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money health weekly

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Why You Should Be Careful with Debt


 

"The only reason a great many American families don't own an elephant is that they have never been offered an elephant for a dollar down and easy weekly payments."


-Mad Magazine

 

Checking the mail, I notice another letter from a credit card company. I know there’s not a credit card inside because it’s too light. I open it up to see a rejection. I can’t get a credit card, not because I have bad credit, but because I have no credit. It’s frustrating for me because I’m caught in a loop; I can’t get a credit card because I don’t have credit, and I don’t have credit because I can’t get a credit card.


Fast forward a few years and I now have a dozen credit cards. Every time I see a credit card that offers some kind of reward - some kind of cashback or a 0% offer - I apply...and get approved. Before I know it I’m opening credit cards simply to transfer my balances to. Unfortunately, I don’t have the self-control to stop using the card that I just transferred over to the new card. I’m in college going to class full time so there’s always a need for just a little bit more cash.


That was almost 20 years ago, but the lessons are still with me. Credit card companies aren’t your friend; they want to make money from me. Any “perk” that I sought was merely meant to get me to open up (and use) more lines of credit. I was able to escape the debt cycle, but many struggle. Debt is limiting and not something to take lightly.