When my husband and I were just married, over 40 years ago, we were credit card poor. It was easy getting credit cards. We had so many cards that I am not sure exactly how many we had.
Many were major credit cards, such as Visa and MasterCard. I found out at a young age that I was not limited to only one Visa or MasterCard and that each financial institution offered cards, so you could essentially have as many cards as there are financial institutions.
Additionally, we had gained several store credit cards such as Sears and JC Penny’s. It took many years to pay off all of these cards. We will never fall into a credit card pit again.
There Is a Way Out of Credit Card Debt but It Takes Years
The first thing we did was to cut up all of our cards except for one major credit card for emergencies. My husband held one credit card, I had one credit card, and we stopped charging. Then we started to pay at least $20 more than the minimum payment every month.
As a young married couple, we never thought about the pros and cons of credit cards. We just wanted all the cards we could get, because we never knew when we needed to use them for an ”important” purchase.
As I got older (and wiser), I become well aware of what items are necessary and what purchases can wait until I have the cash to make the purchase. Unless the person learns patience with purchases and credit card debt charges, debt rises quickly. If the person feels, they need help to pay off a mistake there are companies such as Debt America , through this website can help reorganize finances.
I wait until I have the cash on hand for the purchase and just do without. Yes, I have to wait, and I have to remember that patience for large and small purchases is a virtue. One must learn to have patience with their purchases and this is difficult for many people to do. People in society these days want things when they want them. This way of thinking is what gets many people into trouble with credit cards.
When I was in my twenties, I needed to learn how to be responsible with credit cards and make payments on time or make a payoff at the end of the month. It was a hard lession to learn.
We cannot point fingers at the younger generation for overcharging on credit cards and getting into financial trouble. Senior citizens who need help with too much debt can get help through a wonderful organization called LASPD based in Chicago, Illinois. This company based in Chicago, Illinois has over 40,000 seniors nationwide they are helping out of debt.
Pros for Having a Credit Card
- Make payments to the credit card on time every month in order to increase credit report score
- Credit cards enable us to buy items when cash is in short supply
- Allows for e mergency purchases providing more security and offering convenience
- More buying power to those who pay their bills on time according to credit reporting agencies
- Credit cards help to build good credit
- The right credit cards offer rewards, such as cash back, flyer miles and other perks
Cons to Having a Credit Card
- Credit scores start to decrease when bills are not paid on time
- Credit cards enable us to purchase things in life that we feel are necessary but they are not really an emergency
- Many credit card users charge until they reach the maximum limit and then they cannot pay more than the minimum payment. Thus, the balance on the card never decreases because all they are paying is the interest
- For every new credit card issued the person’s credit score decreases because inquires are done to find out the payment history of that person
- When people do not pay their credit cards on time this blocks the way for purchasing power for the holder to get approved for a home loan, car loan, rent a home or apartment and many more things in life that are necessary
- Many credit card holder look at their credit cards as being free money and do not consider the fact that all they charge must be paid back with interest
- Poor credit scores make people pay higher interest rates because they are seen as poor credit risks
- Credit card companies charge retail outlets and stores a fee to process your card. Companies are not going to absorb this cost. This fee is passed back onto you the customer through higher prices at the register
- Overspend and overextending income levels
- Some credit cards carry high interest rates and high fees for over the limit spending and late payments
If you feel credit cards are necessary in your life, protecting the cards from identity theft is a good idea.