Monday, February 15, 2010

Debtors And Predators

My credit card bill this month was 10 pages.


I don't mind telling the balance: $189. I wrote a check for the amount ($200, actually. Easier to subtract) and sent it away. No worries. Very simple, actually.

The supposed difficulty most seem to have with paying their credit card balance in full seems to be the reason for the inordinately high number or trees that had to die for my bill to be sent out. When I picked it up out of the mailbox, I was struck but the envelope's thickness and didn't really know what to expect. I wish I would've saved it to go over page by page here but really, 1) I have so many better things to do, and 2) next month's may have even more pages. I guess that's if people fail to grasp the basic concepts of interest advanced in the 10-page bill. So much for the concept of the "predatory" credit card companies. predators don't explain their intentions in such exhausting detail.

On page one of the bill there was this example: my amount ($189), the minimum payment ($15) and how long it would take me with my card's interest rate (Really, I don't know. 17%, maybe) to pay off my amount ($189) by only paying the minimum payment ($15) each month. Grand total: 14 months. It was literally spelled out for me.

When I showed this to Pumpkin, she wondered what a co-worker's bill would look like. Her co-worker has 20k in credit card debt. I asked if it was due to student loans, maybe a car. "Nope, just stuff". 20k worth of stuff. I asked Pumpkin if this co-worker was concerned about this amount and she just shrugged and said "doesn't seem to be". My stomach hurt when I heard the amount, and I don't even know this person. Just like how we can do a nice gesture for a total stranger, then the next minute snap unnecessarily at the one person closest to us, sometimes we care more about helping those of us we don't know than those of us that we do.

I can understand how some people might run up debt, but only if that matter is related to a medical condition. Then again, Pumpkin had surgery 14 months ago that required her to pay $8,000 out of pocket while insurance covered the rest. She makes less than me. She asked her parents for nothing (but would have accepted had they offered), and turned down similar requests for help from me. She arranged with the providers a reasonable payment schedule and everything is now paid off. No debt. Ok, so I guess I don't understand how people can might run up debt. Certainly not 20k on "stuff"

I've got more to say on the matter but I have a 14-page phone bill to look over, so it'll have to wait for another time

1 comment:

Tom said...

I'll drink to that too!