Let’s talk a bit about the evils of credit cards.
First of all, it seems like no matter what the limit is, you reach it within 3 months. The minimum payments don’t seem to be enough to cover the interest, which leads to cascading overlimit charges that further put you overlimit. Then, once you finally battle it back so that it’s just hovering under the limit, they hit you with the $59.99 “credit protector.” If by “credit protector” you mean “overlimit charge generator.” The credit protector charge never seems to kick in unless it’s perfectly timed to put you over your limit once again.
The credit card companies know this. It’s not enough for them to earn 21% on your debt. They want an additional $30 for overlimits every month. Then when you mail your check 15 days early, they wait to open it until it’s past due, so they can hit you with yet another charge, AND they can bump your rate up to 67.5%.
It seem so innocent. Charge your 3 grand, then just pay $75 a month in perpetuity. You never reduce the balance, and you still have to pay your $75 a month. But heck, you’ve got the plasma screen. Of course, the plasma will lose its charge LONG before you finish paying it off.
Credit cards are evil. I have a debit card, and a credit card. The credit card is for freak magnetic swipe incidents when my debit card won’t work. Other than that, I don’t buy it if I don’t have the money in checking. I used to be a credit card, unsecured loan, debt up-to-my-eyeballs consumer. Many times I was buying things I had to buy, but many other times it was just for the heck of it.
The only good thing about debt is increasing your credit rating, and that only matters if you’re buying a house. So here’s the lesson. Get some credit cards. Buy your groceries on them, then pay them off as soon as the bill comes. After one year, go get your home loan. The day you close, cancel out your credit cards and never apply for another one.
That’s the only way you can use credit cards to your advantage.