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59.9 Percent? Americans Are Racking Up Huge Credit Card Balances Once Again And Some Of The Interest Rates Are Absolutely Outrageous!

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Well, it was nice while it lasted.  One of the really good things that came out of the recent economic downturn was that millions of American families decided to get out of debt.  In particular, we had seen a sustained trend of reduced credit card usage in the United States.  It looked like Americans had finally wised up.  But we should have known that Americans would not be willing to tighten their belts forever.  Unfortunately, it appears that getting out of debt is no longer so “trendy”.  In fact, the month of December was the third month in a row in which consumer credit grew in the United States.  Prior to that, consumer credit in the United States had declined for 20 months in a row.  The American people were doing so, so good.  Why did they have to stop?  It appears that the American people have fallen off the wagon and have gotten a taste for credit card debt once again.  This time, however, the credit card companies are back with interest rates that are higher than ever.  In fact, one national credit card company has hundreds of thousands of customers signed up for a card that charges interest rates of up to 59.9%.


You mean there are people that are stupid enough to actually sign up for a credit card that will charge them 59.9% interest?

Unfortunately the answer is yes.

In fact, the top rate was 79.9% before First Premier Bank lowered it.

These cards are targeted at Americans that have a poor credit history, and these days there are a whole lot of those.

A recent story on the website of CNN described how large numbers of U.S. consumers with poor credit are gobbling up credit cards like these.  Unfortunately, many of these consumers are also not smart enough to realize what they are getting into.  The CNN story contained a quote from a woman who was in complete shock when she discovered that her interest rate was going to go up by 50 percentage points….

“I about had a heart attack when I got a disclosure notice saying that my starting rate of 29.9% was going up to 79.9%.”

First Premier Bank has since lowered the top rate on those cards to 59.9%, but that it still completely outrageous.

Not only are the interest rates on those cards super high, but they also charge a whole bunch of fees on those cards as well.  The following are some of the fees that First Premier Bank charges….

*$45 processing fee to open the account

*Annual fee of $30 for the first year

*$45 fee for every subsequent year

*A monthly servicing fee of $6.25

So you would think that nobody in their right mind would ever sign up for such a card, right?


CNN is reporting that almost 700,000 Americans have signed up for the card.


In fact, CNN says that First Premier Bank gets between 200,000 to 300,000 new applications a month for the card, but that they only open about 50,000 new accounts each month.

Are there really this many Americans that are this gullible?

If Americans would just remember the “DBS” rule they would be so much better off.

DBS = Don’t Be Stupid

Do you know how long it would take to pay off a credit card with a 59.9 percent interest rate?

Just a 20 percent interest rate is bad enough.

According to the credit card repayment calculator, if you owe $6000 on a credit card with a 20 percent interest rate and only pay the minimum payment each time, it will take you 54 years to pay off that credit card.

During that time you will pay $26,168 in interest rate charges in addition to the $6000 in principal that you are required to pay back.


The number one piece of financial advice that most of the “financial gurus” give is that you should get out of credit card debt – particularly credit card debt that has a high interest rate.

Unfortunately, 46% of all Americans carry a credit card balance from month to month today.

According to the United States Census Bureau, there are approximately 1.5 billion credit cards in use in the United States.

Of U.S. households that have credit card debt, the average amount owed on credit cards is $15,788.

This is how the bankers enslave us.

We end up paying them 3, 4 or even 5 times as much as we originally borrowed.

Month after month after month we slave away to make them wealthy.

So how do you stop this vicious cycle?

You quit buying stuff that you can’t afford!

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans have never received any formal training on how to manage finances.

Most of us were never taught any of this stuff in school.  Most of us were totally unprepared when the financial predators started preying on us in college.  Most of us got sucked in and spent years and years trapped in credit card debt.

When you carry a balance from month to month you are willingly signing up to become a debt servant to the big banks.  They get rich while you suffer.

The sad thing is that the mainstream media is pointing to increased credit card spending as a sign that the U.S. economy is getting back to normal.

But gigantic mountains of debt is what got us into all of this trouble in the first place.

Average household debt in the United States has now reached a level of 136% of average household income.

In China that figure is only 17%.

Obviously, we have a massive, massive problem with debt in this country.

Cranking the debt spiral back up is not going to cause the economy to recover.

Well, the profits of the big banks might recover, but the rest of us will suffer.

If you want to be financially free, then it is time to pay off your credit card debt and get off the debt payment treadmill for good.

The entire global economy is on the verge of collapse, so now is a great time to renounce consumerism.  Instead, we need to be preparing ourselves and our families for the hard times that are coming.

So what do you all think about the outrageous interest rates that the credit card companies are charging these days?  Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section below….

  • Davidm

    The credit card spending will keep the party going a little longer. People will not have a chance to keep up with these credit card bills. People will default on the debt and then we will have to bail out the banks again. So much for banking reform.

  • Davidm

    700,000 have signed up for the card. They are probably not as much stupid as they are desperate.

  • John

    You didn’t finish one paragraph. A $6000 balance takes 54 years to pay off with 20% interest and only minimum payments. But at 23%, you will literally NEVER pay off the balance, assuming, again, only minimum payments. The interest payments are too high. A good lesson for people….and countries.

  • I decided several years ago that I will never participate in the slave economy again — once I’m totally out. I haven’t used plastic for over 6 years, but am still paying off long ago groceries. ‘They’ tell us that a credit rating is essential to living a fulfilled life. Well you know, it’s not. Really! You can actually live without a credit rating. People need to liberate themselves from consumerist behavior and middleclass standards — not easy — and reject this treadmill.

    These banks are just filthy criminals preying on those who don’t know better. I am amazed that anyone would sign up for this, but there are a lot of innocents’ out there, with hope in their hearts for a repair of their ‘bad credit rating’. They’ve had it drummed into their heads forever that they Must. Have. Good. Credit.

    It’s all about debt and slavery.

  • joedoe

    yes it’s outrageous, I once got into debt to buy a new fancy car 30,000 dollars (wife insisted), then had to work years off to pay off the debt + interest. Realised I was getting hit big time. I learned my lesson from then on. no more borrowing! Luckily I had a decent job back then, so it didn’t cripple me

  • Hank

    You just can’t fix stupid.

  • Stephen

    I paid off my credit card and then snipped it into a thousand pieces. Haven’t looked back since.

  • M Abid

    The only solution for the humanity is to bid Good bye to the Captitalism and go for an interest-free society as envisaged and then implemented by Islam for more than 1200 years. (Unfortunately, there is no running model at the moment since the time capitalism got hold in the Islamic lands with colonialism)

    To save the world from the total economic collapse, only the Economic System of Islam gives a decent and the best solution/ replacement to our today’s Economic problems both for an individual as well as for the society.

  • Yes, Americans are suckers. We bailed out the banks so they can finish raping us. There is moral to this tragic repeating story.

    The moral of is:

    “If you’re tired of being treated like a sucker, stop acting like a lollypop.”

    – Join the Revolution
    Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( )

    We don’t have to live like this anymore. “Spread the Word”

  • Maria

    If this is really true, that the average amount owed on credit cards is $15,788…so what! I am not a fan of credit cards myself, but I see what happens to people. They get sick. The insurance doesn’t cover it all. They pay the doctor bill or the dental bill. It racks up fast. I am not surprised that the average household debt has reached 136% of average household income. It used to be people could afford a doctor’s house call without such a thing as insurance. Now people can barely afford going in for an office visit. Insurance is definitely just another scam.

    If you think I’m going to believe personal debt is what got this country into the fix we’re in now, you’re crazy! If every man, woman and child in this country owed $15,788 (and they don’t)…so what! That’s nothing compared to the trillions our government just keeps stealing from us to give to the banksters and “too big to fails”! We miss a stupid premium on our insurance and we get dropped. We miss a payment on a car or a house and it gets taken away from us…no matter how many years of payments we already made. The bankers make billions in bad loans and they get what…trillions in bailouts! And we get the tax bill for it!

    Who cares what the personal debt is in China!

  • JO

    If your’re not interested in keeping up with the Jones’ then life is easy. Never been in debt, rarely worked hard and had many years of holidays all over the world.

    Debt = slavery and insecurity.

    Cash = freedom and security.

    Always has, always will.

    Life is easy, wouldn’t be dead for quids.

  • Maria

    All of us out here already figured out what a rip off credit cards are. 20% 30% 60% It went way past ridiculous a long time ago.

    People are losing their jobs. Many of them have families relying on them for food, shelter, clothing…. Faced with hunger, homelessness or just needing a simple pair of warm boots…that rip off starts to look pretty darn good…it buys a little more time. The hole gets a lot deeper, but at this point the hole doesn’t matter. Just a little more time to hold the dream together one more day before the nightmare begins.

  • Johnson

    Cover Story
    February 2, 2011

    The Youth Unemployment Bomb
    From Cairo to London to Brooklyn, too many young people are jobless and disaffected. Inside the global effort to put the next generation to work

  • yer momz

    wooHOO dEbT is teH awesomEEZ!!!!

  • yer momz

    debt, debt, and more debt! we loves the debtz!!!!!

    _ _ _
    __| | ___| |__ | |_
    / _` |/ _ \ ‘_ \| __|
    | (_| | __/ |_) | |_
    \__,_|\___|_.__/ \__|

  • What a circus America has become!

    The people who are applying for these cards are likely never even considering paying a cent. They are probably people who are one step away from homelessness who are applying for the card in order to buy as many necessities as possible before the bank freezes their accounts.

    Just another case of the credit card mafia gambling away pseudo dollars in the hope that they will be able to collect principle + interest + fees from all of those consumer gamblers who will not be able to flee the country to avoid paying the exorbitant debt in the future.


  • OldPhart

    The credit ratings that are used for credit cards and other loans are the same credit ratings that said that investments were AAA when they were, in reality, FFF (doesen’t exist, but it means this investment is a guaranteed loser so don’t invest.)

    Credit ratings no longer mean ANYTHING, so who cares? Fools.

    The best thing aobut credit cards? They are UNSECURED DEBT. That means if you default, there is nothing to repossess. You only have to endure a couple zillion phone calls from slimeball banks and collection agencies that can’t do a damned thing to you or your finances. The only nasty thing available to them is a ding on your worthless credit rating. Big dippity doo.

    I renounced my credit card two years ago, walked away from my $600 balance when they hiked the rate to 30% and will never pay them.

    Do even better than me, grab every card you can, charge to the max and ignore payment requests. The quicker the banks crash, the quicker we can get through the resulting depression and re-establish a real economy.

    Play thier games, but set your own rules. Get your money back from the thieving banks.

  • aggie

    joedoe would have done better to find a new wife as well.

  • Just Observing

    Bankers don’t “enslave” people…people sign up for it.

    The clear evidence is in the numbers above….assuming they are true.

    Personally, I find it hard to believe 700,000 people would pay $45 bucks to sign up for a raping when there are so many cards out there that charge nothing, but I guess it’s possible.

  • BJ99-MD

    Also, our local news hypes up “buy, spend, buy, spend.” Over the holidays, the media made it seem like everybody was spending big for Christmas and if you didn’t, something was wrong with you.

  • Michael2

    The author makes the following points, “The American people were doing so, so good. Why did they have to stop?” “Are there really this many Americans that are this gullible?” And then adds, DBS = Don’t Be Stupid.

    I am wondering why it is fashionable to bash and ridicule Americans these days. Why the negative adjectives, like gullible and stupid to describe Americans? It seems like kicking Americans while they are down is a new international sport. Where is the empathy and compassion for other citizens?

    Rather than being gullible and stupid, I wonder if desperate would better describe why Americans are jumping into the usury quick sand, like so many lemmings going over a cliff. Put people in tough or desperate circumstances, they will do desperate things like can be seen increasingly in the news every day. For instance, just today in the news an older aged guy robbed a convenience store, apologizing all the while and saying he needed the money to feed his kids and pay rent. The best description I read of what we see occurring has been to call these crimes “poverty crimes”.

    Maybe Americans are just saying to hell with it and getting their share of the pie, while the getting is good, and doing it by any means necessary like some politicians, all robber baron bankers and the Wall Street gangsters. If you can’t beat the criminal empire, join them, I guess! Americans see corporate gangsters on a regular basis get away Scott-free or with slaps on the wrists for massive swindles. So there is no shortage of bad role models in high places for a desperate American to say the hell with it, I’ll be like them and go for broke!

    There is historic economic and criminal law injustice afoot in America. And it is causing crime in areas of society where it is not usually seen. An average person can be sentenced to life for stealing a carton of cigarettes because of three strikes laws. But a white collar criminal can steal millions, these days billions of dollars, leaving millions of people penniless, with no pension, homeless and with no recourse and see little or no time in jail. Why are not more people pointing out that corporate America has lost its moral compass? Why are usury and burying people in debt normal business practice, when it was once crime? Why do those who prey on the weak and vulnerable get bailed out, given bonuses and other golden parachute “entitlements” when their schemes fail? Why are the bailouts paid for by taxing hard working Americans? This essentially is allowing corporate parasites to live off of the sweat on the brows and off the backs of average people. Why do the shoulders and backs of little people have to carry the load for the wealthiest people in the world? There is so much bitterness and contempt for government and corporate America in the air in America, that when it explodes and it will, worrying about “stupid, gullible people” with credit card debt will be a long gone concern.

    Kicking a caged dog is funny until the poor wretch escapes and takes after its tormentors.

    Likewise, blaming and ridiculing average Americans for the current state of affairs is an easy out until the little people loose their minds, enraged and demand justice. History, I think, will one day be written by the victims, not the victors, then we shall see who gets the blame.

  • Sirena

    I think people relaxed and went shopping again because the talking heads on TV keep insisting that our economy is in recovery, impying that in no time we’ll be back to good old times of 2005. Right.
    Most people were never taught the skill of critical thinking, so they believe everything they hear from MSM.

  • Mark Payne

    I thought President Obama stopped this predatory lending with the credit card reform legislation he insisted on and made such a show of?

  • WAM

    So if the “desperate” and uninformed sign up for a card and rack up the balance, then pay the minimum on it and ultimately default, who is it that is really being taken? Two hints-not the banks and not the idiots charging stuff they can’t afford. Why not do it if you will only have to pay a fraction of the original asking price?

    Sad times have come to America and it’s caused by an apathetic populace and a criminal government.

  • Kevin


    Your wife insisted that you overspend? Say it isn’t so Joe.

    My parents were depression kids and WW2 adults. Poverty taught them a lesson about debt that was passed on to my generation. Unfortunately we wanted to make life easy (too easy) for the next generation and debt became acceptable for the “live for today” generation. Seeing 20 somethings buying homes that a Physician would have been envious of 40 years ago with nothing down that cost six times their family income was a recipe for disaster. What is funny is they believe they “deserve it” just because they work hard, math be dammed.

    Things will come full cycle.

  • Back in 2002 we liquidated everything and exchanged it for $137,000 worth of physical silver at approx. $4 per troy ounce. You do the math. Enough said.

  • flubadub

    Did First Premier set the rate at 59.9% because they were afraid that consumers would see 60% as too high?

    Seriously, This will turn out to be similar to underwater homebuyers stoping mortgage payments for the house that’s worth less than they owe on it. A lot of these low credit score 59% interest payers will max out their cards and throw the bill in the trash each month. The thinking : “What are you gonna’ do mess up my already terrible credit? Who is the dumbass now First Premier?”

    Unfortunately, those who continue paying those bills will more than make up for the bank’s losses and it’s all part of a well calculated business model. Losses might even be insured at AIG!

  • Jimmy

    Why use credit cards at all for that matter? The whole thing is a sham.

  • I sense more bankruptcies, more debt piling up. Most of the transactions on those cards I am sure are going to buy Chinese made goods. Sounds like the last shove we needed to get the country into a sinking spiral. I say the sooner the better. Slow deaths suck. I am prepared, food, tools, off grid power, it’s going to get ugly.

  • Gary2

    Michael-I know folks who work in the payday loan industry. They have rates as high as 1164% and most rates are 400-600%. I have seen these loan documents myself as I did not believe them. It is true.

  • impeachRonPaul

    The rich are expanding. Ferrari sales are up. Art sales are above previous hiigs. The republicans have handed them our checkbook. They added a trillion in debt to FINANCE tax breaks to millionaires. How long does it take to pay back a trillion dollars of debt? Republicans only care about helping the rich and getting rid of the middle class!

  • Gary2

    I say people need to get multiple cards, live high on the hog and then default and declare bankruptcy. The issuers should not be so dumb as to give you a card. To bad so sad for them.
    Screw the banks.

  • the realist

    Don’t forget about the enormous amount of people who are taking advantage of the ability to file for bankruptcy. Who cares about a 59% interest rate on a card that is going to be dismissed anyway, right? Many are also taking advantage of this economy and administrative policies to buy new, less expensive homes on the same street and then letting their current home go in to foreclosure. This economical shell game is only costing us tax payers more and more due to poorly executed progressive policies; whether Dem or Rep. When the tax base gets thinner, more money is pumped in to the economy….well you see where this is going. Michael has done an excellent job on these topics. Carry on…

  • Suetonious

    This is a very telling rate. It’s beyond outrageous and indicates to me that the final tipping point is close at hand. Credit card companies are beginning to understand that consumers are going to default en masse, so they’re charging sky high rates before they get stuck with unpaid balances on a good portion of outstanding balances when the SHTF.

    Borrowers, on the opposing team, are either desperate or shrewdly trying to game the system. A good portion of these borrowers have no intention of paying back the balances, and another large portion flat-out won’t be able to. The trick for the gamers is to fool the credit card companies into thinking they’ll have any leverage over them in trying to collect unpaid balances. The gamers will run up their balances and skate, and the vampire credit card company will compensate by putting the screws to the honest but desperate person borrowing to make ends meet. All part of the plan they probably worked out over a buncha spreadsheets and lattes.

    When honesty no longer pays, the center does not hold, and the system will collapse. May Karma have a field day.

  • mondobeyondo

    A $6,000 balance at 60 percent interest?! GASP!! More than HALF of your total monthly payment goes just for the interest!! Now you’ve really dug yourself a hole – replacing a shovel with a backhoe.

    And I thought 29% was nightmarish.

    Such a debt will never, ever get paid off in your lifetime. You would leave such a debt to your children, maybe even grandchildren.

    Does this sound vaguely familiar???

    The U.S. government debt, if you include entitlements, is well beyond $100 trillion. It will never, ever get paid off in your lifetime. It will still be there 20 or 25 generations from now.

    The banks who issue these cards at such insane rates, are trying to get consumers to imitate their federal government!! Sorry, not falling for that trick…

  • MikeD

    The problem is one of our own making. Without
    credit cards you can’t (or have hard time);

    Reserve a hotel room
    Purchase an airline ticket
    Buy goods on the Internet

    In today’s world you can’t live with plastic and
    can’t live without it.

  • sharonsj

    Don’t assume that people are buying things they can’t afford. My friends ran up credit card bills for basics like food and heat and electricity. Or for repairing a car (nobody I know can afford a new one).

  • mondobeyondo

    79.9% interest rate?!?! You’re joking, right? Let’s just round it to 80%.

    Say you and your significant other want to spend a (frugal!) night out. Or maybe you just want an overpriced Justin Bieber concert T-shirt. You spend $20.00 using that card…

    Principal = $20.
    Interest at 80%…= $16.00.

    You’re paying $36.00 a month, on a $20.00 purchase, just to break even!! That is beyond insane.

    Now think about putting an HDTV on that card, or an even larger purchase…at that point, even a Powerball jackpot won’t help ya!

  • William

    Retired and not wealthy, there is just one cardinal rule for my use of a credit card. That is I NEVER put on a credit card any amount that I can not comfortably pay off fully when the bill arrives.

  • Faux Gary

    Here’s my typically-enlightened “Gary” approach: tax the rich to pay off credit cards for everyone else. Simple, no? Just another one in my “simple solutions for simple minds” series.

  • gimmeabreak

    what’s the big deal? It’s all unsecured debt racked up by idiots that just wanna buy the goodies and default. It’s sort of an economic stimulous plan……

  • BigTiny

    The only people who would sign up for a card like this are those who have no intention of ever paying off the debt. Most will get this card, max it out and never pay another dime. The issuing bank knows this, but will sell the debt to yet another financial institution stupid enough to buy it. The only fools in this game are the banks.

  • joey

    I agree with Davidm. These people are not so stupid as they are desparate. This is their last gasp before the fall.

  • Loll

    The Optimist said:

    ‘They’ tell us that a credit rating is essential to living a fulfilled life. Well you know, it’s not. Really! You can actually live without a credit rating. People need to liberate themselves from consumerist behavior and middleclass standards — not easy — and reject this treadmill.”

    I could not agree more.

  • dodiligence

    The bible teaches: owe no man nothing, except love.
    The world teaches: Love no man (except for yourselves) but owe him.
    The bible teaches: be content with such things as you have.
    The world teaches: don’t be content, always want more and more.
    The bible teaches: Godliness with contentment is great gain.
    The world teaches: godlessness with greed is great gain.(Or the phony pastors teach, gain IS godliness).

    And when things fall completely apart. Tribulation and anguish. How many of us will blame God for it? How many will be angry with him?
    He has given us directions for a truly full life, but we consistently reject him. We as a nation truly deserve what is coming.

  • JulietteofOhio

    I agree with “Davidm”. I think people are desperate. We got into credit card hell when the petroleum melt-down began, back in the 1990s. By this I mean the closing or consolidation of the refineries. My husband had worked at our local refinery for 34 years and the refinery was making money, but it was small and slated for closure. We were “lucky” enough to be picked up by the refinery a year later and relocated five states away. When a refinery closes, it takes down the local economy, so we lost over 25K on our nearly paid for house and had to buy a new one at a greatly increased price in the new town which was not going through a melt-down. My husband finished college there and I went to work. We had three children at that time. Three years later, this refinery closed for no discernable reason (Found out later that they were trading with Iran, but no one ever told us that.) After about another year, we were picked up by another refinery two states away, so we sold the second house at a terrific loss and moved to the new refinery which is still a working business. Our oldest child got married and stayed in Michigan, which left us two teenagers to re-locate and educate. By the way, my job vanished at the same time. The company for which I worked went out of business and my 401K vanished in 2008. We bought another house in the third state at a modest price for that time as things were booming. We paid cash for our two sons’education, leaving us with no savings. They have no debt, but we have no money. They are both (under)employed but neither lives close to us. Between jobs, we ran up credit card debt because there was no other recourse. This was before the extended unemployment benefits of today. Taxes in our current state are incredible and between taxes, declining health (we’re both in our late 60s) and college expenses, I often had no money for groceries or utilities. We declared Chapter 13 bankruptcy which about killed me, but found that the banks are in total control of that. The bankruptcy court awarded the credit card companies 100% of the debt owed as my husband “makes so much money”, so we are living on less than half of what he clears. The county has raised real estate appraisals three times and we couldn’t give this house away. Between the rising taxes, cataract surgery for me and a new knee for my husband, I pay out over half of the half we clear. Right now we need propane but at $800 a fill-up, we can’t do it. We keep the house at 59 at night, and 62 in the daytime. Not healthy for people our age, but there is no choice. (If you’re doing the math, yes people can procreate in their 40s which is why we had such young children.) We made many stupid mistakes but ******, are we paying for them. None of our credit card or house payments were late or overdue which was a mistake as the court said we could obviously afford to pay everything. No thanks to Congress for the oppressive bankruptcy overhaul. With social security so tenuous, my husband is afraid to quit work. Fortunately, he’s really good at his job and is in high demand, but at some point, he will have to quit. We have no way to save for retirement and are, in fact, forbidden to do so by the court. All the money has to go to the bailed out banks. I have one credit card left with a $600 limit and right now, it has $300 apx owed on it for groceries and gasoline. Interest rate is 9.9% and I’m not supposed to even have it. This is not how I envisioned old age nor did I ever think we would be in this position. Desperation caused most of the stupidity and the rest was caused by the trauma of constantly moving and losing money. We could probably have stayed out of trouble by living under a bridge and eating nuts and berries, but ask yourself is you’d be willing to do that with kids??? ***** the government!

  • Michael

    I guess if you’re going to default, then rack up the credit card bills. The banks must realise people will default, but they’ll just get the Fed to print a bunch of money to bail them out.

    One good thing about my situation is that I have no CC debt, unlike most of my friends, who are debt slaves.

    Polls show most Americans hate big banks, yet they continue to give them their business, instead of going with a local bank or a credit union.

  • Patriot One

    Compared to the banks loan sharks don’t seem so bad anymore. I think more people are in trouble and the card is the only way to keep up.

    Hey when I’m sure the whole system is coming down you can believe I’ll max out every card I have on supplies and barter items.

    Many will say its a sin, hell I think its a sin, but so is usery according to my Bible.

    Post collapse the only thing that will matter is survival, not how you did it.

  • Robert

    Avoid the advertisements: Mute the TV. commercials have much less impact in silence. Train your eyes not to look at the highway billboards. I was accosted in a big box store by an attractive female clerk who persisted in harassing me to sign up for their credit card. I kept repeating “no,no,no,no,no” in rapid cadence until she gave up. When you receive junk mail about sales, use scissors to clip out only the items you already planned to buy. toss the rest into the recycling bin. When friends(?) try to sell you a product they are hustling, tell them, “Sorry, I really have no use for that.” Repeat as necessary. People are friends only if they are in agreement with your refusal.

    Unnecessary Consumer debt is pitching your tent just outside the gates of Hell and feasting on the Devil’s lies.

  • mondobeyondo

    I learned the hard way. Racked up credit card debt which I’m still trying to pay off. I involuntarily enrolled in the School of Hard Knocks, and am about to graduate with a Ph.D. in Common Sense, with a minor in Financial Responsibility.

    Many other Americans are going to learn, too, but not the hard way. For them, it will be the really, really, really hard way.

    Use cash. If you can’t use cash, you can’t afford it. Simple as that.
    No matter how much your potential purchase says to you, “Buy me, buy me…” – it’s a trap! Don’t fall for it!!

  • Jerry Parker

    I am not aware that credit card debt has become so usurious as this here in the Dominion of Canada. Our government regulates the banks and prevents excesses. Having two credit cards myself, I think that I would be aware of it were these outrageous interest hikes taking place here in Québec and in Canada.

    The U.S. HAS TO REGULATE ITS BANKS IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST!! Abuses such as these credit rates are not acceptable, civilised institutional behaviour. Americans, get with it and have your predatory banks, credit cards and all, regulated for the public interest! that will take laws, and the enforcement of them, but do not rest till that is done.

    Pax, Gerald Parker

  • Kevin


    “Back in 2002 we liquidated everything and exchanged it for $137,000 worth of physical silver at approx. $4 per troy ounce. You do the math. Enough said.”

    Great economic move but how does one store a ton of silver securely?

  • Kevin

    Their reaching a point that the local Tony Soprano has cheaper rates. Then again he has a much lower default rate due to a more active collection system.

  • Franzzz

    Either people are absolutely desperate and large corporations who are praying on the weakest in society are taking advantage OR these people are finiancial geniuses, there seeing that hyperinflation is coming fast and it’ll virtually erase their debts….

    Now I hope for them it’s the second, but my “sane” mind tells me the world is a sick enough place for billion $ companies to expliot society to the brink of economic disaster.

  • myrna

    If people are using it to buy things that are optional like a new TV or video games, then they are stupid.

    If they are using it to buy food, gas, and other necessities, then it is a tragedy,

  • mondobeyondo

    Many people are financially stupid, and many people are desperate. That is an awful combination, one guaranteed to fail.

    “Bob is our God!
    God is our Hope!
    God is Bob Hope!”

  • ken

    my suspicion is that they are using these cards to replace their lost income and know that they have no hope or intention of ever paying the debt off.

  • C

    I was reading the fine print on the application at my local credit union and it says they can charge you whatever rate they want based on your credit worthiness.

    Personally, I love garage sales, and shopping anywhere they don’t take credit or even have a credit card machine.

  • Kevin

    Inflation will wipe out the debts along with it savings and it will also lower the standard of living which historically never keeps up.

    In the end USD devaluation is just another tool to equalize the compensation paid to labor in the developed and developing nations.

  • John O’Neill

    People all over the planet are going to have to learn to live within their means. Financial freedom is not having a credit card chain around your neck. Negative cash flow (credit card debt) will ultimately destroy the financial well-being of a family or individual. It’s not easy, but it can be done. My wife and I did it and it is rewarding! Reward yourself and get out of debt! Stop feeding the scumbag banksters. It aint the muslims folks. It’s the banksters.

  • Andrew Costello

    Americans have spent so long living in a fantasy that they are having trouble coming back to reality. They would rather lose their home and family, than lose their unearned lifestyle.

    Their sense of entitlement is ridiculous. But the reality is:

    People who work at Mc Donald’s should not be wearing designer clothing. The middle class should not be driving luxury cars, and eating at restaurants. Working class people should not be taking vacations overseas. The list goes on.

    Welcome to reality. The sooner you adjust, the easier you will find it.

  • “Most of us were never taught any of this stuff in school. Most of us were totally unprepared when the financial predators started preying on us in college.”

    Pretty bad, considering that all it takes is simple math to figure any of this out.

  • James

    The banks are clueless. These people who are using their credit cards are still getting things, but they are thinking if I don’t have anything to begin with, what are the creditors going to do to me? I still got to enjoy the things I got while most merchants don’t want the items back, they would rather have the money, and so it goes.

  • fred

    Many of these people will just stop paying once they buy as much as there limit allows.
    Why should they care if the banks keep calling if they have no money to pay it back.
    In a few years they will get another one and run that one up…

  • James

    People should be exploring other means of purchasing the things they need. Bartering is one good way, and it can’t really be taxed. How is the IRS going to know who traded what for what? They don’t know what a person had to begin with. Plus, the IRS would go bankrupt trying to hire persons to oversee every trade that is made. Agriculture products can be easily done this way and it will be tax free. Good luck Uncle Sam.

  • What if we all got as many credit cards as were offered to us and maxed them all out and then refused to pay?

  • Would this not be something like “going all Egypt on them”?

  • This is fantastic! It verifies and validates the stupidity level of those Americans willing to embrace the obsessive disorder for bending over and yelling “stick here, right here, and please, push it in real deep and extra hard, make me cry, make me cry”, juxtaposed to the greed level of those who live to ream ’em out.

    Isn’t this just the American Way? Why, it’s…it’s…it’s exquisite! I want to see more. I want them to collect as many golden cards as they possible can get their grimy hands on with interest rates exceeding 100%.

    Americans don’t have dis-ease, they have NO-ease.

  • Outrageous indeed! Working your ass off and turning in quality work for a ‘C’ is extreme. And I hate the fact that credit card fees are embedded in the price of everything these days. It’s like a sales tax. Try debit card instead….

    We help Americans find jobs and prosperity in Asia. For details, visit

  • jumbotron

    People with debt need strategic advice to step away from and reduce their obligations. No offense meant, but it is too simple to say, ‘If you can’t pay cash then you can’t afford it.’

    Car repairs? Don’t pay for them? Downward spiral leading to more expensive repairs later– or an accident. Utilities? Can’t afford them? Don’t pay? Doesn’t make sense. By not paying on time, you increase debt load! Leaky roof? Can’t afford to fix it? Waiting makes it worse!

    Credit may be costly. But getting out of it is not so easy as simply stopping.

  • Kevin

    The banks are not foolish. Those people know exactly what they are doing.

    If a person defaults the US population picks up the tab with inflation when the banks are bailed out with newly created money complements of the Federal Reserve.

    It’s like playing the coin toss with , “Heads I win, tails you loose”. In the meantime though John Doe gets a plasma TV. In the end once you add things up savers both domestic and foreign are left holding the bag. Once the foreign holders of US debt get a sufficiently large wealth creating industrial base kiss the USD good by. Hope you don’t see that day because the subsequent days will get real ugly.

    Banks aside the population has been conditioned in two generations to believe that living far above your means is ok with government both State and Federal following suit.

  • nakedguy

    ( This is how the bankers enslave us.) nobody is making people use credit cards , it is of free choice , stop blaming the system for the stupid people , write the story the way it should be , tell the prople just how stupid they are , if you could get 59 points on your money , you would be on that like white on rice ,

  • scott

    I think you are mistaken in your premise for the article. This is just like back in 2007 when I noticed everyone at the gas station was using credit cards for gas. They probably did not want to, rather they HAD to as the cost of living was rising faster than their income could keep up. We all know what happened then….COLLAPSE! I think people cannot keep up with inflation so they are charging more now hoping to pay it off later.

  • DC

    So whatever happened to usery laws? I can remember when credit cards were limited to a maximum rate of 18% nationwide. And the credit card companies made money in those days too. When did it become okay for banks to make the local loan shark look like a good guy? The only thing worse is a “payday” loan. I’m waiting for banks to offer that as a “service” too.

    When you consider that banks are “borrowing” from the Fed at close to 0.0%, that only makes it more outrageous.

    As for myself, while I use a credit card to pay for practically everything, I always treat every purchase as “same as cash,” and I always pay the balance in full each month. I only use no-annual-fee cards with at least a 20-day minimum grace period. I have not paid a penny in credit card interest or fees in 25 years.

    Forget banks. Check out your local credit union. If you are 50+, some credit unions offer a “Golden” checking account with no fees.

    If you can’t join a credit union, then check out the bank branch at your local Walmart. If you open a checking account specifically at bank branch in a Walmart — not the free-standing branches of the same bank — you can get a checking account with no fees at all, no minimum balance requirements, etc.

  • CMN

    Many years ago I worked for First Premier’s predecessor (I think they are likely the same company that has gone through several name changes.) I was just a temp minion doing data entry, but I processed a lot of applications. What they would do is send out a card for people to apply for a credit loan (not a card, but a loan.) Applicants who got it would get a check for $2000-$6000 which was 22% interest and could be paid back at the “super low” rate of 2%/month. This wasn’t a card but a check, so immediately the borrower was maxed out. Our calculation was that it would take 128 years to pay back the debt at the minimum rate.

    It’s a huge scam. I am absolutely libertarian, but I would say we’d be better off having the government protect us from predatory credit lenders than from drugs.

  • Ed in NV

    As soon as an individual agrees that another has the right to anything the individual has, the individual becomes a slave to the other. Do you agree that the US Federal Government has a right to some of your income?

  • charlieb

    I think everyone here is REALLY missing the point (or, for some reason, purposefully ignoring it)- these people are NOT going to make payments on these credit cards – they are simply going to max the card out and throw it away, and not make any payments – voila, free money. They already have bad credit, so they are not worried about “ruining their credit”. Just about everyone has bad credit these days, so, in a lot of instances, your credit rating is irrelevant – banks are still dying to loan money.

  • McMike

    I disagree with your oversimplified assessment that credit card problem can be solved if people simply don’t buy what they can’t afford.

    Perhaps as much as a third or half the people in this nation cannot afford the basic costs of living in this nation.

    If I was having trouble feeding my kids, paying for their medicine, and covering the rent, even though I worked two jobs, I would grab that card with both hands and max it out immediately.

    Why not? This is exactly what the bankers did with our economy.

  • anders

    my god,how can the american regulaters of banks and fees,let this blatant crime of greed exist,democrates and republications should be for the people and never let this happen.the usa needs another political party other than these two poweful partys of human shame.kick all of these members of the two powerful political powers that have totally petraid,the good folk of usa.they are both enemys of the peopleand have no empathy for what should benow and into the near future.if u do not scuttle these two dinosaur political partys and not find an alternative political party,i am afraid anarchy will force the write outcomes.take heed all my american friends,change has too be in law to protect and for all the evils of washington to be purged so a fair spring will come in spirit and good.dump these political asses on both sides of washington and keep the few good,replinish with new statesman and women,that represent the people and not absurd greed and wrong wall street companies and agencies that are a discrace of fraud and absolute rip of the weak and uninformed knowledge and praying on all.regards too all in usa.anders .margaret river,western australia.

  • anders

    how can the american regulaters of banks and fees,let this blatant crime of greed exist,democrates and republications should be for the people and never let this happen.the usa needs another political party other than these two poweful partys of human shame.kick all of these members of the two powerful political powers that have totally petraid,the good folk of usa.they are both enemys of the people and have no empathy for what should be now and into the near future.if u do not scuttle these two dinosaur political partys and not find an alternative political party,i am afraid anarchy will force the write outcomes.take heed all my american friends,change has too be in law to protect and for all the evils of washington to be purged so a fair spring will come in spirit and good.dump these political asses on both sides of washington and keep the few good,replinish with new statesman and women,that represent the people and not absurd greed and wrong wall street companies and agencies that are a discrace of fraud and absolute rip of the weak and uninformed knowledge and praying on all.regards too all in usa.anders .margaret river,western australia.

  • Kevin


    “Why not? This is exactly what the bankers did with our economy.”

    The bankers have an unlimited supply of money to pay their debts complements of the Federal Reserve. You on the other hand do not. The buy today pay for tomorrow plan when you can’t even pay the bills today is doomed to failure. However bad your economic plight is today it would be worse tomorrow.

    You cannot maintain your standard of living with debt.

    “Perhaps as much as a third or half the people in this nation cannot afford the basic costs of living in this nation.”

    If Uncle Sam keeps borrowing necessitating the creation of more money that third or half of the population under water economically will increase as prices rise even higher relative to their wages.

    No matter what angle one looks at the future of the US in specific and the developed world (Europe/ Japan) in general we/they are headed downward until equilibrium with the developing world is achieved.

  • for those that say ‘we were never taught to budget in school’ is assuming that schools should teach it when in fact it should be the parents that should teach that to their children. My wife & I taught our 4 year old daughter how to budget, among other things, & now she knows debt is bad, she works hard, studies even harder (GPA of 5.0 & will graduate high school with an associates in science).

    It all starts at the individual level & goes from there.

    What we see today is the result of the dumbing down of children & adults alike. The U.S. will crash if something does not change – unfortunately I think we are past the point of no return. Prepare now (water, food, guns, ammo, medicine, etc) because IF the system crashes in just your city, its better to have it & not need it than need it & have others kill you for no reason.


  • Suchorski321

    In 2008 when the $hit was hitting the fan my wife and I had about 50,000 in personal debt not including our 1st or 2nd mortgage. My business was in debt about 35,000. That is about 85,000 total debt. I had many sleepless nights, In march of 2009 things were so bad that I thought for sure we would need to file bankruptcy & close my auto repair shop. But we sucked it up and tightened our belts and did without alot of things. Now today our total debt has dropped to 30,000 personal & 4,500 with the business. We are not out of the woods yet but I am proud to say we drasticaly change our ways and are a little better off now. I think back to ’08 and and got to say WTF were we thinking. I vowed to myself to never use credit cards again once these are paid off. We should be 100% debt free other than mortgage sometime in 2012.Then I’m going to pound away at putting money in savings & payoff mortgage.I am the type of person that once I set my mind to something I don’t stop untill I achieve my goal. Thanks for letting me vent>

  • Tamas Polgar

    The whole reason i ever applied for a credit card was to rip them off.
    I kept raising credit to about 100,000. I took out of 70k cash advance and shopped the rest of that on all sorts of things. I opened instant credit accounts everywhere like best buy and apple store etc. I ripped them so so bad. What do I care about a home or car or and credit rating?

    I would do over and over and over again forever!!!!! Anyone that is repaying debt is a sucker and foolish to the bone. I laugh at you. Fkcem.

    I am really really happy now. I made a whole life in Romania and bought a house and car and fully upgraded my home and bought the newest and best of things. I have about 50k in my pocket cash. I am 24 years old, and I can sit back and figure what to do with my money. Everything I have is paid off. So fkc the credit card co and fkc the US. I done baby i am just sitting on top of world.


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