How.Old.Do.U Have To Be To Get A Credit Card Turn Your Credit Card Into A Check?

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Turn Your Credit Card Into A Check?

Recently, before my granddaughter left for college, we chatted about credit cards: use, abuse, mixed messages, and another option she’s been practicing since her teens. Before we discuss it, I reflect on current economic challenges and credit card deception: Society tells students they need to use credit cards (“cards”) early to build a credit score in order to get that important credit early. Parents agree, don’t teach or practice responsible card use, kids use cards like their parents and the cycle of debt traps them.

Sadly, we don’t have conflicting views on credit. In the earlier subprime mortgage crisis, financial institutions found out and lent money to people with bad credit! Have you heard the advertisements for cars, furniture, appliances, and other consumer goods lately? Merchants offer credit to almost anyone in order to maintain or increase sales! Christian ministries have also entered the fray: they encourage donors to pay on credit, regardless of ability to pay!

New Regulations on Credit Cards

Launched in the U.S. in 2009 and Canada in September 2010, they require greater transparency from card issuers to Protect card user. Canadian regulations require a grace period of at least 21 days to be active for interest-free customers who pay in full. But my favorite rule, which applies in both countries, requires that if a consumer makes only the minimum monthly payment, the credit card statement must show the payment period. This will come as a shock to some users who will learn that their monthly payment is worth a life, Debt Judgment!

Be careful with credit cards

Will regulation help? Probably not. Credit card users need a behavioral change to use credit cards wisely: a return to the old-fashioned save-then-buy. Use the card sparingly and pay the full balance every month; go astray and costly usage will bring down the monthly balance.Perhaps the first step in stopping the use of credit for consumer goods could be Prepaid credit card. Banks provide them with, load With funds — essentially they’re cash cards — no credit check is required, as every purchase must be backed by a cash equivalent. If people want to take advantage of the minimum 21 day credit limit (in Canada), the next step is to turn the credit card into a check. Here’s one way:

  1. Get a card with a low limit, like $500
  2. Open a bank account and deposit $500
  3. Arrange with your bank to pay the full monthly card balance from this account on the due date
  4. Every month, top up your bank account with bank withdrawals to cover the previous month’s expenses

In the first month, if you charged $300, the bank debited this from your account earlier in the second month, and you have $200 left, deposit $300 to restore the balance to $500 . Repeat cycle. When I lived in Japan in the mid-90s, it was standard practice to link your credit card to a bank account where the bank pays the monthly balance. In Canada today, most banks would agree to the process if requested, but they are unlikely to offer it.

Beware; unless you separate the two parts of every spending decision—identifying the need, and then deciding how to pay for the project—attractive financing offers from merchants will land you in trouble. Also, unless you create a budget or spending plan, you’ll spend more than you would with cash – an estimated 30% more! You can’t afford a credit card if you’re not going to buy it, and don’t pay the full monthly balance; use cash or a prepaid card. Do you know how much interest you paid on credit card debt last year? Year to date?

Copyright (C) 2010, Michel A. Bell, Ontario, Canada.

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