In America, it is not only accepted that the majority of us are knee-deep in credit card debt, it is normal. Two generations ago it was just flat out wrong - a sin, to have any kind of debt at all. Today it is quite a different story and credit card debt is a mega, multi-billion dollar a year industry. The major credit card companies are eating it up like hotcakes and our credit reports are taking a lot of the heat. More than 75% of all college students are in credit card debt within their first year of school. From Sears to Visa to Diner's Club, people are adding to the debt stock pile that the distributors thrive off of. There are tens of thousands of websites that support and offer more to this enormous problem and it has got to stop! We have to draw the line individually, because there are no boundaries on the excessive spending in America.
What's Really Happening
It's even stated in the Bible - "The borrower is slave to the lender." In any case, where you have taken out credit on something; be it a car, mortgage, student loan, credit card, etc..., you are borrowing money. Not only that, but you are borrowing more money than you need. The average APR (annual percentage rate) on a credit card is 19%! In many cases, when a credit card is "maxed out" you will pay only interest with the minimum payment. As if this wasn't enough stress, the creditors harass you like their life depends on it and you begin to feel uneasy about even answering the phone.
Is Debt Consolidation the Answer?
Many consumers are drawn in by debt consolidation loans. It feels like instant relief and the monthly payments go down. Suddenly you feel like life is getting better by the minute. Oh and what's this, there is left over money from the loan - PERFECT! You needed this for that yard project or supplies or something that you've been waiting to have the extra money for. Why not reward yourself, you have taken a big step and your financial future is improving. Or is it? The fact is that you have fallen into another trap. You are now borrowing more money with an interest rate and you most likely got more than you needed. Statistics show that even though the math often works for a consolidation loan, the consumer ends up with his ears nailed to the wall.
What to do Now.
STOP BORROWING MONEY! This would be a good first step. Stop right now. Do not borrow a dime. If you don't have it - don't spend it. You can build up an emergency savings account to pick up any negative events that may occur. This emergency savings account is of course another article but you get the basic idea right? Oh, you still feel you need plastic in your wallet? Get a debit credit card. At least with a debit card you can only spend what is in your bank account. You can also use most credit card debit cards just like a credit card for purchases. Your credit report will begin to reflect this positive behavior because there will be no more credit card bills piling up. Here is a saying to ponder before you think of making another large purchase - "If you can't afford it, don't buy it. If you can afford it, sleep on it."
About the Author: Tom Justice is the webmaster for Clean Credit Online and does all the designing, marketing, SEO and maintenance for the site. He has a passion for personal finance and how the economy and consumers are affected by money. To see how you can use Clean Credit Online to help you with your personal finances please visit http://www.cleancreditonline.com