Credit Cards Are NOT The Problem

Credit cards are neither good nor bad; they have no intrinsic moral quality.

Just like a baseball bat; depends how you use it.  Hit a home run?  Cool.  Break someone’s head? Not so much.

Yes, that one is subjective.

It is possible to use credit cards without going overboard, pay the balance every month, get the Costco discount or airline miles or bonus points or reward options or hotel discounts, and so on.

Though, with the recent big increase in credit card debt, that does not seem to be the case in the USA>

The question is:  what kind of personality do you have?

Will your self-discipline break down, in the face of overwhelming cultural pressure, and the urge for instant gratification.

Like FREE credit cards.

Right at registration for classes and all the other groups you can join at a college.

Makes you feel grown up, like an adult.

Cool.

We humans seek pleasure and avoid pain.

Sign your name, design your credit card, use it now for what you “need”,  and pay later.

The later you pay, the more it cost.

That is when the pain comes.

But we want to keep up with the Joneses.

All we can see are their toys, we do not know how many mortgages are owed on that nice house, how big the car payments are, if student loan debt is lurking there in the background.

Got a call yesterday from yet another fellow bankruptcy attorney looking to retain me, to file her own bankruptcy.

I can count over a dozen in the court I practice in who have trod the same path.

Hey, NOBODY plans to file bankruptcy.

$700 per month luxury car payment?

Bet it felt good driving that thing around.

Did not feel so good calling me.

Figure out who you are before you get your first card, even if it is zero percent for the first year.

Fell for that one myself, more than once.

Write down how you will use the card, and how you will make the payments.

If and when you fall off that schedule, concede defeat and cancel the damn card.

Stay out of bankruptcy court.

 

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3 Responses to Credit Cards Are NOT The Problem

  1. Very true. if you use credit cards the way you should you can save money with cash back or miles. most people buy more than they can afford that is why they wind up not paying them off every month.

  2. It is easy to start with good intentions, of paying them off every month. Then something happens unexpected, you have no emergency fund, and so it begins.