Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The evils of credit cards

I have a huge amount of debt. I recognize that I am responsible for this situation. After all, I haven't had a debilitating disease with huge medical bills, or been downsized and unable to find work past my severance. I am regularly employed and living beyond my means.

The depressing thing about the above statement is that if I could pay off those credit cards, I would be living more than comfortably.

That said, I am more and more convinced that credit cards are a sort of evil in our society. Sure, they've saved my ass more than a few times, but most of the purchases that we make on them are wholly unnecessary.

A month or so again, I may have mentioned that I tried to transfer part of a balance of a higher interest card to another card that I have a really low interest rate on. The low interest rate is what was printed on my statement. When I spoke to the rep and his manager over the phone, I was told that the "offer" they could give me was to keep the interest rate the same for 6 months before jacking it up to over the interest rate on the card I was transferring from.

This was perplexing to me. They were telling me that they wanted to charge me more money for the privilege of my giving them more money to charge interest on. WTF!

Last paycheck, I wrote out my check for the payment of this same credit card. I hadn't gotten a statement yet, but I had it budgeted and I pay a set amount above my minimum so it's not hard to write out the check. But the statement never came. So this morning, I called in to find out when the payment was due and to get the address to send my check to, only to find that the payment was due today and paying over the phone is a $14 charge.

Now it has happened in the past that bills are lost in the mail, but never before with this credit card. And it seems somewhat hinky to me that a bill would be lost the very month after I received notice that they would be hiking up my interest rates if I was late on even one payment.

I think I'll be closing this card, despite its lower interest rate, and renewing my pledge not to use credit in the future.

On a happier note, HippyChick sent me an e-mail with links to pictures from a 1977 JC Penny catalog. His & hers matching terry cloth jumpsuits in white...I'm just saying!


Hippy Chick said...

hee hee, wasn't that hilarious? especially all the matching outfits and gotta love those jumpsuits!

Aravis said...

I hate when I have to use my credit cards, having only gotten out of credit card debt a couple of years ago. Sadly, I've just had to put the majority of my tuition for next semester on it, and I'm left scrambling to pay it down. Good luck with your situation. :0(

Anonymous said...

hey i just wanted to say don't cancel the card until you pay off the debt, caceling could lower your credit score by 50 points.