The Realm of Credit Cards
The Credit Card Trap
Imagine yourself, if you will, caught in a trap where the way out is blocked by incredibly high interest rates and unbelievable payment options. Options which you cannot refuse or ignore. This is the type of trap that millions of people are lured into and ensnared. People like you and me. The offer arrives in the mail or on your computer where it will give you a sum of cash at a ridiculously low percentage rate or perhaps a zero rate, for a period of time.
The deception is hidden and makes it almost impossible to turn down. This is the trap that will ensnare you and cause havoc with your finances when the lower rate disappears and transform itself into an unbelievable number like 29.9% or even 39.9%. Its no secret that years ago the company would have been jailed for loan sharking.
How I Fell Into The Trap
While out shopping one day I decided to go to a major discount food store and purchase some things like milk, bread and the stuff that would go into your pantry. When I got to the cashier after handing her my membership card, I attempted to charge my purchase. It was a busy day and there were people standing behind me. After waiting a couple of minutes the cashier informed me that the purchase was declined. I couldn't believe this. I stared at her in awe while I did the math in my brain. The purchased items came to 173.49 and my balance was 3,000.00.
There had to be some kind of mistake.
After being chagrined and humiliated I left the line without my groceries, still bagged and carted. I could feel the eyes of other shoppers staring at me. I was determined to find out what happened. Arriving at my car I hopped on my cell phone and immediately dialed the credit card company. After waiting and being transferred for what seemed like hours, a voice finally got back to me. I was informed that my charge privilege had been suspended due to an overdue payment that I missed about a month ago. Of course my payments with these people were on time, but never mind that. This was about a payment I missed on another unrelated card that had fell into the obscurity of a forgetful memory. This is what brought my balance to the amount where the purchase I was about to make would have made my account negative.
The 3,000.00 balance was now at 500.00 and since I had already spent 398.00 the credit card company denied the purchase of 173.49.
I Had to Do Something!
This was insane! After carefully planning I decided to cut the card. I paid them their balance after about two to three weeks and decided on an action of my own. Saving an amount of 150.00 to 200.00, I was soon at an amount of 5,000.00. Sort of a payment to myself without the grief and greed of giving another dime to a company who decides how much I can spend under their changing plans. So whenever I needed 200.00 or 300.00 it was there for me with no interest rate of 29.9% which is difficult to escape. The terms were now my own, should I decide not to pay myself back one month - no problem, no late fees or worry about how much I owed them.
Free Yourself From The Madness!
It may seem like an impossible feat to perform but I did it. All you really have to do is take the exact same amount that you are paying the credit card company and pay yourself by putting it int a checking or savings account. If you can pay a little more then do it. Just remind yourself that this account should not be touched. Why should you pay someone else for using their money on their terms when you can do the same thing on your terms?
I put this same action in place for the other two credit cards I have and you know what? I feel that I am financially independent at last! Now when the envelope with their branding logo shows up at my mailbox I can at least toss it. It would only be another "offer" for a low rate credit card.