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Personal Finances / Credit Cards and Consumer Debt


Subject:  Re: An Ethical Thought Date:  9/15/2005  2:44 PM
Author:  mew5280 Number:  210760 of 312136

Some good thoughts, thanks. I don't mean to completely make a judgement against banks/cc companies, I just wanted to know what others thought. I forgot about merchant fees.

I never had much CC debt until the past few years. Now I have 32K. I have it because I had such great credit all these years from having a good income and always paying off my cards. Then I came upon the post-9/11 and IT meltdown period and was unemployed on and off. HOW EASY it was to charge my groceries, my gasoline on those large credit limit cards I had. I had unemployment and was using it to pay my household bills (utilities, phone) and my COBRA payments. At first I thought the unemployment would be a blip but it became 3 years of on and off contract work so I was only working an average of 4-6 months a year instead of 12 months. Unemployment covered about 1/2 or less of my normal monthly expenses. I had an efund but it ran out. I withdrew my mutual funds, then my 401k, then used credit cards.

Now I can hardly sleep at night. I don't know what I could have done differently though. For 12 years I was consistenly employed, I believed I would be employed soon but it was so on and off. The 32K has a lot of finance fees and late charges in it, I probably only used 20K. There are some non-essential expenditures in there but let me say again, I was NEVER in such large debt before this so it had something to do with being unemployed.

SO my point is, if I had no credit cards, I probably would have found some other way to live. Sold my house and moved to a tiny apartment but I wanted to keep my house, it's a good investment. I didn't know how long this would all last.

Again, I KNOW I am to blame for any debt but the CC companies sure make it easy to use credit. I probably have in total today, along with 32K in debt, at least 100K in AVAILABLE CREDIT on multiple accounts. The paid off credit card companies bombard me with offers to "transfer you balances to our card now that you have paid it off" or "Remodel your home now that you have paid off..." blah, blah, blah.
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