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Have you ever been tempted to apply for one of those many credit card offers you receive in the mail? Maybe you already own a credit card. Either way I would like to inform you of the dangers that come with owning a credit card. Many people now a day's use credit cards for everything and it is becoming a huge financial problem to several. Using a credit card is technically using money that isn't yours, your borrowing it from someone else.
The average family today carries eight thousand dollars in credit card debt according to the American's Banker Association ("The Truth about Credit Card Debt"). Being in debt is not where you want to be in life. You will spend more money if you use a credit card ("The Truth about Credit Card Debt"). Swiping a credit card in a machine has less of an effect on you then actually seeing the money itself go away ("The Truth about Credit Card Debt"). For example, say there is a pair of shoes that you just got to have and think you cannot live without. The problem though is, those shoes cost $ 200. The purchase of those shoes would have a greater effect on you if you handed over your hard earned cash of $ 200, then just swiping your card and signing the receipt. There was a study done of credit card use at McDonalds, the study found that people spent 47% more when using a credit card ("The Truth about Credit Card Debt"). I personally think that you shouldn't be using your credit card to eat at McDonalds. That's just using technically money that's not yours unwisely and another reason why people end up in debt because of credit cards.
Another danger of having a credit card is the risk factor of your identity getting stolen. Every time you swipe your credit card and wait for the transaction, important data is transferred from the store you are located at to the bank through computer networks ("Weak Security Enables Credit Card Hacks"). Each step of the transaction process that your card must go through is a potential opening for hackers to get a hold of your information ("Weak Security Enables Credit Card Hacks"). Some might argue that they take all the precautions of securing their information. There was an Associated Press investigation though that found companies and banks that handle your information are not being nearly as cautious as they should and can be. ("Weak Security Enables Credit Card Hacks"). If a hacker does happen to get a hold of your information you could spend weeks upon weeks trying to straighten out your credit ("Weak Security Enables Credit Card Hacks"). Take Pamela LaMotte for example, it took her four months to straighten her credit after two of her accounts got hacked into ("Weak Security Enables Credit Card Hacks"). Pamela had to borrow money from her mother to pay for the overdraft and late fees ("Weak Security Enables Credit Card Hacks"). LaMotte stated "She pays more by cash and check now" ('Weak Security Enables Credit Cards Hacks"). Identity theft is just another negative to using credit cards.
Due to the economy the way it is today. Many people are relying on their credit card to survive. With the unemployment rates so high many are falling even more behind then usual with their credit card payments ("Are Credit Cards the Next Collapse"). Therefore the banks are starting to even worry about what is going to happen with all this debt ("Are Credit Cards the Next Collapse"). U.S. banks charged off 5.47 percent of all credit card loans in the second quarter, according to the Federal Reserve, representing $50 billion that they'll likely never collect ("Are Credit Cards the Next Collapse"). $50 billion dollars is not pocket change, this is a major issue all because people are in debt and cannot find their way out because of credit cards.
Credit card companies are sneaky. They know if they are able to capture younger adults like college students who are usually very vulnerable they will have a customer for many years to come ("The Extra Credit Students Don't Need"). Many credit card companies set up tables at colleges advertising free stuff for those who sign up for their credit card ("The Extra Credit Students Don't Need") what college kid doesn't want free stuff? The companies know of course their going to sign up. PIRG is trying to make students aware of the situation they can get themselves into with owning a credit card. PIRG hands out warnings about all the fees and terms of credit cards to students ("The Extra Credit Students Don't Need"). I think this is a wonderful idea to make younger adults aware of all the negatives to having a credit card. A study showed that 56% of senior college students carry four or more cards ("The Extra Credit Students Don't Need"). Hopefully PIRG can lower that statistic soon.
Even our own President thinks there is a huge issue with credit cards and debt right now. Obama signed a legislation prohibiting credit card issuers to issue credit cards to anyone under 21 unless they have a parent or guardian to co-sign ("Credit Card Reform Swipes Easy Plastic"). Many might be angry over this, but in the long run it will be saving many from ruining their credit and getting into debt.
Did you know that having bad credit could cost you to not get a job? Many companies look at your credit history to weed through applicants ("How Bad Credit Can Cost You a Job"). Employers feel that people you have good credit and no debt are capable to be better workers then those who are unable to manage their credit well ("How Bad Credit Can Cost You a Job"). Employers also feel that those with awful debt and credit are more likely to steel or commit fraud for their company ("How Bad Credit Can Cost You a Job"). This is another prime example of why you shouldn't use credit cards. They could end up ruining your chance of maybe getting that dream job you have always wanted.
Many people love the fact that with credit cards you can buy something and pay for it later. Doing so is fine if you can pay the amount you purchased in full and on time. The big problem arises though when you are unable to pay your amount balance in full. For example say if it takes you two years to pay off a $500 balance and your being charged at and 18% interest rate you will end up paying nearly a $100 more in interest ("Credit and Debit Cards"). This is how many people get up in their ears in debt. If you have bad credit it is very hard when it comes the time you want to purchase a house or car. Sometimes it is even impossible if your credit is really bad.
There is always the argument, what if I want to purchase something online or over the telephone then what am I suppose to do? Or what if I am going on vacation and don't want to carry a ton of cash? The best answer for those situations is to get a debit card. Debit cards are linked to your bank account so the money that you spend is taken out of your account. Notice the key word "your". Unlike a credit card you are spending your own money rather than borrowing someone else's. Therefore you will be aware of your spending. Unlike credit cards your bank balance goes down with each transaction so you are less likely to overspend ("Credit and Debit Cards").
While researching the topic of why not to use credit cards I came across a cry for help from a complete stranger, here is his ad he posted. "have only about $10,000.00 but is has caused me so many problems. I blame no one but myself for getting into it but I would be forever grateful to anyone that can help me. Even if it is only help paying off one credit card which only has about $2000.00 left on it before its paid off. I have two credit cards that are near the limit. If or when I do get out of debt I will never touch a credit card again. Being in the situation that I am I am scared to death to use a credit card. When I do get out of debt I am going to put safeguards in place to make sure something like this never happens again. I regret ever getting my first credit card. Before I go any further let me tell you how I came into this situation. I first started to really acquire debt in November of 2006 and the last time I ever used credit was in May of 2007. It was mostly for little stuff here and there. Stuff I pretty much regret ever getting. It has ruined my life I was diagnosed with clinical depression about a year ago. It tends to come and go but with my current situation it has been hard to deal with. It seems hard to deal with because my life isn't mine anymore. I try to be positive but it is getting harder and harder to do. I want to be able to go to school, get married and have a family but the way things are looking right now I don't feel it will happen. I have lost too much sleep because of my debt is all I ever think about I have not been able to eat because I feel guilty when I do. I cannot get family to help me or else I would not be asking I am desperately looking for as much help as much help as I can get. If anyone reading this can help me, I ask of you, please help. Please help me as much as you are able. I will, again, be forever grateful to anyone that can help me. I would not be asking for help if I felt I could do it myself. Please help me in anyway you can." ("Ruined My Life"). This ad from a complete stranger crying for help is a great example of how credit cards can ruin your life so fast in a blink of an eye. This poor guy is seriously so desperate he is posting ads online trying to do whatever he possible can to move on with his life from credit cards. Now granite, I know this seems like an extreme move to pull and most wouldn't do such an act, but just think how many people are in this world suffering just like he is.
Hopefully after reading my paper you are now able to realize all the negatives that credit cards really do have. I know that using a credit card seems fast, easy, and convenient, but take into consideration all the risk factors I mentioned. Yes it is nice to buy now and pay later, but if you are unable to pay later in the full amount then you are really just costing yourself more money. If you have to order online, on the phone, or are going on vacation remember the best option would be to use a debit card instead of a credit card. The biggest problem with credit cards is that your spending money that is technically not yours. So go cut up your credit cards and remember paper is better than plastic when it comes to spending.