I’m very glad that they passed the new banking laws that give you the option of having your purchase refused rather than having to pay those ridiculous overdraft fees. The banks say “But won’t you be embarrassed if your card is declined in a public place?” No, who cares? I once rented a dollar movie at one of those Redboxes and forgot to take it back for a week.
They kept charging a dollar a day to my debit card and eventually that over-drafted me. Two fees of $35.00 each and the eight dollar charge and I paid $78.00 for a movie that should have cost me a buck. The movie wasn’t that good either.
I gave up on the credit cards about 7-years-ago when I got in trouble with them. To tell you the truth, I don’t miss them. I still get all kinds of offers in the mail but they go right into the trash where they belong.
Today I am debt free and I enjoy the freedom of not being tied to debt. If I want to purchase a larger ticket item I simply save up for it. It is not as difficult as it sounds. All it requires is a little patience.
But credit cards are still a problem with a lot of consumers. The average household carries around about $7,000 worth of credit card debt. And all of those hidden fees and interest can really pile up after a while.
But according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch there is a way with the passage of the new laws that you can avoid paying penalties and interest altogether.
“If you have a balance, pay it off as quickly as possible, starting with the card that charges the highest rate. Don’t wait for the bill to arrive; if you have a few extra dollars, send them in to lower your balance.”
These extra, smaller payments will help lower the balance on your card and hence the interest you pay as well.
Bear in mind that most credit card companies have added yearly fees and raised interest rates as well as increased cash withdrawal rates to make up for the lost revenue from the new law. It’s a wise move to re-read all of the “fine print” that is on your contract. Most people never read it in the first place, but they should.
As far as the banks are concerned, you may ask them if they have a checking account that will save you more than you are paying now, especially if you have one that pays interest but charges a monthly fee. The secret here is to pay attention and be a better educated consumer. It will save you a lot of cash in the long run.