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How many credit cards do you have?
0 10%
1-3 80%
4-6 10%
7-9 0%
10+ 0%

Votes: 10

 Credit Card Companies

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Jul 30, 2001
Beat them by being a grown-up.

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It's easy to turn non-specific frustration towards the faceless "big evil corporations". They control the government. They control your paycheck. They skim off a little of your money -- never enough to be worth the trouble to actually sue them.

You can get back at them, but you must borrow their tactics. Instead of directionless aggression, you need the discipline and maturity of a boardroom full of accountants, lawyers, and MBAs -- the same people who run credit card companies.

1. Have a perfect credit history. If you don't, start disputing until it's as clean as possible.

2. Never, ever tolerate a credit card with any sort of fee. Call them and threaten to go with a competitor.

3. Pay your balance off every month. It's that simple.

The key to this is the time value of money. If you pay the balance each month without accumulating interest, you have gained more time value from the money than the credit card company. Add in the cost of mailing statements, staffing support desks, etc. and you can become a net drain on the credit card company. Obviously, the profit from advertisements included in your statement offsets this, but that profit is not coming out of your pocket.

On a personal note: I have no patience for people who think they're somehow entitled to debt forgiveness on their credit cards. I understand many people run into unforeseen circumstances like job loss, medical bills, etc., but let's be honest. Most people run up those balances because they want and they want now.

The bottom line is this: It's not your money. I know... it's not exactly like stealing from little old ladies, but it's still not your money. That $20,000 limit is not $20,000 for you to spend. It's $20,000 they're willing to lend you. They don't use the word give. They use the word lend. That's an important distinction. It means they expect the money back.

You can beat them easily. You just have to know the rules. Credit card companies win because most people don't know or care about the rules. Be smarter than most people.


There's a better way (none / 0) (#1)
by zikzak on Mon Jul 30th, 2001 at 09:02:25 PM PST
The trick to gaining significant time value is to run up as much debt as possible and always always always work to increase how much you owe. Pay bare minimums, miss payments, just simply default. Remember, he who dies with the most stuff/cash is a god damn fool. He who dies with a mountain of debt has lived well on other people's money.

Of course this may not work out well if you are survived by a spouse, and if you have kids they could become liable for some debt as well. So stay single and get neutered.

it's even better than that (none / 0) (#2)
by jsm on Mon Jul 30th, 2001 at 11:43:22 PM PST
The possessions bought with your debt live on after, like the evil that men do, while their debts, like the good, is interred with their body. If you run up huge debts in the last few years of life giving presents to your children, you will buy their love at an important time, while leaving no negative consequences whatever.

... the worst tempered and least consistent of the editors
... now also Legal department and general counsel,

Even better still (5.00 / 1) (#3)
by iat on Tue Jul 31st, 2001 at 03:16:05 AM PST
In Matthew 19:24, Jesus says "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God". I imagine that someone who dies with huge debts will be welcomed into Heaven with open arms. - love it or leave it.

Yeah! (none / 0) (#5)
by bc on Tue Jul 31st, 2001 at 04:11:15 AM PST
My ambition is to live like Becky Sharpe and her husband did in Vanity Fair. A life spent running up huge debts, but always being able to get more readies due to appearing quite wealthy when you turn up at the door of someone you are borrowing from.

So you get enough money to buy a good Aston Martin, and then turn up at some moneylender's door in it, they are impressed, and they lend you money. It's a nice, virtuous cycle.

You just need a certain courage for it. AFAIK, the laws in Scotland are a little more forgiving for debtors than in England - I think it is impossible to be jailed here for being way in debt, over your head (I could be wrong here, but I see no reason to let facts get in the way of what is, for me, a nice comforting thought - and this sort of attitude is why I'd make a good debtor). With no negative consequences, nice fluid capital and an ability to move around with ease, I see no reason not to start wheeling and dealing on the debtors circuit.

Thats the lifestyle for me.

♥, bc.

You do realise... (none / 0) (#4)
by iat on Tue Jul 31st, 2001 at 03:19:11 AM PST
That the credit card companies take a cut of each transaction that's made with a credit card? I can't remember whether it's a flat fee or a percentage of the transaction's value, but I think that these fees should allow them to break even, even if you do pay off your balance on time and without incurring interest. - love it or leave it.


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