I recently got a bundle of blank checks from my credit card company. They send them every other day with exciting headings like, “CONSOLIDATE YOUR OTHER DEBTS AND SAVE! LOW INTEREST!”
I usually tear them up because I know they’re EVIL, but yesterday I was curious just how evil they were. Let me tell you, folks, they are very, VERY evil.
I got out my 20x magnifying glass and started reading the fine print. It said, “Yo, sucka, if you decide to use these checks, you will owe us: (1) an arm, (2) a leg, (3) your first-born child, (4) your sister’s first-born child, and (5) everything else.” Trust me, these credit card companies are not acting in your best interest. They want your interest, and everything else they can get.
For example, I have two credit cards. One I use because it pays cash back bonuses. When I looked at the checks they sent (I’m stating this from memory because I’ve already torn them up), it said I could consolidate all my other, higher interest debts into this one payment at a low interest rate. Sounds great. But here’s the catch. They wanted a fee of $10 or 5% of the value of the check, whichever was highest. Hmmmm, $10 isn’t bad. I can afford that. Besides, to figure out that 5% would require me to remember 7th grade math.
Maybe I’m one of those people who spent 7th grade writing notes to my girlfriends or the boy who kept dropping pencils so he could look up girls’ skirts. Maybe we didn’t have the time or inclination to pay a whole lot of attention to those lessons on percentages. What good was it going to do us? We’d never use it anyway.
These are the kinds of people the credit card companies are BANKING on, and I mean that literally. They are making masses of money on these checks.
You might ask why a smart human would use these checks. They wouldn’t. But there are plenty of devotees to Sarah Palin who would, and they’d use them without doing the math because they’re desperate for cash RIGHT NOW. If they’re only desperate for $200 in cash, they’ll be okay, because they’ll only pay the $10 fee. However, if they are desperate for, say, $10,000 in cash because Guido is going to put their feet in a bucket of cement, then they think, “Here’s how I can get that 10,000 bucks right now and it will be AT ONLY FOUR PERCENT INTEREST for SIX WHOLE MONTHS!”
So what’s the big deal? If you multiply $10,000 by .05 (that’s the way you calculate 5 percent), you get $500. FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS! They will charge you $500 to write that check. Flat fee. No negotiating.
Immediately you owe the credit card company $10,500. And they’ll start charging their 4% or whatever interest rate on that from day one. Or they’ll give you 3 months of zero interest and then start charging a huge interest rate from then on. Either way, you’re out $500. Just think of the big screen TV you could buy for your single-wide with that money if the credit card people didn’t have it.
Even though this money is touted for the use of consolidating debt, I called the credit card company and they said it could be used for anything. “Just write the check to yourself and deposit it in your bank.”
Even devotees of Sarah Palin must realize that this is a scam. Do not allow yourself to be a victim of tacky politics AND credit card robbery. It’s just too tragic.