Time with less

            Well it was bound to end. Sooner or later the mail man was going to get a break. By that I mean, fewer offers delivered offering you and I credit. When the post office realizes how much revenue they are losing not delivering us all of those credit card offers, they will be looking for a bailout! It appears, what’s in our wallet is a lot less than the major cards are willing to cover!

            The fact that America in general is deep in credit card debt, behind in their home mortgages in record numbers and way beyond their safe limits to pay back their home equity loans.  After years of being on a diet of, “Oh, go ahead you can do this, and “ Oh go ahead and buy it, you can afford it,” we are slowly coming to the realization, that no we can’t. 

            A sobering thought, but a real one all the same. It won’t make it any easier to swallow knowing that while we tighten our belts, Wall Street is pondering handing out millions of dollars in bonuses to their executives and rank and file for Christmas with our bail out money! Like I said, we were never in a mortgage crisis, just a credit one and your ability to borrow is as they say in the streets, “gone with the wind!”

            So as you and I sit staring at the holidays wondering how are we going to pay for it one can almost feel like the Grinch has stolen our Christmas. In years past not paying off Christmas until long after the first robin appeared in the spring was not unusual. For some, they were still paying off last years Christmas well into the fall. Well that is not going to be happening this year for many. With interest rates on unsecured credit rising to almost thirty percent and cash advances bordering on inter galactic numbers this Christmas season looks to be, Dolly Pardon used to say, “A Hard Candy Christmas!” And if you were thinking Congress or the President were going to be rushing to your aide to lower credit rates all I can say is remember $4.35 cent gas! No help is on the way.

            And forget about that transfer of old debt to new cards trick. In the past it was routinely used by many, and the companies offering aided and abided those who accumulated debt just to get a lower rate. All of the major companies are tightening the knot on this one. Those who have yet to get credit will find it a lot harder. And for those who need it, it unfortunately looks like we are entering a sellers market; and that is never good for a consumer. Additionally if you have a card you don’t use that often, don’t be surprised if you get a letter telling you to start using it, or to cut it up!

            Some may even get their credit limits lowered. Should this happen you might want to check and see if your credit score got lowered as well. Seems the powers that check those kinds of things haven’t written into the program that follows your credit that getting you score lowered is not always your fault.

            The President promised us all that unless we voted in the bail-out package the man on the street would be the one that suffers. What he didn’t say was that the man on the street was going to suffer whether we did it or not. On the bright side, less opportunity to borrow means more money in our pocket and getting out of debt with fewer cards in our pocket may be the best Christmas gift any of us have given ourselves in a very long time!


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