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Personal Finances / Credit Cards and Consumer Debt


Subject:  Re: Update & CC question Date:  8/29/2002  5:16 PM
Author:  jacqueg Number:  137952 of 312305

I now use my debit card more than my credit card, but I continue to use the credit card for things like mail order and online ordering, for the guarantee protection (even though my debit is a Visa, the protection is voluntary, and they could stop offering it any time they wished), and because if my credit card info is intercepted, it's only my credit card account that gets f***ed up, not my real money. (I don't let any waiter, etc. take my debit or credit card out of my sight).

Also, since you have a secured credit card, I assume that you have had major financial problems in the past. Hanging onto this card and using it regularly (and Foolishly) is a good way to rebuild yourself. How long have you had it? Find out their policy for dropping the security requirement (often one year), for increasing your credit limit, etc. The company I used in a similar situation did this without me asking.

Once you've had your card for awhile, you will start to get unsecured offers at high interest rates. Eventually, you will start to get offers for lower interest rates.

If you don't maintain a credit card - and plenty of folks don't - you almost have to "drop out" of mainstream American financial life. Again, plenty of folks get along just fine outside of it, but you should think about your own situation and make the decision for yourself.

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