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It also appears that most of you curse credit as one of the most evil inventions mankind ever invented, right up there with nuclear weapons. I've learned that the irresponsible use of credit can get one into trouble (and I will continue to be reminded of that fact for another 4.5 years), but I also believe that the responsible use of credit can be a blessing.

I don't think of credit cards as evil, but as a bad product for the consumer. Personally, I think the only responsible use of credit is not to use it.

Purchase a house with cash? Yeah right! I don't think this is a realistic option for very many people at all. It's already a shame that so many non-middle/upperclass folk are wasting money on rent when they could be putting the money into building home equity. Online bill pay, convienence at the grocery store, internet mail order, the list goes on and on why credit cards are a godsend. The interest rate on a house or car payment might seem like money tossed in the toilet, but I look at it as a necessary expense for these types of larger purchases. Constantly carrying a $2000 balance on your 19% APR Mastercard is a waste of money. Financing a new Passat... I'd be hard-pressed to see the waste there.

I'll agree that saving up enough cash to buy a house outright is difficult, but not impossible. At the very least you should be saving up to put at least 20% down to avoid having to pay PMI. I've heard the "throwing your money away on rent" argument a lot, but it's not a fair comparison to compare a rent payment to a mortgage payment dollar-for-dollar because of the extra costs you incur when you have a home. Most people are spending too much on rent, which really is throwing money away. As for financing a new car, that's probably one of the worst things you can do. The car will lose somewhere between 40% and 50% of its value within two years. Not only is that money that's lost to you, but you've been paying interest on that "lost" money the whole time. If you can save up enough money to purchase a car for cash, and then do so, you'll be ahead because you will have been paying yourself the interest on that money while you were saving it.

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