Are you being pandered to by personal finance bloggers? Do you bounce from one personal finance blog to another looking for daily validation of your “my debt is not my fault – it’s all the credit card company’s/government’s/lawyers/’fat cat’ banker’s fault” viewpoint? Is your RSS feed reader full of posts that cater to your longing for feeling financially responsible without actually being financially responsible?
This may be uncomfortable but it’s time for your credit card debt intervention. There are three words that you should know about your credit card debt that could very well change your entire outlook on your debt. These three words are not always easy to swallow but as they say, “the truth hurts”. Ready for it? Here are the three words that are true about your credit card debt: it’s your fault.
I hate to be the one to break it to you but it’s true: it’s your fault if you are in credit card debt (OK, I don’t really hate to break it to you because I would hope that someone would be able to tell me the truth even if it is unpopular to do so and I didn’t want to hear it at the time).
Who is NOT to Blame for Your Credit Card Debt
Your credit card debt is not the credit card company’s fault.
Your credit card debt is not the government’s fault.
Your credit card debt is not the “fat cat” banker’s fault.
Your credit card debt is not your parent’s fault.
Your credit card debt is not your credit card’s fault.
Your credit card debt is not Obama’s fault.
Your credit card debt is not “the system’s” fault.
YOUR credit card debt is YOUR fault.
I Hear a Sucking Sound
Are personal finance bloggers sucking up to you because they are afraid to tell you the truth? It’s quite fashionable to blame credit card debt on the evil credit card companies. Who are they to dare to charge us fees and interest – right? Lazy, self indulgent journalism revels in skewering the faceless corporations while salving the conscience of the “spend more than you earn” crowd.
Deception Should be Pointed Out
As I mentioned in an earlier post about usury & interest I absolutely abhor deceptive marketing tactics and dishonesty. I think that any credit card company that makes a habit of lying to customers and using trickery as their modus operandi should be burned to the ground (figuratively and financially and not literally of course).
There are certainly instances where companies (in many different industries) have acted unethically and deserve to shoulder some of the blame for consumer misfortune but those instances are not as likely as much of the kowtowing financial press would have you to believe.
That being said, just because you didn’t bother to read through your cardholder agreement or you were just flat out irresponsible with your money does not mean that you are absolved of the responsibility of having to face the consequences of your actions (i.e. if you make a late payment on your credit card then yes – you should have to pay a higher interest rate and you should get hit with a late payment fee, etc.).
What do YOU Think?
Do you think that there are other factors at play outside of one’s control and that credit card debt is not always the fault of the borrower?
Do you ever get the same sense that I do of being condescended to by a personal finance writer as if we are all just dumb consumers that are not even responsible enough to figure out what words like “due date” and “interest rate” even mean?
Do you think that I am being too hard on borrowers and too easy on lenders or vice versa?
- Credit Cards, Overeating, & the Credit Card “Blame Game”
- First Bank of Delaware Continental Finance Gold MasterCard Credit Card
- First Bank of Delaware Continental Finance Classic MasterCard Credit Card
- Finance Charge
- Daily Words of Wisdom Credit Card
- Should I ever have multiple credit cards?