(Note: I’ll preface this by letting you know that a credit card is the devil.)
Today, while using a credit card that I usually use, that I’ve had for over 10 years, which has a limit over $20,000, to pay an important bill, I was declined.
What? Declined? How can that be? Here’s how. My credit card company (AT&T Universal Card), in their infinite wisdom, made an executive decision to tighten my credit line to the balance on my account. In a time when Cash for structured settlements
is king, and required to continue moving the parts of the machine that allow me to make an income, the last thing you want to have happen is this, as it completely eliminates your cashflow. When I asked them why, they told me they ran a check on my credit report. Why would they do that? I don’t believe they did it. I think they’re just telling us that and the real story is that they’re scared to death that they’re too exposed. That’s fine and dandy and all, and they have every right to do so, but let’s be reasonable here! No letter, no phone call, no notification at all. Ask forgiveness instead of permission right? Get this…I was paying my AT&T phone bill with my AT&T credit card!
As a 100% commissioned sales person, my income depends on the closing of the next sale. Expenses that have a return on the investment, such as placing sign posts, sending out cards, subscriptions to various marketing services, and oh yeah, my monthly cost to the brokerage, are typically floated on my “business line of credit,” or, the credit card that I choose to use to fund my operations. Whether it be a small monthly fee to DocuSign, or my brokerage fee, the credit card is a critical cashflow tool that makes it much easier to manage my monthly expenses. One payment at the end of the month, easy to track, no problem.
Closing a sale results in me paying off the balance in its entirety at which point I realize my profits and recover my operating cash. Due to the recent (pardon my french) banking bullshit that we the little guy have been forced to feel through the disgusting practices of some extremely greedy people at the top, many of us are no longer able to pay the very bills that we need to pay in order to continue making money. How can a credit card company cut off my purchasing power…the very line of cashflow that I need to generate income? Well, they can and they do. But that’s just one part of the story. The interest rates that credit card companies charge are yet another piece of this idiotic puzzle.
Interest Rates are Criminal
After a long phone call, I was able to get my rate reduced from a criminal 29.99% to 12%. Others have not been so successful. One colleague recently called the credit card company to have her rate reduced and instead, they eliminated 90% of her purchasing power. They dropped her from $20,000 to $2,000, and didn’t even giver her a rate reduction. I was rather shocked to find that I had been increased to a criminal rate. I’m tempted to never pay them back at all, but that would not be the right thing to do.
I’m not sure how I managed to get the rate reduced, other than being good at sweet talking the operator, but I did get it reduced, and thankfully, they also went back 6 months and credited me the difference of 29.99% and 12% because I had overpaid unjustly. Missing a payment by one day will screw you so hard your head will spin, and they usually just apologize at you and say there’s nothing we can do. “You’ll have to contact Experian,” they say. “They’ll be able to show you why we made the decision.” No maam, they will not. They will not be able to show me why your credit card company decided to limit my purchasing power. They will not be able to show me why my rate cannot be reduced to retain my future business. All they can do is show me my credit history. They have no idea how to read your mind anymore than I do. I have no idea what your executives were deciding when they made the call to cut off my cashflow.
$1000.00 at 30%
I’ve written about this before, but there’s no doubt that it needs to be known by all who use a credit card (which I will reiterate takes extreme financial discipline, which most people don’t have.)
A card with a balance of $1000.00 usually requires only a minimum payment of $15.00/month. You can buy that new laptop for only $15.00/month right? Not so fast. Let’s assume you pay $25.00/month instead of the minimum of $15.00. At 29.99% annually, you will be paying somewhere around $4300 for that $1000.00 laptop and it will take you 15 years to pay it off. CRIMINAL! If you fall into this trap once, that’s okay, get yourself out as fast as you can. If you fall into it more than once, you’re an idiot.
The real lesson to learn about finances is that when you owe someone money, you become enslaved to them and the freedom to experience life as you were designed to experience it is virtually eliminated. If you can, at all costs, and all interest rates, avoid credit cards entirely.