August 21, 2000
Give me a little credit, would you?
by mike <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Charge card, credit card, line of credit, credit limit and cash advances. What do all of these things have in common? Simple: They put people into debt intentionally.
Why? For immediate gratification. Ever since people started "installment buying" in the 1950's, we've been sucked into a downward spiral of spending money we don't have. We do it for two reasons: To get stuff right away, and to build our credit rating.
And God knows we need a credit rating, too. I have an inner need to be ranked according to my ability to keep my word. I said I'd pay it back in a certain amount of time. I did. I now have a good credit rating. If only it were that easy for the 30% of society constantly having credit problems.
You can't get anywhere in this world without SOME credit. You can't buy a car. Forget purchasing a house. Cell phones? Hah! You can't even get a PrimeCo phone without decent credit. And we all know how much PrimeCo simply sucks.
And it's not like it ends with just "a credit card" either. There's Discover, Visa, MasterCard, Diner's Club, American Express and others. It's stratified further, if you can believe it. There's the Gold Card, the Platinum Card, and so on... I've got a Gold Card. Does that mean I'm better than you? Hell no. Why? Because it's American Express, and even when I "don't leave home without it," no freakin' stores accept the damn thing.
Visa is hardly "everywhere I want to be." All it does is put me in debt. And then they charge me 17.99% yearly interest. That means a $1000 balance turns into $1200 in a year, not counting over-limit fees and whatnot.
MasterCard? "Some things are priceless. For everything else, there's MasterCard." You know what? MasterCard won't post $50,000 bond when I am arrested for being delinquent on my MasterCard payments, even though there's a very specific price tag. Lying bastards. False advertising!
The world of credit cards and the like is a complex one. Not enough people are instructed on the importance of good credit and the impact it could have on their future. All you have to be is 18, and you can obtain any credit card you want. Using it wisely, however, is a skill that sometimes only comes after a trial by fire.
The moral of the story, you ask? Cut the cards up and let's go play Egyptian Ratscrew.
Published: August 21, 2000