I’ve seen marriages torn apart, families in crisis, and individuals pushed to the brink of despair and ruin by credit card debt. I’ve had clients plead with me not to disclose their credit card obligations to their spouses. I’ve watched helplessly as credit card debt skyrocketed on college campuses across the country, quickly becoming the number one cause of student drop out. I’ve witnessed the dreams of thousands of people go up in smoke, casualties of the no-holds-barred war being waged by credit card companies against their cardholders.
During my weekly radio show, our switchboard is lit up from start to finish with calls from desperate people looking for answers to tough financial challenges, but the one I’ll never forget came from a homeowner who paid off a $40,000 second mortgage with a credit card. He only did this, he said, because he received a letter in the mail from Bank of America offering him a new credit card at 0 percent. He figured he could save the 7.9 percent he was paying on the mortgage by shifting the debt to a 0 percent card.
Don’t be fooled by 0 percent offers. Introductory rates never last forever. They inevitably expire and end up as expensive offers you can’t afford.
He made this transaction, thinking he had finally beaten the system, and celebrated by taking his wife out to a fancy dinner. But 90 days later, he received another ...