Americans collectively have well over a billion credit card accounts. Some of those accounts make the credit card companies very, very rich. I’m talking, of course, about those that belong to people that carry large balances every month.
Since we’re all familiar with the evils of credit card debt, I thought I’d balance the discussion with twelve reasons why you shouldn’t get out of debt:
- Those wonderful interest charges. Why on Earth should you earn interest when you could be paying it? It’s a piece of cake: just buy a whole bunch of stuff you really can’t afford and make the minimum payment each month.
- You get to buy everything twice. Remember that espresso maker that you bought for $120? Wouldn’t paying $240 be twice as nice? It makes your espresso taste… Well… Exactly the same.
- Fees are fun. Fees for going over your limit. Fees for cash advances. Fees for paying late. Fees for paying on time. The fun doesn’t stop with the interest charges — not by a long shot!
- Financial independence is totally overrated. Being a slave to your debt has a charm all its own. You never have to worry about being in control of your finances ever again. The credit card companies will take care of that for you!
- A good night’s sleep is for sissies. Who needs a soft pillow when you could b tossing, turning, and waking up in a cold sweat from nightmares of giant point-of-sale terminals crushing that living room set you’re paying for every month?
- New friends at the collection agency. Never feel lonely again: collectors will harass and shame you… And your relatives, and your neighbors. Incessantly.
- There’s no time like the present. You needed that new home theater system right now. Right? Now those bills will be front and center in your finances — and will remain that way for a long time to come.
- Bargain hunters love desperate sellers. Nothing sound better to a bottom-feeder’s than: “Make me an offer.” Except, perhaps: “I need to sell this now.” You get to watch them salivate and then walk away with your stuff — for nine cents on the dollar, just because you need to make that credit card payment.
- You’re just a few small steps from bankruptcy and foreclosure. As much fun as credit card debt might be, bankruptcy and foreclosure are way better. Both are two-ton black marks that remain on your credit report for seven years. It just doesn’t get any better than this, folks.
- Default interest rates rock. The new credit card legislation makes it tougher for issuers to stick you with their default rate, but… When they do, it’s really high. Fall behind on your bills, and you’re the proud new owner of a 30% credit card interest rate. WOW!
- Every day is a tightrope walk. You get to be extra stressed about your job, about getting having a car accident, about getting sick, and about anything else that could be the final nail in your financial coffin.
- Someone has to pay for the responsible card users. Who’s going to cover the cost of that free float and all those credit card rewards? It might as well be you. We salute you, Mr. Up-To-Your-Ears-In-Debt Man!
As compelling as these twelve reasons might sound, some people aren’t willing to remain in hock for the rest of their lives. If you’re among them, then you might want to check out the Carnival of Debt Reduction, which is a weekly collection of debt reduction articles from across the blogosphere.