This may seem obvious to a lot of people but it wasn't so obvious to me until today. You see, I don't sign up for a lot of credit cards. In fact, I have only one credit card. Ironically, I was talking about this very fact with Jenny today. We discussed some statistics that showed that a group of people had as many as ten credit cards each. It was shocking to someone like me because I have no need nor do I have any desire to have more than one credit card.
But today, I wanted to add my girlfriend to my credit card so that I could better manage our expenditures and I can pay for things when she is the one actually going to the store. A pretty common thing for us which we have gotten around the last few years by me just paying her back. I decided I had enough of tracking all of this, so decided to just sign her up on my account. The process couldn't have been more easy. I logged in to my account online, filled out about 5 questions, and they are going to send me a second card with her name on it.
I was dumbfounded by how easy they made the process. Having been in charge of a sign-up process in the past, I can appreciate how hard they actually worked to make it as simple as it was. Of course they make it this simple because it is crucially important to them to make sure people have as many credit cards as they want. The more steps you put in any process, the more likely someone is to drop out. In reality, I'm glad the process was easy, I wanted to get one and I don't like being bothered with things that are hard to do. But it made me think of a television show I recently watched about how easy it was for people to get cards and how they got themselves into trouble. Now don't get me wrong, I don't feel a lot of sympathy for these people. I'm all about personal responsibility and hate it when people blame the big bad credit card companies for doing what they are supposed to do, make money.
How about you, how many cards do you have? Do you find it really easy to just sign up for new ones?
Only one, and that's all I want.ReplyDelete
Too many! Amex for shopping Costco (the only one they take). Discover because they often have 5% cashback offers and my Mastercard because it is accepted everywhere. But I have several others stashed away in a drawer because I got them to save 10% on a big puchase OR I got them to take advantage of 12 months no interest for big purchases. And I keep telling myself to make sure to cancel them but I never get around to it. But I never pay credit card interest! Never ever!ReplyDelete
I forgot that I also have a Macy's card, a Mervyn's card (which I haven't used in YEARS), and a Lane Bryant card. So, I guess I total out at four, but really only one where you can use it everywhere.ReplyDelete
I have two. Just be aware though that having no credit card is bad too. Unless you have other loans in which you can show a future lender (like a mortgage lender), you'd be considered a high risk and will find it hard to get a loan at a reasonable interest rate. The reason is you are deemed predictable; With no history or pattern of repaying a loan, future lenders will err that you're risky and may turn you down for a loan or give you a very high interest rate.ReplyDelete
About five years ago I got rid of all my credit cards, and since then have lived within my means. I will admit it was hard at first because I was such an impulse buyer, But with a little trial and error I have been able to track every penny I spend. It's great to know every paycheck I can do what I want and save money, which would otherwise be used to pay interest on credit cards. I do have a car loan...soon to be payed off. When I got this car loan, I didn't have credit card history....but I bypassed that by showing the lender my savings history, and the huge down payment(from savings) I was able to put down. All I can say is learn to manage your money, and more of it will be in your account instead of theirs.ReplyDelete
I believe that "personal responsibility" should be balanced with "coorporate responsibility." Credit card companies should be held accountable for the extent to which they intentionally try to recruit low and middle-income people into signing up for high-interest rate credit cards. The "fine print" for these cards is often tremendously complicated and, as a result, well-intentioned, law-abiding people wind up with unforeseen debt . Look at the number of well-educated college students who are in debt and the number of credit card vendors on college campuses, and then consider that these students are supposed to be the best and the brightest among us. I agree that credit card companies have an imperative to make money, but I also think that they are currently in violation of reasonable ethical standards.ReplyDelete
And FWIW, I've only ever had one CC and I've never carried a balance.
Great Job getting out of Credit Card debt. I really couldn't say it better myself. One of the biggest reasons I could never have credit card debt is I hate seeing it go to someone else rather than myself.ReplyDelete
I don't think credit cards companies care about who they recruit.....interest is collected regardless of your income backround; true there are folks who get better interest rates because they are wealthy or influental(IE: congressman).....but they still pay interest. One thing the CC's love is for every consumer product to be beyond the means of the lower and middle class consumer purchasing power....so that those consumers depend on CC to live the American Dream.....what ever that means in today's environment. Maybe this blog should start a list of all Americans who don't have CC and live with what they make? I'll start......ReplyDelete
1. Hector...credit card free. Father/husband and 3 girls. Income after taxes 40-45k.
"Live the dream, but not at the expense of the CC's"
I'm glad you didn't fall into the "one-upping the Jones" trap. Hector, you're a winner in my book. Keep it up and spread the word to your relatives.ReplyDelete
I still have the four credit cards that I had opened when I started college. Learned after 5 years that minimum payment is very bad. Finished paying those college credit card debt two years ago. Finally. Don't want to do that ever again.ReplyDelete
My friend has a credit card spending problem. To put an end to this bad habit (or least make it harder on herself), she placed her credit cards in four different jugs of water. Then she froze the water so that if she gets the urge to take out her credit card, she'd have to find a way to melt the ice first. Her hope is by the time she's able to get her hands on a credit card, her itch would have dissipated. Guess what? It's worked for her so far.ReplyDelete