claims to protect an additional $11.95 for “shipping and processing.” Here’s the fine print:

Learn what “They” don’t want you to know for only $19.95 plus $11.95 shipping and processing. Plus you’ll also receive Kevin’s “Secrets to Wealth Creation” CD and his “Ten Minute Instant Credit Improvement” Guide absolutely free. If you aren’t satisfied, simply call customer service at 1-888-846-4962 within 30 days of receiving your order. You’re receiving an unconditional 30 day money back guarantee less shipping, plus you can keep the bonuses as our gift to you.

But wait! That’s not all. Order through Trudeau’s website, and you’ll also be automatically signed up for Buyer’s Edge. What’s Buyer’s Edge, you ask. Again, let’s go to the fine print at the bottom of Trudeau’s website:

$10 Cash Back Details: At the completion of your purchase today you can get your $10 cash back and enjoy Buyer’s Edge for the next 30 days including all the valuable benefits of this program. Members can save up to $600 a year on the items you buy at the supermarket. The Buyer’s Edge Grocery Connection lets you choose from nearly 1,700 name brand items, dairy, produce, meats, juice, and packaged foods. You can get coupons for them worth $12 each week! Members also get 5-10% Cash Back on room rates, domestic airline tickets, car rentals cruises and vacation packages when they book their vacations through Buyer’s Edge Travel Reservation Services.

Your membership materials and the information on how to claim your $10 cash back will be mailed to you in about two weeks, but you can access your benefits within three business days by calling 1-888-326-7156. Your discounts are free for the next 30 days, plus all the valuable benefits of Buyer’s Edge. If you are satisfied during your trial, do nothing. All your Buyer’s Edge discounts and benefits will automatically continue for just $14.95 a month. Buyer’s Edge benefits may be enhanced or modified at any time without prior notice. If at any time you are not completely satisfied during your trial or thereafter, simply call Buyer’s Edge at 1-888-326-7156 to let us know you wish to cancel and you’ll owe nothing more. All your benefits and access will then be canceled immediately. All the money you save and the $10 Cash Back are yours to keep!

Isn’t that nice? Buy a book purportedly written to help you get out of debt, and you get automatically signed up to some program at a monthly cost that exceeds the price of the book on Amazon. If you are not familiar with Buyer’s Edge, just do a Google search for “‘Buyer’s Edge’ complaints” and you’ll get an idea of what this company is all about.

The Truth About Debt Cures

The truth is that there are no secrets. Yes, we need to arm ourselves with basic information about finance, credit, banking, and so forth. All of this information is freely available on the Internet or in much better books (see my list below). But there are no secrets. Climbing out of debt is about hard work, perseverance, and self-discipline.

Published or Updated: May 14, 2011
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Comments

  1. Joe says:

    I have to say that he’s a good marketer. He appeals to people’s emotions (frustration with the effects of the financial crisis) and gives them someone to blame (banks) and will then proceed to offering a promising solution (his book) without disclosing specific details – prompting you to make a purchase!

  2. tom says:

    thank you for this review, I read the book probably last year and went through it very quickly and now that I look back on it, there is really nothing helpful in it. I mean lets not even discuss these secrets, because thats a load of crap.

    Even if someone gets this book, watch out if you sign up for a monthly membership to the other stuff hes offering. I recall a few years ago when natural cures came out, how he was offering a 30day free membership to his site, there were lots of complaint because people were not able to cancel that when they called in.

    In a way I do find his technique very sneaky but one thing i will say is the natural cures were a nice read for me because I was just getting started in the health field. Especially the links to the various products he recommends, its at least a nice reference and place to start.

    Weight loss cure I have yet to look into, I read it but some of the components in the formula itself I would suggest people research what it is and what it can or cannot do, in terms of hopefully not harming you.

  3. Mark says:

    Great review. I have to admit I enjoy reading your discovery of Kevin’s foray into the world of marketing. Gave me a good laugh. I definitely will not buy this book. Thank you!!!

    First time here so I am impressed already.

  4. Mrs. Micah says:

    The librarian in me likes to make all types of books available, but his have always sketched me out. Now I’m thinking that it’s better people read it in a library than pay $30 plus get signed up for a program they don’t want to be part of.

  5. Good post, I’ve been wondering about this book. I’ve never had the ambition to pick it up and read it for myself…I question anything that requires a Playboy Playmate to hold the attention of the audience. :)

    I can’t help but imagine how much money he has made from people who are desperately searching for a magic bullet that will get them out of the holes they have dug for themselves. Getting out of debt fast, quick and easy are what people are looking for. They aren’t interested in the long struggle that debt elimination requires. One of my most popular articles on my website is titled “Get Out of Debt Quick! 6 Easy Steps to Financial Freedom” but I don’t offer any secret insider information. It is all about hard work, determination and perseverence. Qualities that many people aren’t interested in using to get out of debt. They’d rather take their chances at the lottery.

  6. KJ says:

    Before buying this book from Barnes and Noble for about 25.00 I had no idea where to begin repairing my credit score. The truth is that within 30 days of reading this book my score went from 510 to 807. This is no lie. Please don’t dissuade others from applying the principles I found in this book. Finally improving my credit score and managing bill collectors is a HUGE relief for me and my family. This is the best 25.00 I ever spent. Maybe scoffers should simply say this didn’t work for their individual situation, because the truth is that the information in this book is invaluable to folks like me who were swimming in the heaviness and despair of collection phone calls and a poor credit rating that prevented us from taking out a loan to even consolidate. I recommend this book whole heartedly. I don’t care who the author is, it’s real. It works. I hope this will help others.

    • DR says:

      KJ, I’m glad to hear the book was helpful. I would stress for others that they should not buy the book directly from Kevin Trudeau. His company signs you up for a program that costs a monthly fee and they charge an arm and leg in shipping and handling.

    • Gred Dodger says:

      KJ,

      It is impossible to go from a 510 to an 807 in 30 days. The computer system used for calculating credit scores does not allow that. Your available cash simply needs to far outweigh your debt to score 807. Something that cannot be done with someone who has earned a 510 score. The difference is not attainable in 30 days. I don’t know why you post such a thing but I do believe you some connection with the company. You can be held liable for such a claim since you have put in print on a public venue but I’m sure that is why you use the initials KJ. If you are truly a satisfied customer I challenge you to put your real name and email so the federal government can interview you during their ongoing investigation of this convicted person who has spent time in jail for fraud.

    • Greg Dodger says:

      I would also suggest to others out there that might be swayed by such a review to be extremely careful with reference to any endorsement of this Kevin’s claims in is books. Our goverment is currently completely at the mercy of our nations free speech admendment. Our system does not allow prosecution for lying except in the most extreme cases. All the people that are looking for this miracle help will not have the legal means to fight back. Kevin has been caught in lies on national tv and is an extremely graceful talker. Don’t be fooled. You will only have yourself and now KJ to blame.
      Cheers,

  7. kim says:

    Glad I came here, I was currently reading “Debt Cures”, I was just starting to read Chapter 2. I thought it sounded to good to be true so I decided to look at some reviews. Thanks now I know I don’t want to read anymore.

  8. j davis says:

    I have been trying to point out the same thing for some time now. If you do business with Trudeau your credit card will be hit with charges for things you never signed up for. All the information in Trudeau’s ‘books’ is available for free online. Trudeau is a sociopath without remorse for his scams and crimes. I am waiting for the day when the FTC can put this fraud out of business for good!!

  9. anna says:

    Thank you for the review of this book.

  10. Lynn says:

    I ordered the deal above but they charged my credit card for 83.00, it wasn’t that I wasn’t satified with the information. I didnt authorize them to charge my card for additional information. I called back and said I didn’t authorize this information they told me that once I get my information send it back and they will refund me minus the shipping in handling. I told them why not give me my full refund they told me shipping and handling is not refundable but that is not true because I have ordered lots of informatin from QVC and on 1 order that kept coming back damaged they gave me full refund. To make matters worse when I called back to see what was taking so long they tried to sell me more stuff. Geez this is a scam rip off for sure don’t do it. Get information on how to get out of debt free of charge from the library or your credit burea has free info that helps.

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