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I know a few people as well who use their credit cards to buy "everything" and pay it off at month's end for "sky miles" or gasoline. The key number isn't the ammount charged anymore, it's the total "on-going balance" which is a more difficult figure to back out. It amounts to a hidden "tax" since each merchant is charged a small percentage for the card use which every customer has to pay for eventually. As long as the debt is paid off each month, charges could increase 100% with no real impact on the system other than to make the card companies happy. Their bind is "greed". No one with financial sense or other resources borrows money at 20%+. The occasional wave of "defaults" and bankrupcies is inevitable. It's also not too surprising that more people went bankrupt than graduated college since: 1, Every college student in the country is bombarded with credit card offers; 2, it's a lot easier to use a charge card than to graduate college; 3, bad things happen to good people (very few people plan to drown in debt and even fewer decide to spend five years of their lives repaying creditors at 20% while living like monks...)
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