Monday, September 26, 2005

A Sucker Born Every Minute

My rackets are run on strictly American lines and they’re going to stay that way.
Al Capone (1899–1947), U.S. gangster

They surely have Mr. Capone. I received this offer from MBNA, the credit card company, in the mail telling me I qualified for a CleanSweep(R) line of credit. I can receive up to $50,000 and pay a mere $783 a month for 84 months (7 years). The interest rate for this bag of cash is 6.99% (it’s similar to the oil companies charging $3.05.9/10). However, should I fall on hard times and miss a payment, my reasonable 6.99% escalates to earth shattering 27.99%, which would increase the $783 a month payment to more than $1,000 a month when one can least afford to pay it, thus multiplying one's problems.

How convenient that this offer should arrive just prior to the new bankruptcy rules that kick in a just a few short days. No longer can one erase debts and start, unless you have fallen below the poverty level.

At one time, the Bonanno or Genovese families only did this type of predatory loan sharking; just another example of government looking out for its citizens against corporate greed.


TC Byrd said...

This country is increasingly built on a house of (credit) cards, and one day the house will fold.

In addition to all of this loansharking, it is increasingly common that employers will not hire based on credit records. I have declared bankruptsy in the past, and now I carry no credit cards. In short, my credit is crap. I dispair of ever finding a better job, though I have a Master's Degree. My current employer is a bank (I dunno how I passed the credit review, except I am the lowest of the low as far as jobs go), and they will "counsel" you of if you have an account with them and bounce a check. Two checks bounced with them during your employment, and you're fired. Needless to say, I do not have an account with them.

/end rant. Thanks for the place to vent.

Cat Walker said...

Ah yes, MBNA. The company that changes your payment date every month so that you are guarenteed to pay late. At first we thought it was "date creep." You know...Friday the 19th becomes Monday the 21th when months roll over and dates changed. Except suddenly our 24th payment date became the 19th, resulting a late payment (because our computer is set to remind us of payment dates). Then we took a home equity loan to pay it off, and MBNA claimed ot have never received the $13,000 check...and proceeded to charge us $800 in monthly and late fees for a bill our bank swore it paid. But because MBNA "never got the check" thebank had to stop payment, cut a new one...and we ended up paying montly payments and late fees. Yet, even though we supposedly paid extra monthly fees, we still owed $6 after the original $13,000 (plus our additional payments) was paid off?

Get a debit card with credit card power from your local bank. Have two accounts so you can transfer funds from your regular account to your "credit card account" when needed, so you don't have to worry about someone stealing all your money from your debit card account if something goes wrong.

The Misanthrope said...

MBNA and Capital One and bad and Discover is no bargain. Actually, they are all rotten and deserve to be put out of business.