Credit cards are everywhere; from the standard card through to the store card, it seems like there’s a never ending supply of fast credit waiting for us. But have you ever thought about why you want it? Is it really access to quick money? We all know that the interest levles applied on pretty much any given card are sky high (even with interest rates at an all time low). So why do we keep coming back for more of the same punishment?
It’s difficult for anyone to argue that any form of credit doesn’t have its advantages:
1. Instant access to fast cash
2. Generous repayment periods (i.e. Forever, if you you wnat to stay in debt for that long)
3. Nearly all cards are universally accepted as a form of payment
4. Security – you don’t need to carry large wedges of cash just to go shopping
5. Convenience – think how much easier it is to type in a PIN instead of writing a cheque
6. ….anything else you want to add!
That’s only a small list of the pro’s of easy credit. Equally, we know the pitfalls:
1. Sadly, you have to pay the money back
2. Interest rates on some cards are incredibly high (as much as 43% APR in the case of some store cards)
3. Falling into arears may result in a visit from a debt collector
4. It’s incredibly easy to spend more than you earn
5. Easy credit means we start to lose any sense of proportion in life i.e. “Do you really need a new home cinema?”
Pro’s and con’s aside, why do we really want easily available, flexible credit? Sadly, it has nothing to do with getting the best that we can and all to do with getting it now!
The 1990’s saw a massive expansion of the the credit card industry. Money was showered on us, the consumer, in a monsoon of loans, credit and cheap mortgages. We were led to believe that the good times would never end… if only we had a crystal ball!
All the lenders had a hand in dishing out huge sums of cash but the blame, inevitably, falls out our door. We live in a materialistic world and the little voice in our heads that says, “You deserve this” is the root of our problems. It’s this urge alone that has driven many of us to fall in to the snake filled pit of debt.
Sadly, we need someone to blame for our profligate ways; the banks and money lenders seem like an easy target. The more pragmatic of you will agree that we are the problem (even though we were spurred on by the banks). Now it’s time to sort out the mess!