Cash Flow Management and the Credit Card Trap

by | business cash flow management

Businessman under heavy debt burden

Buying with a credit card is an alluring trap invented by our modern financial system. Buying something using a credit card is not bad, IF you have the income to pay the credit card balance in full when the statement arrives, plus all your other bills.

But buying with a credit card because you don’t actually have the money, is simply committing your future earnings to the credit company under the threat of a bad credit rating. That is financial slavery.

Buying with a credit card
when you can’t pay
is financial slavery

Over the past few years, financial experts have helped a lot of people to get out of the credit card trap with debt reduction programs. Helping people do this is not looked on favorably by the credit companies; they lose all that profitable interest. They take counter measures to hook more people back in by offering 0% percent interest for some period of time.

Are they really giving you 0% interest? Only if you can pay off the debt before the time frame is up. What they are counting on is you NOT having the ability to pay it off.

What happens if you can’t pay? Have you ever read the fine print on their “Terms and Conditions” agreement? Most agreements have an attractive interest rate in large print; 9.99% to 12.99% is typical. But, many rates are variable, meaning it is the “attractive” rate PLUS the “prime rate” which is what the banks are charging the credit company. This can add a whopping 6 – 9% on top of that attractive interest rate.

Read further and you’ll see the rest of the trap. If you miss a payment or are late, they have the right to increase the interest rate to well over 30%. PLUS, they get to add an additional $25 – $39 late fee. On a $1,000 balance, that is $52 – $66 in monthly interest and fees you must pay before you ever get to pay the first dollar of the price of the item you charged.

What else do the credit card companies have in their arsenal of weapons to make sure they make money from you? First is that enticing “minimum payment” they offer which is mostly interest, and keeps you paying for whatever you bought for about 20 years. Second, they are now using invitations to get cash back from retailers or earn airline miles for every dollar you spend.

Who pays for that? You do. The credit companies charge the stores for the cash they give you back, and the stores raise the price you pay. Credit card companies pay a tiny amount up front for each airline mile that they “give” you for every $1 you spend. I’ll never forget when on January 1, 2007 in an NBC TV news interview, the president of a major airline stated that it costs the airline industry $10 to fly you somewhere when you have earned 25,000 air miles to take a flight.

Who actually benefits financially if you charge up your credit cards to earn a “free” flight? It does not take a genius to see that trap dressed up to look like a big benefit to you.

I got sucked into the credit card trap before I figured out their game and got out of it for good. Did you? What’s the offer you fell for?

p.s. – Paying off credit card debt can be done while paying current bills AND stashing some cash away for emergencies and expansion. To learn more about how to reduce or eliminate your debt read Unleash Your Cash Flow Mojo – available on Amazon and Smashwords