Monday, February 14, 2005

Paying more, and enjoying it less

I didn’t bother to sign up for the “do not call” list because I always screen my calls, and I have nothing against the folks who earn their living making “those” calls…and, truth be known, I doubt that any kind of list would serve to put a stop to them anyway. The message on my answering machine begins with “telemarketers please put me on your do not call list”, but they know I don’t have a legal leg to stand on so they keep right on calling…and leaving the same old message between ten and thirty times a week. “Because you make your mortgage payment on time, we can help you refinance at a lower interest rate that will save you up to $300 a month.”

It sounds really good on the surface, but the underlying facts are going to cost me a lot of up-front money for a fixed rate (probably folded back into the contract so they can say no money up front), or they want to push those damn variable APRs which can really get your interest rate down…until the prime rate begins to go up.

The credit card companies have had such good response to their introductory rates (which last from a few months up to a year) that the mortgage lenders are now using the same type of come-on. You get a fixed rate for a bunch of months, and then you get hit with the variable.

The bottom line for consumers is always going to take a beating somewhere down the road. The cards are stacked against us, and the Government we depend on to protect our interests is about to put us in the hands-on-ankles position one more time.

The following excerpt is from

Morally Bankrupt

The United States credit card industry rakes in $2.5 billion a month in profits - largely in fees and interest charged to the American consumer. But the industry’s thirst for additional profits is insatiable. The industry is pushing for a bill that would deny bankruptcy relief to “people with low or moderate incomes who have fallen on hard times because of illness, job loss or divorce.” Meanwhile, the bill does nothing to stop “abusive lending practices by credit card companies.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So many people are going bankrupt, because it is easy to obtain credit- and then they don't pay because the Bankruptcy option has been so easy to do.... people who have went bankrupt now are looking at other ways to get something now and pay for it later- at what expense? Now these 'Payday loans'(and similar businesses) are charging huge fees to people who already cannot afford to pay them, and the bill keeps getting bigger because each week they are forced to get another payday loan to make it to the next week, because this weeks paycheck goes to pay for last weeks payday loans. Where does it end?
Look at this huge influx of Dollar Trees, Payday loans, etc.