Wednesday, April 2, 2008

On perspective

I'm reconsidering my objection to credit cards. You see, when I turned on the TV to watch what had been recorded, there was an advert for Cashcall on. I've seen such adverts before, but this time I actually hit the "pause" button when the wall of text explaining just how shafted you're going to be came up.

I saw that you will be FAR more shafted than I believed was even legal. The standard APR of their loans is 99.25%. Yes, that's almost 100% interest. They gave an example loan as well: borrow $2600, pay a $75 arrangement fee, make 42 monthly payments of $218.65. Total paid back: $9258.30. That is more than three and a half times the loan, over 3.5 years. If you're so short that you need a $2600 loan in the first place, you cannot afford this. I cannot for the life of me understand why this is even legal, why the company is allowed to advertise on daytime TV (the chosen pablum of the "acquire now, pay later" set, without any understanding of what such offers entail and a conviction that there really IS a free lunch, and it's being advertised on TV), how they get away with putting all this "you'll be shafted" info in a wall of text that's on screen for maybe half a second (I read stupendously fast, and I can't read it; their target audience wouldn't have a chance), and how the directors of the company can sleep at night.

I think I'd rather borrow money from the Mafia than that lot. At least the Mafia are honest about being criminals.

So, in the grand scheme of things, as long as you're sensible, credit cards are Not That Bad.


  1. Though, as you pointed out, if you need a loan of $2600 that immediately, you probably aren't the sensible sort and would have trouble with credit cards too.


  2. Call me old-fashioned, but I think exploiting the poor and/or stupid is a dirty way of making money.


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