Credit scams

This NPR program is an interview with Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren about credit card companies and what they do to screw you out of as much money as they can. I’ll give you the bottom line: Get rid of all your credit cards NOW!

You may be saying to yourself, “I pay in full every month and don’t keep a large balance and like to get airline miles.” First, do you really pay every month or do you sometimes forget a get slammed with a ridiculous penalty fee as well as interest from the day of purchase? And do you sometimes get behind and pay only part of the bill for a while until you get that tax refund or whatever? And do you really think those airline miles are worth it? Heh, heh.

Consider some of the tricks the bastards at the CC companies use to get you to miss your payment. If you live in the east, the PO box to which you send your payment is a small town in the west (so the mail takes longer to get there). Of course, if you live in the west, the opposite is true. Also, they often have “small print” that allows them to raise the interest at any time for any reason. (Go ahead, read your agreement.) They move the due date up a few days without warning so even if you have a continuing bank payment set up, you’ll be late if you don’t notice. They charge a renewal fee (or whatever) to everyone, but agree to refund it to those who call to complain. And then they don’t refund it until you call for several months, apologizing profusely every time.

In short, the people who promote, administer, manage, advertise, or own VISA, Master-Card, MBNA, Capital One, Bankamerica Card, and other such companies are slime-balls. Ultimately, however, those who accept contractual obligations from them are just stupid.

DadConspiracies03/27/07 1 comments


Patrick • 03/29/07 11:08 AM:

Unfortunately, the world (country?) is constituted now to require credit cards, unless you hole up in the woods in Montana. I kind of hate that, but I also think that you can manage to use credit cards without getting screwed. If you’re paying off your full balance every month, then you can’t really have an automatic payment set up, because you wouldn’t know how much to pay.

I think it’s good policy to simply limit your credit card use and pay it off every month. Credit cards can certainly be abused, and the companies exploit this, but in the end, the credit card is a tool, and if you hit your thumb with a hammer, it’s ultimately your fault.

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