It’s called credit, not free stuff.

Some people are pretty upset about the recent rise in credit card rates.  I can understand how this would be a major drain on finances at a time when money is tight.  I understand it as a legitimate worry.  Still, I can’t help feeling that it’s a situation that you bring on yourself.  True, the credit card companies make it really easy to slip into debt with them.  But that’s exactly what it is – debt.  You owe them money.  They have the right to charge you interest.  And they have the right to change those rates, or sell that debt, to someone else.

Personally part of my view of the situation may be driven by the fact that I don’t pay credit card interest.  I don’t let my credit card balance accrue.  I use credit cards, but at the end of the month, I pay what I owe.  No interest charge.  Why do I use credit cards then?  Convenience.  Perks.  Cashback bonuses or airline miles or other things that accrue to my advantage because that credit card company wants you to spend.  They earn money through your debt’s interest.  That’s how it works.

But you don’t have to take part in the system.  Debit cards are now just as easy to use as credit cards.  The money can come directly from your bank account with no interfereing rates in between.  Or, you could actually budget your paycheck.  You know, don’t spend money you don’t have.

I don’t mean to come down hard on anyone.  Many of us have basic needs we are struggling to meet.  Many of us feel that big business and rich concerns have overshadowed our own freedoms.  I know it’s hard, very hard at the moment.  But I look at other places, or at other less fortunate times in this country, and I see plenty of people who made do with less.  And that makes me question exactly what it is we’re complaining about.