If you will remember our Dear President encouraged us all to go out and shop as a way of getting over all the uncertainty & confusion after 911. He assured us it was safe to return to malls and by jiminy cricket, wouldn’t we all feel a lot better with a warm Starbucks Latte’ in our hands and a bag full of goodies safely tucked under our arm. He was right. We would, because for a vast majority of us, buying makes us feel better.
Call it a sign of the times, but a good consuming public is a happy public, and since you can get credit easier than you can apply for a passport most of us have the ability to purchase as much as it takes to cheer us up. Could be a reason we are so far in debt as well. In reality being in debt should not make us feel better but the act of buying and instant gratification does; two diametrically opposing feelings. Sadly some can carry on the former and really could care less about the latter, thus the rise in debt consolidation companies, and debt clinics and a lot of personal bankruptcies.
The fact that a majority of those debt consolidations clinics are nonprofits, owed and operated by the very companies we are using to charge our lives away is either a very ironic situation or just a downright cruel joke; you or I should not be laughing very hard at. Just so you know there are a lot of traps associated with the little plastic cards as of late and since no one is advertising some of the newer ones thought I should share. If your late with one bill, you can trigger a clause that alerts all of the other credit cards, mortgagee companies and anything else you might have a credit balances with that its okay to raise your interest rates. So the car that was a rock solid, 14% is now 26% and the late charges are higher if you should miss a payment cause it was either the car or pay for Billy’s broken arm! Can they do that? Yeah they can. You remember that thing you got from the credit card company in print the size of say this here that explained you’re screwed if you miss any payments, well that is what happened you got screwed! A recent beckoning of the credit card execs to capital hill also shed some light on some other very important things they have been doing as an industry. Such as you will be charged extra every time you go over your spending limit and when you do that your general interest rate will be raised up as well. So the more you use it, the more it is going to cost you; regardless if you never miss a payment. Cash advance fees are going up along with the balance transfer fees and just remember, what happens to one happens to all. If you are late with one payment all the cards consider their payments late and can raise their interest rate accordingly. For more on this debacle take a look see @ the following url. (http://www.fool.com/ccc/secrets/secrets.htm)