Dec 1, 2008

The following is not directed at loyal Merle Wayne Sneed readers, who are too smart to fall for the lure of easy credit. Perhaps it is the financial meltdown or maybe the job losses, but it seems to me that I'm hearing more and more of the debt counseling companies advertising on the radio. You know, the ones who know the "secrets that the credit card companies don't want you to know about?" First thing is, that if you are looking to get out of paying your credit card bills, you are stealing from people who lent you money. Since credit card companies are mostly predatory snakes, they have some of it coming, but you still owe them money and you should pay if you can, not blow them off. Secondly, there are no "secret programs". Think about this. If you are current on your credit cards, what incentive would the companies have to give you any kind of break? None. What these companies do is "counsel" you to stop paying your bills. Once the credit card company thinks you aren't going to pay them, they are more flexible in their terms. But make no mistake, this will ruin your credit and you will pay these guys a hefty fee for their service. Pretty much the only company that is on the up and up is Consumer Credit Counseling Services. They will structure a plan that lets you get some relief from rates and fees, while structuring a plan to let you repay what you owe. Should there be a nuclear war, all that will survive are cockroaches and hucksters. My sympathies to the cockroaches. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I used CCCS once and it (litterally) saved my life.

Anonymous said...

...but it didn't teach me to spell. I meant "literally."

Annie Ha said...

Even CCCS brings down your score... damned algorithms!

Megan said...

CCCS also restricts your ability to borrow more. Um, naturally...

Kurt said...

I've never carried a credit card debt. The interest rate is too high.

Squirrel said...

I've been reading about the depression of 1893 --people never learn that overextending is dangerous, do they?

I've owned 4 new cars in my life, and never ever had a car payment. I just spent the last decade putting money aside for a new car and by March or April I should just have enough. Yes there are people who tell me to just buy a car and pay the payments, because cars are important status symbols to them.
I just want reliable transport and no monthly payments. Dealers are always shocked when you buy a car outright, they try to talk you into financing it.

bella rum said...

We were very young and had just received our first credit card. We couldn't wait to use it. We stopped to get gas. When we handed the old, snaggle toothed man who filled the tank our card, he leaned his head in the window and said, "I'm gonna give you some free advice kids. This thing here is like a cancer. If you're not real careful, it's gonna eat at you for the rest of your life."

This is advice I've repeated many times, always giving the old man credit. No pun intended.

tut-tut said...

We are down to one credit card, which we rarely use. But my phone rings every day, with recorded messages on the other end, advising me that whoever it is can get me out of credit card debt.

Steve said...

I have just one credit card, which I pay off every month. My friends think I'm crazy.

Some people do legitimately need credit counseling (like my friends!) but you're right -- they need to seek out a reputable counselor and CCCS is a good place to start. It may be a matter of paying more here and less there and prioritizing debts, rather than simply not paying them.