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Do you carry credit card debt?


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Poll: Do you carry credit card debt? (254 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you carry credit card debt?

  1. Yes, quite a bit. (40 votes [15.75%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.75%

  2. Yes, but only a relatively small amount. (38 votes [14.96%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.96%

  3. Yes, but I pay it off regularly. (11 votes [4.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.33%

  4. No, I pay off my card(s) every month. (103 votes [40.55%])

    Percentage of vote: 40.55%

  5. No, I don't use any credit cards. (62 votes [24.41%])

    Percentage of vote: 24.41%

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#1 Rhindle The Red OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 5, 2008 7:13 PM

I'm not trying to pry into anyone's personal info, but I was curious about people's habits.

Do you carry a lot of CC debt? Do you carry over a bit from month to month? Or do you generally pay it all off every time? Maybe you don't even have a credit card (too young or you just don't use them).

#2 remowilliams OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 5, 2008 7:24 PM

Use 'em for everything I can (rewards points! :)) don't carry balances though.

#3 Elw00d OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 5, 2008 7:29 PM

Same here. I paid a lot of interest in the past. I decided to only use my cards for purchases that I can cover with my cash/bank account. Took me quite a while to dig myself after college. Fresh air is a great thing to smell.

El


Use 'em for everything I can (rewards points! :)) don't carry balances though.



#4 ls650 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 5, 2008 8:00 PM

My bank gave me a large line of credit with a low interest rate (prime plus 1%). If I need to charge something expensive to my card that I can't pay off immediately (say travel overseas), I pay the card off with the line of credit. At least then i save money on the exorbitant interest rates charged on credit cards!

#5 SRGilbert OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 5, 2008 8:14 PM

We have ours set to autopay the balance every month.

Edited by SRGilbert, Mon May 5, 2008 8:14 PM.


#6 boog OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 5, 2008 10:00 PM

I'm with remo... I use credit cards to pay for everything and pay off the entire balance every month.

Accumulate between 1% - 5% in cash back bonus depending on the type of purchases. I shuffle between three cards to use the one that gives the highest % back for whatever I'm buying. Take full advantage.

#7 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2008 1:10 AM

No BS credit cards for me. If you don't have the cash you don't get it.

#8 Prodos8 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2008 1:48 AM

I do use them for the consumer protections/incentives/rewards programs they provide over cash/debit transactions. But, I almost always pay the balances in full each month and religiously avoid carrying a balance. I definitely don't use them to live beyond my means like many apparently do.

#9 so_tough! OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2008 4:09 AM

No BS credit cards for me. If you don't have the cash you don't get it.


Same here baby!

#10 BigO OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2008 4:55 AM

No BS credit cards for me. If you don't have the cash you don't get it.


Same here baby!


That'll certainly keep you from getting into trouble and if I don't have the money in the bank to pay for something, I'm right there with you: I don't buy it. I have several credit cards used for convenience and the for the little perks as mentioned by others. I never carry a balance. Not sure where y'all live, but in the US (only place I've ever lived), it's nigh on to impossible to rent to a car or reserve a hotel room without a credit card. Do you guys have to work around those inconveniences somehow to get by without credit cards?

100% debt free here. Thankfully, we avoided the consumer debt trap as my wife was raised to manage her money wisely and I grew up poor and am such a cheap ba... er, I mean I'm so frugal as a result that I have a huge aversion to paying interest.

Credit card debt is a nasty pit of financial despair that seems so very easy to fall into in the American "buy now, pay later", instant gratification consumer credit mentality. (Sounds like a theme for a hack of Pitfall...). Personally, I find the gratification of paying outright for everything out of money I've saved over time to be far more gratifying that paying double the price (or more) by making payments in the future for something that'll probably be in the landfill before it's paid for.

Here's an incident that helped me understand how our view of credit and savings differ from some other peoples':

My wife conversed with a twenty-something regularly on her bus commute to and from work. Seems this young lady had been wanting to purchase a car for quite some time (years). Her biggest hangup was that she couldn't come up with the down payment. When queried about saving up for it, the young lady explained that with her financial situation, she just couldn't save up that much money. My wife found out that the car payments involved would be around $300/mo. It was a true "light bulb" moment for the young lady when my wife pointed out that if she could make $300 payments to the finance company once the car was purchased, she could certainly make $300 monthly payments to her savings account to save up a down payment.

#11 ls650 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2008 7:24 AM

It was a true "light bulb" moment for the young lady when

She sounds like a mighty dim bulb! :D

#12 Recycled OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2008 7:38 AM

For those of you who have managed to stay debt free....have you always had the savings to cover a catostrophic event?

For example a major illness?

My divorce totally melted our $20,000 in savings.

I have SOME cc debt today...I have a plan to pay to pay it off....but life happens when we're busy making other plans (as the cliche goes).

#13 boog OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2008 7:58 AM

No BS credit cards for me. If you don't have the cash you don't get it.


Same here baby!


If you can use them responsibly and pay the full balance every month, you should get and use credit cards. It really boosts your credit rating if you have a track record of making payments on-time and having available credit that isn't being used. A higher credit rating means lower interest rates when you make a major purchase that requires financing like a new car or a mortgage. Don't know how it's handled in other countries, but in the U.S. your credit score is the first thing lenders look at.

As far as the best cards, Discover is great for cash back percentages. 5% back from circuitcity.com, 10% back from barnesandnoble.com and 5%+ from several other major sites if you use the links from the Discover site. Discover also has different 5% back categories every few months, currently home improvement purchases.

The Citibank Dividend card has 2% back on all home utility payments. And most gas companies offer credit cards with 5%+ back on gas purchases.
Nice to get at least a little bit back from the price gouging that's going on with these necessities.

#14 ls650 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2008 10:45 AM

For those of you who have managed to stay debt free....have you always had the savings to cover a catostrophic event?

Always? No... About 5 years ago I lost my job. At that point I had $10,000 in savings put aside for a rainy day - this is separate from my retirement funds. I ended up spending most of it just in the first several months as I searched for work, moved, went back to school, etc.
Now that I'm finally back on my feet again I'm starting to save again - sure hope I don't have a "rainy day" any time soon... :ponder:

#15 Recycled OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2008 10:53 AM

sure hope I don't have a "rainy day" any time soon... :ponder:



Amen, brother.

#16 tremoloman2006 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2008 3:56 PM

For those of you who have managed to stay debt free....have you always had the savings to cover a catostrophic event?

For example a major illness?

My divorce totally melted our $20,000 in savings.

I have SOME cc debt today...I have a plan to pay to pay it off....but life happens when we're busy making other plans (as the cliche goes).

I'm in the same boat... my house flodded when we got 2 feet of rain a year ago... flooding isn't covered by my home owners insurance. Had to put a lot on it to fix the house now I'm getting killed in interest. Can't wait to pay it off and burn those suckers once and for all.

#17 Karyyk OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2008 4:09 PM

Unfortunately I have quite a bit of credit card debt (enough that a good portion of the money I make every month has to go to them to keep from losing ground). Let's just say I made some bad choices when I was younger. That's a major understatement actually. My total debt is around $20,000 (including student loans), which isn't that awful, but it's been a major achilles' heel for me. I'm paying it off slowly, but it's still going to take some time, and since I'm turning 30 soon, that's really time I don't have... :(

If only I could go back in time...

#18 moycon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 6, 2008 9:18 PM

No credit card debt here. No car payment either. Both are for suckers.

#19 128bytes OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 7, 2008 7:14 AM

It is very helpful to be able to have short term credit card debt -- years ago these kinds of unsecured loans were available only for the rich.

Sure, I have credit card debt sometimes - it isn't evil if you are careful about your spending and don't make it a permanent habit. If I have 4 bald tires, need new ones, and it's a safety hazard if I wait - sure, I'll put it on a card, then I'll pay it off as soon as I can, but *without* touching the rainy day savings account, as the conditions for a possible rainy day haven't changed.

#20 Zach OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 7, 2008 9:03 AM

Tried a credit card when I was right out of college, got blindsided by a hidden charge, and never used one again.

#21 Atarifever OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 7, 2008 11:20 AM

I use them for purchases through the mail (I won't use them for an online purchase; yes, I'm like someone's grandfather or something). I pay them off as soon as the money comes out (yes, I check the balance over the phone and then pay it at a bank, like an old man).

#22 Emehr OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 7, 2008 12:36 PM

Debt-free and loving it. I do keep a credit card for emergency purposes. I used it last November to impulse buy a close-out iMac. It's nice to have around, just gotta be disciplined with it and pay off as much as you can per month (and not just pay the minimum amount due).

#23 joeybastard OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 7, 2008 1:45 PM

I use my card all of the time and just pay it off in full every month. I get points from it on my Harrah's player club account so by the time I get to Vegas every year I have enough points to eat for free for 90% of my trip.

#24 fdurso224 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 8, 2008 12:54 AM

Hi Guys:

I only used a Credit Card twice to establish good credit. After using it for two minor purchases (and fully paid them) I just cut it up & flashed in down the toilet. Since then, I avoid purchasing with a CC! Cash or Money Orders are my top methods.

Oh we all have debt none the less. I have to pay for my college loan. Can't say anything negative though. Without the lender, I wouldn't received by Bachelors in Psychology. So yeah.

Anthony....

#25 Shawn OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 8, 2008 2:10 AM

For those of you who have managed to stay debt free....have you always had the savings to cover a catostrophic event?


I personally don't have a large savings but I do have access to large sums of money from multiple sources just a phone call away if needed. I might be stuck at lower-middle class income but my parents and other loved ones are quite wealthy and willing to give me alot of money if I actually needed it if something aweful or unexpected ever happened.




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