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Are Credit Cards Evil?

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be.”
— Shakespeare

Most of us know someone who has had a credit card debt charging 20%+ in interest. Some of us have even been in this situation ourselves and know firsthand how terrible this type of burden can be. It can feel as if you’re in a hole so deep that it is impossible to dig yourself out.

While it’s true that many of us should not have been borrowing in the first place, does that give the credit card companies the right to charge interest rates that are bordering on criminal in my mind? I understand that the credit companies exist to make a profit and I certainly won’t begrudge them that, but 20%+ annually? I’m sure they could make a profit charging 14% or 10% or even 8% in our current interest environment. How do they justify such a high interest rate when savings accounts are paying less than 1.5% interest?

I know they talk about default rates and what those cost the credit card companies, but don’t you think they would be protected from many defaults if their rates were lower. Or if they actually had some discretion in who they offered the cards to? Why should we be subject to paying for the credit companies follies when they lend to those who have such a poor credit history that they are almost guaranteed to default?

I’m not sure that the companies offering credit cards are evil, but they certainly are immoral. Taking advantage of the needs of the poor (which is mostly what they are doing) is certainly immoral behavior in my book. If I was approached for a loan and knew the person was unlikely to be able to pay it back I wouldn’t make it a certainty by charging them $200 for every $1000 they borrowed. It’s much more likely that I wouldn’t offer the loan in the first place.

In Exodus 22:25 you’ll read:

“If you lend money to one of my people who is needy, do not be like a money-lender; charge him no interest.”

While the quote comes from a Christian background it reads to me as simple humanity. You can find many similar quotes and much more regarding money and the Bible at Christian PF

Sure we as consumers are partially to blame as well. I know I have made purchases in the past on credit cards that I didn’t need. I just wanted it because it was something everyone else had or I felt entitled or I simply didn’t have the patience to wait until I could save enough cash to buy it. It was foolish on my part to do so, but I don’t think that my foolishness and stupid choices entitled the credit card companies to so blatantly take advantage of me.

In the end I have to admit that yes, the credit card companies ARE evil. No one would deny (except possibly the executives profiting from our needs and wants), that these companies and those who run them are greedy and greed is one of the 7 deadly sins. You’ll have to decide for yourself how you feel about their excessive interest rates and questionable marketing practices, but I can guarantee if you’ve ever been caught in their vise like grip you’ll agree with me that whether you think they are evil or not, no one should EVER carry a balance on any credit card. I think this one small step will not only make your life better, but is an improvement for the whole human race.

“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.”
— Proverbs 22:7

Join with me and cast off your shackles and make sure you’re a slave to no man. Financial freedom is both liberating and freeing and is something we should all strive for if we want to live happy and fulfilled lives.

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