…That they are duping you to becoming delinquent while they play the disciplinarian at the same time. In other words, they are making you into a financially suicidal, indebted nervous wreck.
Let’s begin at the beginning. A bank rep might tell you in the midst of a phone call that you are eligible for a $2K limit credit card. They sweeten the deal with no fees, reward points, and halving your monthly banking package plan. Yes, you know, so you pay half of what you do to get dinged monthly on your debit card, cheques and withdrawals. All at a 19.5% annual interest. “All you have to do is buy coffee to keep the account live,” says the winsome banking rep.
Let me tell you what credit cards mean to banks. It is currently their bedrock of income revenue. It is how they pay for overhead, for their workers, for their parties, for their executives’ third luxury homes. They can’t live without a predictable source of revenue. And your minimal payments, with increasing compounding interest, provide for that. Also, many bankers are greedy despite showing up at “charity” functions and fundraisers.
You see, banks are in it for the profit. They don’t care if you suffer. They do care if you no longer have income, because then neither will they. But they want an army of debt-slaves, or why else would they go into banking? Your interest repayments are always variable too. The rates may technically remain the same, but it is calculated and compounded daily. So, when you ask a rep for the amount of interest you’d be paying that month, well they wouldn’t know. They don’t know how much you’d charge that month. And in the end, they can’t understand why you make stupid decisions, and can’t control your credit. They claim publicly that though they lured…oh, sorry…offered you the card, they’re not responsible for you making stupid and irresponsible decisions. It’s all your fault for being a defective human being. Makes sense right?
Now, if you don’t see what’s wrong with this picture, let me give you my personal understanding with credit debt. Let’s look at the situation behind credit. On our side, to cover the credit limit we agree to take on, we have to have at least that much in cash, and then some, to make sure we don’t go into debt-slavery. In fact, you need to make as much as twice as much of your credit limit to make sure you can survive and not depend on the revolving door of credit debt. With 4K+ every month, why not just use cash debit? Well, with 4K+ you wouldn’t need a credit card unless you also travel and need to book a hotel room. I suppose if you have the cash to travel, and can pay off your credit cards every month, then, all the power to you.
But, you see, the rich are not the only people banks target. They go after the desperate, too. They don’t want you to pay back your credit bill every month in full. They rely on your bouts of depression and compensatory shopping binges or electronics shopping. They depend on your isolation and confusion and loneliness and suggestibility and intellectual fragmentation for making that one extra purchase that sends you flying over your personal credit goals. I’ve been lucky enough to have had a saintly boyfriend who insisted I cut up my card and pay back $200 every month to my bank. It took me a year and my parents matching my last $200 to close that chapter of life. Now, gratefully out of that slavery, I am no longer suicidal or spending nights worrying. But, the damned bank keeps offering me credit cards, with a much higher limit. They entice me with partial discounts on my banking fees. I’d save $60 a year if I sign up for a $10K limit at 19.5% annual interest. Now, they thought this through. They delved into my situation in life, my spending habits, my psychology and my emotions, and my shopping patterns. They know $60 is a drop in the proverbial bucket for which they can claim a daily compounded yearly interest of 19.5% on $10K a year. It’s a no-brainer for them. Only, they think I don’t have a brain either.
Banks exist for a good reason in our economy. Without them, our markets would be a clusterfuck. But they are angling in on the poor. That, to me, is reprehensible. Yes, bankers deserve profit for doing their job. Yes, they need to pay their own business bills. Just don’t do it on the backs of the vulnerable. Don’t go for their jugular just because they no longer have people who care for them. Banks must get their ethics straight and revamp their story, or karma will come to visit them, too. It’s not that far from the top floor to the redundancy pavement. C’mon guys. The banks have our brightest minds and our best workers. They can do much better with their business ethic. They need to, because now we see through them. ~V
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