The credit crunch in our economy has the credit card companies feasting like a bunch of goblins on Halloween night.
Be warned …they are out for blood. They know people are hurting and it’s amazing the lengths to which they will go to entice consumers into their web of bondage. They lure desperate people with the promise of “guaranteed” low interest rates.
Many of the companies make it look so easy for consumers to get beyond this credit crunch that they turn a blind eye on the black widow waiting to paralyze them.
It’s a trap. . .don’t fall for it. Truthfully, the approach of credit card companies reminds me of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One side is very nice, considerate and even complimentary. But the other side is dark and sinister. For instance, they don’t tell you about the dangers of becoming bound to a large bill, with escalating interest charges and minimum payments that barely make a dent in your balance.
In our society we make cigarette manufactures disclose the hazards of smoking in great detail on every package. The government has determined that even though individuals are aware that smoking can be bad for their health. . .they have decided it prudent to warn consumers of the dangers to their health.
WARNING: This Credit Card Can Be Hazardous To Your Financial Health
Shouldn’t we make credit card companies make the same kind of disclosures since their product can be dangerous to a family’s financial health? “This credit card can lead to compulsive spending with high interest rates and a debt that you will probably never pay off.” “The rates of the credit card you are holding are not “guaranteed” and the interest rate will rise dramatically if you are late on a payment plus you will be charge a fee.” How about this one? “Uncontrolled credit card spending can be hazardous to your marriage and your family.”
Credit card companies mailed over FIVE BILLION applications last year and the reason is very simple, “They want your money.” The tactics of some of these companies in securing your business is often questionable.
Have you ever noticed that the first page of the letter they send into your home? The front page of the letter is in nice 12 point type like this? When you turn the letter over and look inside the disclosure brackets where they are required to reveal the annual fees, grace periods, transfer charges and fees you will notice that the type face has dropped to ten point type like this.
But the real trap is just under the brackets where the type drops to about eight point type like this and there is a lot of it written together so it’s difficult for you to read. That’s where the credit card company tells you that if you are late on a payment your “guaranteed” interest rate of 2.9% for one year just skyrocketed up to 21%. It’s also where they reveal that you will be assessed a fee of $35 (average) for being late. The same small type will also reveal that you will be charged $35 (average) for exceeding your credit card limit.
One credit card boasts “It’s everyplace you want to be.” But that doesn’t include being in DEBT, facing bankruptcy, dealing with foreclosure and perhaps facing divorce because you were lured into the lifestyle of debt by flattering invitations filling your mail box.
There is an old Yiddish proverb that says, “When you have money in your pocket, everyone thinks you’re beautiful, smart and you sing well too.” You don’t need money to be lured into debt by credit card companies . . . you just need the ability to make the minimum payment for a very long time.
Remember all that glitters is not gold . . . even if “they” say you’re special and have qualified for their gold card. Do yourself and your family a favor . . . shred their letter and keep your gold.