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Old 07-04-08, 05:20 AM   #1
patentcad
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Where do you stand on credit card debt?

Informal survey inspired by this article:

http://biz.yahoo.com/cnbc/080702/252...?.&.pf=banking

Completely voluntary of course. Do you carry credit card debt? How much? I think it's a looming fiscal issue for this nation that could potentially rival the mortgage crisis.

I'm 50 years old, carried credit card debt from age 20 to my early 40's. It never got too out of control, and eventually I got it through my thick skull to not carry that burden. Today we don't have balances on credit cards and essentially if we can't pay for it at the end of the month, we don't buy it. Recently I ran up $5K on a Visa card for a couple of purchase, but I knew I'd pay it off within 90 days. But it took me a very long time in my life to get to that point. Over time I figured it out, but like many, I was incredibly dense about this. I won't carry credit card debt again if I can possibly avoid it. The scariest thing I see going on is credit card firms giving cards to college students without jobs, and I think it's because they know the parents will bail out the kids half the time. That's ridiculous.

Frankly, the banking industry seems rather out of control on several fronts. Their lobby owns Congress.
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Old 07-04-08, 05:28 AM   #2
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I ave a credit card with a 1,200 limit that I've never bothered to get increased because aside from when I used it to pay my tuition I've never needed anything near my limit. I hate the idea of carrying debt on my CC so if I use it I pay it off as soon as I get home, or as soon as it shows up in my online banking.
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Old 07-04-08, 05:35 AM   #3
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Zero, zip, zilch, nada... For over 13 years.
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Old 07-04-08, 05:36 AM   #4
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Credit cards are evil... but a nescessary evil in this day and age. I'm currently clawing my way out from some stupid mistakes with CCs.

They can be great if you use them right, but unfortunately in this country we don't teach young adults about them. Some kind of real money mangement course should be mandatory in high school, imo
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Old 07-04-08, 05:41 AM   #5
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I carried a balance in college, too much for the time, but paid it off in about a year after getting my job. Since then, I've never carried a balance for longer than two months. Well, we did buy a washer/dryer once and took a year to pay it off--but it was on a 1-year interest free Sears card.
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Old 07-04-08, 05:43 AM   #6
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$0

I graduated college with some debt and became as the commercials say " 'good' people with bad credit."
I worked at a place where all communication was done via Motorola radios. Everyone in the company could hear messages like "Citibank Visa called for you" (idiot secretary) so I vowed "never again", cut up my cards, and worked anywhere from 60-80 hour weeks for three years to pay off my debts.

I paid "cash on the barrelhead" for everything for a decade before breaking down and getting a new visa (travel, mail/internet purchases) but never carry a balance. Having a card is also vital to your credit score.
Now my credit rating is "better than 99.48% of the U.S. population."

I'm glad I sucked it up when I was young enough to stand the long work hours. I wouldn't want to do it today.
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Old 07-04-08, 05:59 AM   #7
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I dont use credit cards anymore since I was overdoing it. Ive scheduled a payment system
to get them all paid off in 3 years. I don't feel too bad though- I started my business using
that credit.
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Old 07-04-08, 06:00 AM   #8
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I am completely, 100 percent debt free and car free and much happier because of it
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Old 07-04-08, 06:38 AM   #9
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Neither my wife or I have any any credit card debit, nor have we ever. In fact, we are completely debt free.
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Old 07-04-08, 06:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonSnow View Post
Credit cards are evil... but a nescessary evil in this day and age. I'm currently clawing my way out from some stupid mistakes with CCs.

They can be great if you use them right, but unfortunately in this country we don't teach young adults about them. Some kind of real money mangement course should be mandatory in high school, imo
+1 and then some

I was very good with cards at first. I always paid them off in full every month, maybe went over one month on occasion.

When I was 25 I was going back to school and i knew I'd be low on cash so I made sure everything was paid off to zero. The program I was in was 30 miles away so when my old car fell apart halfway through the first semester I had to buy a new car. While paying that off throughout school on a PT salary, I was tempted by all the luscious credit card offers for college students (not realizing back then what a target demographic I was).

I've made progress occasionally but I've yet to fully dig myself out of that hole nearly 20 years later.
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Old 07-04-08, 06:52 AM   #11
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I've never carried a balance in my life and never will.

Life is just 10 times easier if you're not paying a huge chunk of money before you get to see dollar one of your paycheck.

If you absolutely must borrow, you should still pay off CC bills in full because this is very expensive credit. It's much better to get a loan from a bank or just about any other source.
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Old 07-04-08, 07:16 AM   #12
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I have not had a regular balance for about a year.

I only have a balance right now due to relocation for work.

As soon as I get my reimbursement, bye bye.
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Old 07-04-08, 07:27 AM   #13
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Our line of credit is well... awful. Trying to fix it but seems to just get worse.
I think it may be time to just close the dang thing. If you don't have money and it is not an emergency don't charge anything unless it will be paid off with the next statement. Now if I would follow my own advice.
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Old 07-04-08, 07:30 AM   #14
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$0 on my Discover card
$0 on my Visa....oh, wait...I have a couple hundred on there from paying my car insurance recently. I'll pay it off the next bill they send.

I have an REI Visa, I like the dividend at the end of the year. It's a US Bank Visa and I can go right downtown and pay it in person at US Bank and get a receipt for my payment. They don't even mind if I take my bike into the lobby with me

I don't even know what the rates or credit limits are on my cards. I never carry a balance or charge a lot at a time.

When I got out of high school back in the 1980s and got my first credit card from a local bank, they gave me a $500 credit limit. I had that card for 10 years of so with that $500 limit. I was great, I understood the concept of it and I never got into trouble because I couldn't use the card much. I did carry a balance on it for a short time once when money was scarce.

I'm totally debt free otherwise also, and I've been a full-time student since 2001. Grants and scholarships have payed for my tuition and some living expenses. I have bought a few bikes and a car during this time, always paying cash (or CC payed off right away).

We are starting to wonder if we should buy a house or condo, but the thought of having that much debt has me spooked.
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Old 07-04-08, 07:47 AM   #15
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Only debt I've got is my mortgage. I have a credit card with some kind of ridiculous limit (about $25k, I think), but it almost never has more than a couple hundred bucks on it. It gets used for online purchases and travel purchases, mostly. I never carry a balance from one month to the next. I just hate paying interest on those things.
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Old 07-04-08, 08:04 AM   #16
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I have credit cards, and use them a lot. But I pay them off right away...often even before being billed.
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Old 07-04-08, 08:06 AM   #17
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I've never had credit card debt. I've never had a credit card. No desire, no need. Easy.
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Old 07-04-08, 08:16 AM   #18
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$128.93
I have all three major cards. Maybe once a year I'll let the balance ride longer than 30 days.
I have too much crap from work that can only be sourced online.
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Old 07-04-08, 08:20 AM   #19
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I have a $50K limit between Visa and Amex, and carry a huge balance. It's average use is <$50.00 a month and I pay it off monthly.
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Old 07-04-08, 08:25 AM   #20
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No c/c debt, but it's a very useful tool at times.
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Old 07-04-08, 08:25 AM   #21
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never carried a balance once. if i can not afford it i do not buy it.

i do use credit cards for online purchases and for travel.
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Old 07-04-08, 09:20 AM   #22
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I was very lucky to have learned the lesson early, in not too hard a way.

In college, I was responsible for paying for my car insurance, gas, fun money, books, and registration fees (my parents were very generous and paid for my tuition and room/board, as long as I kept my grades up). The first year or so, it went fine, then I found each following year, the money I made during the summer lasted less and less, so that I'd go into each summer with some CC debt, which I'd pay off, etc..

Well by the end of my senior year, I had about $3k in CC debt. It took me a good year to pay all this down (and I had to greatly limit my use of "fun money" to do this), and since then, I've never carried a balance. Well, I take that back- for some large purchases, if there is a 18-month+ no-interest financing, I'll take that, but 1) I have enough to pay it off at any time and 2) make sure the entire purchase is 100% paid off about a month before the end of the interest-free period.

Mostly the reason I use CCs is getting money back, the protection most CCs offer when doing online purchases, and the extended warranties some CCs give on larger purchases. Basically, if a CC doesnt have something to offer me, I don't use them. And I definitely dont use them to spend above (or anywhere near) my means.
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Old 07-04-08, 10:37 AM   #23
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I don't know if banking owns Congress or the Fed...and which would be worse.

$0 debt.
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Old 07-04-08, 11:04 AM   #24
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I have two cards with about $30,000 total limit and total balance maybe $500. Always pay them off each month and that's why my credit rating is 817
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Old 07-04-08, 11:09 AM   #25
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I'm 21yrs old and do not carry credit card debt from month to month. I have 2 CC's, and I've had my credit limit increase from $500 (when I was in high school at 17yrs old) to its current $6500 on each card. I make maybe $3-4000/yr as a full-time college student (and all of it goes to rent).

Scary that they "trust" me not to spend 2-4x my yearly income...

Last year my credit score was 750, and my credit limit was $4000. My score has to be at least 800 by now.
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