**** credit cards

This really pisses me off… OK, I had way too much fun in college, and ran up credit card debt like crazy.

So, the largest one (named after what dogs do to cars) “gave” me an insane credit limit, and I say gave because I was a college student on work study at the time. Hello, just how much credit do I need? Anyway, I was young and foolish.

Flash forward a few years. I’ve been making minimum payments all along, missed a few payments, ran away for a while, and finally saw the light. Now I make decent money and I’m trying to rid myself of the debt. I have never considered bankruptcy, and have always told these guys I’d pay the bill.

I’ve been paying insane payments now for about eight months, to (1) get out of overlimit fees (yes the card was over the limit) and (2) get rid of the stupid debt. Now, it isn’t like I’m living for my creditors, but I do budget the money so a whole lot can go to this debt. Anyway, I’ve been calling the same 800 number for customer service now for eight months. They always been very nice to take my “phone payment” or “check by phone” for “free”. Now all of a sudden (I was still over the limit until the payment I made tonight), I get connected to a different CS department and “well, there is a $12 fee that will be applied to your next statement”. Excuse me??? When they thought I was a deadbeat and couldn’t pay, they took my payments for free. Now that I’m actually paying lots and lots every month, I can give them just $12 more? No way!

Just from the records I can see from the past four years, I have given these people over $18,000! Let me give that the respect it deserves: eighteen thousand dollars over four years. This is of course nearly all interest fees and other charges. Very little if any went to the principal. That is the danger of credit card companies; they will let you pay very small payments, that barely cover the accrued interest. A few months ago, the “minimum payment” (discounting the “pay over limit now” amount) didn’t even cover the finance charges and other fees! In other words, my balance would have increased if I just paid the minimums!

Today’s credit cards are evil. The credit card companies are not looking out for the consumer. And you’re a prime target if you’re in college now. (How many Ole Miss students got whacked with credit cards they can’t afford?) Get out. Get out!