Browse Month by July 2016
Credit and lending

Do other countries have the same belief?

“How can a culture go from being shameful, about having to use credit, to its prestige to have a platinum card in 50 years? Do other countries have the same belief?”

That’s easy in one word “Marketing” Our culture is now driven by the media not by our grandparents and parents values. The bottom line is my grandparents would have found a plot of land and planted it with neighbors to ensure they could feed their family and have adequate savings. The media is there to ensure business get support. They want consumer driven culture and they have been very successful at changing American culture from family values to consumer driven over the last 25 years. They have no reason to support thrift. Heck my great grandfather only was able to get work about 5 to 7 months a year. My grandmother took in laundry and cleaned houses to help raise 12 kids. A man who took out credit to support his family was considered lazy and having poor impulse control even though it took on average a month to get that credit.

The media is very skilled at altering perspective. If your perspective is you “NEED” unsecured credit then it is being driven by the media and you should take a look in the mirror ( and yes that includes me). Needing credit to buy a depreciating asset like a car is a foolish idea that comes from being told that a car is more then a way to get from point a to point b and the only way to get from point a to point b is for every adult member of a household own one big enough to transport half your kid’s soccer team and their equipment with a suspension designed to navigate dirt roads which the average family rarely pass.

Let’s face it we have twice as much stuff and much space in our houses then the average family did 50 years ago and we have the debt to prove it. And we whine about it and blame it on unemployment, car repair, and other stupid excuse rather then taking responsibility and stepping up to the plate and saying this is screwing up my life and I need to change. Debt is the result of overspending and poor planning. We should all plan on unemployment, car repairs, medical bills and lots of other things like rain will happen.

Change starts with a change in perspective and if we don’t get our heads our of our _____ then we will fall back into the same trap we find ourselves sitting in right now.

Credit and lending have been around since before there was money. There are expectations on both sides and laws that predate history have come about to help the process. Countries and businesses couldn’t exist without credit. It’s a necessary financial tool that every successful person has used.

I’ve heard it said many times that every successful business has three key components: a sharp lawyer, a good accountant and a friendly banker. Credit has to be managed and regulated so that it remains the useful tool that it’s supposed to be, but the bankers have bought favors from our government and they’ve changed the ground rules in mid-stream. The calculated risks that were made at the outset have changed and now borrowers find themselves in places they never imagined were possible. That just isn’t right.

What’s next? Expect to see, “Yes you made all your payments on time, but since we saw that you were sneezing, we decided that you wouldn’t be able to keep up that second job so now we consider you a greater credit risk and we’re jacking you up to 30 percent interest anyway”. Not far-fetched is it?

Credit card debt, Interest rate

Your post is not helpful

Once again, your post is not helpful. There is nothing here to give practical advice to deal with the debt other than the obvious: pay it off as best you can.

Well, I think the goal of everyone in this group is to find a way out of debt. And, the first step is taking responsibility for spending habits. Complaining about CC companies doesn’t provide individuals with ideas on how to get out of debt either. There are times when individuals just want to vent their frustrations. I imagine we are all frustrated and complain when the bill arrives, and when the check is being written. Unfortunately, the debt is still there regardless of how much we complain.

Many of you have been successful in reducing your interest rate when dealing with certain credit card companies. Members need to know how you succeeded. Others have posted how they’ve reduced their spending habits and used that money to pay off loans. Others have chosen to use reputable credit counseling services. Everyone’s situation is unique and it would be great if members could provide input as to how they are able to make it through the tough times, and their successes, while struggling to get out of debt.

The foundation of reducing debt is creating and maintaining a budget. A budget will help you find extra money, if there’s extra money available. If there’s not, maybe a part-time job is needed, or securing the services of a credit counseling service. You must research these companies. If you don’t, you could end up in a worse situation. Many people worry that their credit will suffer. If you are deep in debt, with over limit and late charges, then your credit has already suffered. They are able to lower interest rates and help you keep your head above water. If a reputable credit counseling service can’t help you, then chances are bankruptcy may be your only alternative. Unless, of course, you have a rich aunt or uncle.

There are many ways to reduce your grocery, clothing and entertainment expenses. There are books in the library that will give you tips on living on a dime. There’s one book many of my clients have read titled “Smart Cents, Creative Tips and Quips for Living the Skinflint Way. Skinflint: (n) A thrifty person who saves time and money by all means possible. Getting out of debt takes time, work and determination. Oh, and ALOT of patience. Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is barely visible. But, on the flip side, the satisfaction of getting out of debt is priceless.