Today I went through some of the links on SurvivalBlog that I might have otherwise passed over, for whatever reason. I came across the Google Video link: Maxed Out. Normally I would not have taken the time to watch an hour-and-a-half video on the computer, but I was curious just because you would take the time to post it up on your site. I knew that credit cards would one day become a problem, but even in my wildest dreams I never could have imagined anything even close to what is contained in that video. For those of you who have not seen it, go and do so! Go as soon as you read this, and pass it along to everyone that you know that has a computer. If ever there was any doubt that we were being used and manipulated for evil reasons, by evil people, then this should remove all that doubt.
Years ago I had two department store credit cards that I thought that I would never get paid off, but I [eventually] did. I paid the minimums, just like everyone else. However, I saw “the flaw in the slaw” and used every chance that I could get a bit of extra cash, to help pay it off quicker. As soon as I did, that was it. I had finally had enough. I have never had another [credit card] since. Recently, my auto insurance company, as well as a few others, have sent me notices to the fact, and now I pay a small amount extra on my premiums because I have a lower credit score, because I don’t owe anybody anything other than my regular monthly bills (my house payment is not included, because it is paid for.) At first I was mad beyond belief, that I had to pay more, because I was smarter than the rest of the people who bought into the Credit Card Fairy Tale. (You all know that one, where your life will become sooooo much better! After a few phone calls that went nowhere, I decided that the powers that be, had me by the short hairs. In retrospect, and after seeing this video, I can see that I am getting off cheap. Weighing all the factors, I am still ahead in the long run. So as Mr. Rawles has pointed out in so many other of the daily pages, pay off your debts as quickly as you can. And if you do decide to keep your cards, ask yourself this very important question: are you really happier that you have them? – Dim Tim
JWR: Replies: I do recommend having at least one “no annual fee” major credit card, just to keep on hand for emergencies such as car repairs on cross-country trips. But unless folks have the self-control to never use them, or at least never use them for impulse purchases (so that the balance can be paid in full each month, with no interest charges), then I recommend that they leave their credits card locked up in a home vault, or simply cut them up.