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Old 01-09-06, 02:00 PM
jim anchower
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Originally Posted by eofelis
I have avoided CC debt like the plague too!

When I was young, just out of high school, I got my first CC from a local bank. The credit limit was $500. I had that card for about 10 yrs. It worked out great, I couldn't rack up any more than the limit. I think I carried a balance on it once or twice, mostly I paid it off every month. I knew that if I wanted to spend more than $500, I may as well pay in cash.

Now I have 2 CC. I usually don't carry them around with me. Only if I am travelling (for emergencies) of if I know I am going to specifically buy something with them. One is a REI Visa. I get cash back towards my REI dividend. REI is one of the few places I like to shop. This CC is from a large bank that has a local branch that I can make the payments on the card at (they have not had any problem with me bringing my bike in, right up to the teller window). I got a late fee once b/c the PO was slow getting my payment to them by mail, so now I pay in person.

I have not had car payments for 10 yrs. My 15yo Subaru still looks and runs well.

My BF got his first CC at 38yrs old. He still has the first vehicle he bought for cash in 1986, but it's not running too well anymore. He rides his bike mostly anyway.

I don't know what my "credit score" is. Nor do I care. I can't think of anything I want bad enough to go into debt for it.

I'm a full-time (non-trad) undergrad student, and I am "poor" enough to get Pell grants and scholarships to pay for all my tuition and most of my living expenses. Life is good. School is fun!
I think credit cards are great: for air miles, bonuses, airlines tickets (safety if out of biz), and buying things on e-bay, or internet purchase.

they provide MUCH more safety and protection than a debit card. but as mentioned above they require delicate delicate handling to balance (no pun intended), the few good things about credit cards versus the bad. kind of like carrying a grenade around for protection, for an unskilled person there's more risk of it blowing up in your face.

i do get my credit reports (not score) every six months, i think it's good to know what's "on file" about you. there's usually always a few innaccurate things.

also speaking of "off the grid", something i've done for the past seven years is own a mailbox at mail boxes etc. it's a $150 a year, but keeps my address stable no matter where i live, and they accept packages for me (i get lots of stuff online). i've moved two times, bought a house, and i keep my mail going there.

it's not for any militant paranoid reason, but just a little buffer between where i live and the outside world. i don't want people and companies to easily find where i live. (actually MBE makes you show proof of location, but i've moved since then).

this book is a fun read, "how to be invisible", which takes it to the extreme - -but for practical everyday things like women protecting their privacy from creepy guys at work (or vice versa), some of the stuff makes a lot of sense. or think of what happened with richard jewell, (falsely accused olympic bomber): should you be involved with something high profile, having the media not be able to locate your place of residence is great benefit. (and we all know how fair the media is)

and another benefit, should you just want to pick up and say move to argentina for a month, you wouldn't have to change your mail. just have them keep it, or forward it

anyway now everyone probably thinks i'm nuts, but oh well
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