Just so you know the credit card game is anything but a game. Oh, how I wish that spiraling debt was more fun than it actually is. No, no…debt is a soul crushing endeavor that one often feels they must go out and learn on their own despite all the warnings from birth. I’m not exagerrating, I had one parent that was a prime example of what not to do with credit cards, and then another parent that spent years preaching to me not to get out of control with them. Fast forward several years later and I found myself with half a dozen cards with ever increasing balances on each one. It was to the point that I need to run a credit report to figure out how many I even had open.
Credit card companies are required by law to disclose a lot more now than they used to. For instance, they have to let you know just how long it will take you to pay off your balance, and how much interest you actually pay, if you continue to make only the minimum payment. I have to admit that it is quite eye opening, and perhaps if they had they on every credit card bill I received in the past then I might have changed my ways much sooner. Also, consider the multiple card offers you receive in the mail each and every day, and if that wasn’t enough we get attacked with them via email as well. The average person can’t always see past the schemes and gimmicks, instead it just looks like easy money and reward points. Believe me, if the card companies weren’t profiting like crazy they wouldn’t be sending out a billion offers each day and paying out reward points to people. Another, chink in the armor is the zero interest card. Sounds like a great idea, but this was what perpetuated my debt issues for so long. I often balance transferred from one high interest card to another, simply because the card was interest free for a fixed period of time. Unfortunately, I often paid a transaction fee that I spend most of the grace period paying off, and then did little to make a dent in the actual balance.
The point of this article is that you don’t need to play the game to learn the rules! I’m a living example of someone who played the game for far too many years and actually finished it… too often many people never find the light at the end of the tunnel. Learn from my mistakes, you don’t necessarily have to make your own.