Credit Cards--- They're Just Like Drugs
Credit cards offer short term pleasure and
long term pain.
Credit cards are just like drugs. There is no
better analogy. They offer short term pleasure and long term
pain. They give the illusion of having more money than you
actually do. Then you live with less because each month a
portion of your income is siphoned away paying past credit debt.
In 1995 the total credit card debt was $195.2
billion (up $30 billion from June 1994) The average balance was
$1825 (up $75/card from the year before). A director of
Bankcardhoder Services that year said it would take a consumer
making the minimum payment of $36 per month more than 22 years
to pay off the debt and interest. By June 1996 the average
balance had sky rocketed to $3900 and in December, the total
debt had jumped to $400 billion. Since then, the growth rate has
Credit is positioned like a foundation of
life, so that we use it, and use it, and use it until we
literally cannot survive without it.
Creditors are not doing you any favors by
extending you credit. They are getting you hooked and draining
off your future wealth--- future money that you can't even
guarantee is going to be there. Why? Can you guarantee you will
have your job tomorrow, next week, next year, in 10 years? But
you are promising it away just the same.
Creditors are not giving you anything. They're
not adding one penny into your life. Consider this: Creditors do
not make a penny until you go into debt. Therefore, do you
really think they hope to contribute to your future wealth or do
you think they just might prefer that you are horribly
irresponsible and charge everything you see? They want you in
debt and the deeper the better!
And just as you think you are smart enough to
climb out of your credit entanglement, your friendly credit card
executives are figuring more and better ways to offer
convenience to entice you to use your card even more. For
- Have you noticed how many fast food
places now take credit cards? Now there is a conflict in
terms, “fast food” and “credit card”... hhhmmmm.
- Did you know taxi cabs and parking lots
now take credit cards? I sure hope it's a deductible
expense. The compound interest it generates, of course, is
- Movie theaters now report 25% of payment
is by credit card.
- The other day I saw a young man at a
grocery store paying for 5 candy bars with a credit card.
Talk about short term pleasure and long term pain. That has
got to be a prize winner.
- IRS now takes credit cards--- a double
- Many mortuaries now take credit cards.
Why does that sound strange and why is it a fitting last
The fact is, credit card executives now know
that most credit worthy people already have 2+ cards. But they
still send out 2.5 billion solicitations annually and the
average household receives nearly 2 dozen per year.
Still, finding innovative ways to increase
credit debt is their primary solution to increase profit. As a
bank card executive reported, "We will break down the
barriers of debt." If that doesn’t sound like drug
dealing I don’t know what does.
Until we learn to shut off the wealth sucking
valves, we will continue to drown in a sea of debt. Until we
stop creating new debt with the convenience of a credit card, we
will continue the strangle hold of our creditors. Until we start
operating on a cash basis, we are doomed to a life of debt.
Our future and the future of our family is at
stake. And until we make a decision in favor of ourselves
instead of the credit card industry, we will foolishly squander
our future by living in an illusionary world and paying its
price--- just like an addict.