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Credit Cards --- Good or Bad?

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    #16
    Re: Credit Cards --- Good or Bad?

    Credit cards are not bad. People who do not know how to use them properly is a problem, but credit cards are not inherently bad . Again, all your stats are averages which I said before is very misleading.

    Again:

    ---Most Americans owe nothing to credit card companies.

    ---Most households that carry balances owe $2,000 or less.

    ---Only about 1 in 20 American households owes $8,000 or more on credit cards.

    *****These figures are from the Federal Reserve's 2001 Survey of Consumer Finances, one of the most comprehensive assessments of what Americans own and owe.

    Only 5% of the people have large credit card balances. I would even argue that most banruptcies are not caused by poor credit card use...most are caused by medical bills (of which many are put on credit cards, but the underlining problem is not misuse of credit cards)

    I would argue the opposite: Overall, credit cards are not bad. On a case by case basis, one could say that credit has been bad for that individual person.

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      #17
      Re: Credit Cards --- Good or Bad?

      I guess I shouldn't have said credit cards are bad. The poor spending habits of people are what causes the problem. Credit cards simply give people access to money they wouldn't otherwise be able to spend.

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        #18
        Re: Credit Cards --- Good or Bad?

        This is an interesting argument. I am not a big fan of credit cards as they have helped me get into debt, but can anyone really live without one in this day and age? I just went on a trip and reserved all my hotel rooms in advance at a big discount, but they required a credit card to hold the rooms. How do you purchase things online without one? Although it may be possible to live without a credit card, I think it would be inconvenient and it some areas would end up costing you money. Does anyone not have any credit cards? What problems do you face?

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          #19
          Re: Credit Cards --- Good or Bad?

          midnight,
          I don't have any - can you believe it? LOL.
          I reserve hotel rooms with my debit card - they've never raised an issue. I pay for online purchases with the same debit card. It's through Wells Fargo. It's accepted anywhere Visa is accepted. I'm yet to run into a problem.

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            #20
            Re: Credit Cards --- Good or Bad?

            I guess I should have been more specific. Can anyone live today without a "plastic card?"

            I don't see a real difference among credit and debit cards. I know debit card is taken out of an account at a bank istead of loaned by a credit card company, you can still get in just as much trouble with them. I had a friend who went over her limit, got charged huge Courtesy Overdraft charges, then had it sent to a collection agency by the bank which charged even more and ruined her credit completely.

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              #21
              Re: Credit Cards --- Good or Bad?

              Oh yeah, the banks will nail you on overdraft charges. I don't really think one could get by without plastic in some form unless you never purchased anything online, never rented a car, never flew anywhere, never stayed in a hotel, and...well the list probably goes on and on.

              I think cash is great for a budgeting tool. Some people really find it helpful to put X dollars into a jar for groceries for the month. This helps them control their spending so they stay within budget. My wife and I tried that but we kept forgetting the money at home, then just using the debit card anyway, then we had to deposit the money from the jar into our bank account. It was a big pain. I thought about just leaving the money in the car in an envelope but that didn't seem to smart...

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