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37 / F / Fort Meade, MD
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Posted 10/1/07
I know there are quite a few young people on this site as well as a decent amount of older people, like myself.
I wanted to pass on some wisdom, and hopefully you guys won't make the same mistakes i did.

When i turned 18, i had two jobs. One was in the Army, and the other was a fast food joint. I was also going to college (the first time.) Mastercard was at my school at a booth giving away T-shirts (that said "I WILL NEVER AGAIN SCHEDULE AN 8AM CLASS!") I wanted the t-shirt, so i asked what i had to do to get the shirt. The girl told me i just had to fill out the application for a credit card. I thought to myself, sweet... a credit card AND a cool t-shirt!
I applied and recieved TWO credit cards with $200 limits.
I was young and dumb, and treated it like it was free money.
I also moved a couple of times during this period, without forwarding my address.
Needless to say, some bills were not recieved and the ones that were had added up to over $1000. with over the limit fees and monthly fees.
I slowly paid off these debts. It took me ten years, but now i'm debt free. However, My credit is SEVERELY damaged.
~~From a stupid moment when i was a teenager.~~

Since i have poor credit, i get things in the mail for which i am supposedly owing.
I'm not sure if this is applicable to those with decent credit, but it does happen.

There has been many cases of collection companies targeting those with not so perfect credit in order to make money.

~Tips!
~~Know how much you owe!
Keep track of your debts, even if they are in good standing, hold onto receipts and make files.

~~Charge only what you can pay off in a month!
If you can't pay it off in a month, make yourself a budget and plan to pay it off as soon as possible! Fees add up, and the longer you make payments, the more you end up paying!

~~One credit card is enough!
If you have a debit card (i'm sure most of you do or will) then there is no need for more than one credit card. If you have more than one, you are at high risk for getting yourself into some SERIOUS DEBT!!!


For those who do end up getting yourself in trouble, there are numerous places you can go to get help.
first of all STOP SPENDING!!!! - Think necessities first, and necessities mean gas to get to work/school, food, bills. Period. New make-up doesn't count, New clothes doesn't Count, that coffee on the way to class or work DOESN"T COUNT!


I found a link for the rights you have with a collection agency.
I wish i had known this when i was 18.

http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs27-debtcoll.htm

*Note - I am an accountant and financial advisor, if you have any questions you would like answered, but do not wish to post, feel free to PM me, i will help you best i can.

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27 / M
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Posted 10/1/07
New underestimate the importance of credit. Credit cards are useful, if dangerous if you don't know how to use them.

What should you use a credit card? For starters, there's free cash rewards - but watch what you spend religiously. Thou shall not have an unpaid balance at the end of the month. EVER.

There is also warranty extensions. Some credit card companies will extend the manufacturer warranty on expensive items.
Here are some things from a blog I like.

http://consumerist.com/consumer/devils-advocate/5-ways-credit-cards-can-make-you-happy-304845.php
http://consumerist.com/consumer/rules-and-regulations/fraud-protection-whats-the-difference-between-credit-and-debit-303862.php
http://consumerist.com/consumer/how-to/make-credit-card-companies-your-bitch-300280.php

Also, keep a fucking eye on you're credit report, otherwise you're liable to get boned.
For those in the US, a law was passed that allows you a free credit report from each of the three companies. Get a credit report from one each 4 months
https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

Getting FICO scores costs money, but here is an estimator.
http://www.bankrate.com/brm/fico/calc.asp?lpid=BKRATE29
http://money.howstuffworks.com/credit-score.htm

I don't use credit cards, but if you're careful enough they might work well for you. Don't let the credit card find you - like those stupid college ones that duster was talking about. Those are for cattle (no offense duster). Go out and find a credit card that works well for you.
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28
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Posted 10/1/07
I work for a bankruptcy lawyer, so I see this happen to people all the time. :/


Dusterbayala wrote:
~~One credit card is enough!
If you have a debit card (i'm sure most of you do or will) then there is no need for more than one credit card. If you have more than one, you are at high risk for getting yourself into some SERIOUS DEBT!!!

For those who do end up getting yourself in trouble, there are numerous places you can go to get help.
first of all STOP SPENDING!!!! - Think necessities first, and necessities mean gas to get to work/school, food, bills. Period. New make-up doesn't count, New clothes doesn't Count, that coffee on the way to class or work DOESN"T COUNT!


People's lives would be so much easier if they would just abide by these.

D: There's one couple I know that's over $100,000 in debt because they have numerous credit cards and constantly buy things they don't need.
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27 / M
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Posted 10/1/07
^ My dad had to claim bankruptcy for other debts (he got his credit paid off finally). Our case was one of the longest running in state history. (My dad would spend hours each morning reading law to weasel his way out for a little longer)

I learned all that I know about credit cards from my dad. He was one of those people who shook the tree too much and ended up 10k in the hole.
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32 / F
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Posted 10/1/07
I've had a credit card since I was 15. My parents knew I was responsible and were co-signers of the CC. It had a ridiculously low limit, something like $200 only.

When I turned 18, I switched credit card companies and got my first credit card under my own name. I've been using it ever since. I especially like it since I get 1% back on the spending, which adds up to a lot when you put tuition, books, food, and bills on there.

Some people do go overboard with credit cards, but they can be a very effective way of spending and tracking your money as long as you pay it back on time. My 7 years of building good credit has been immensely helpful when I buckled down to buy my first home.
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37 / F / Fort Meade, MD
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Posted 10/1/07
^^ I have a client right now who's over 7 million in debt between 49 credit cards..as well as bank loans.

using one credit card to pay the other off doesn't work either...
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27 / M
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Posted 10/1/07
^ 7-million? Thats bloody insane! How the hell is that client still swimming? The interest must be a boatload alone.

Ah, another small tip if you're just starting out and your limit is down in the sewers. Before you apply,
keep some savings in the bank for a couple months. My sister did this, and instead of the crappy $200 limit they approved her friends for, they gave her like 5-700 limit.
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28
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Posted 10/1/07

Dusterbayala wrote:

^^ I have a client right now who's over 7 million in debt between 49 credit cards..as well as bank loans


DDD:! OH MY GOD. That's insane.
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32 / F
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Posted 10/1/07


How do you spend 7 million dollars you don't have??

I often find that people are too preoccupied with keeping up appearances.
37847 cr points
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28
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Posted 10/1/07
7 million?.. in how long?.. he or she didnt buy a building did she?.. or a yacht?.. but those stuffs wont even cost that much..

15332 cr points
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Posted 10/1/07
i dont even a have a credit card...
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27 / M / CALIFORNIA
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Posted 10/1/07
i have a debit card and love it though i only have like 50- 60- 70 dollars in the bank since i spent it all on college fees

o well i need to find a job now to put more money in!!!!

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32 / F / PINAS YO!
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Posted 10/1/07
make sure you're a supplementary. that way, you don't have to answer for the crap that you can do. jk im only a supplementary but i use it only when im broke and hungry.
my insurance sent me a free credit card with a P70k limit. what did i do? i cut it. i never want to owe money. it's like selling your soul. the person waaay above is ryt. if you do choose to have a credit card, make sure you pay off everything by the end of the month. don't act like it's YOUR money. it's not. it's CREDIT. but anyway, it does have it's pros. you dont have to bring wads of cash and risk having it mugged or whatever. however, having one can make it dangerous. lots of horror stories about strangers using up credit card numbers and winding up paying for laptops and other expensive crap (cut that out. embarassing if interpol send you a note.)... it would also help to have a complicated signature at the back of the card, or having a credit card with your photo. so if it gets lost, the thg who'll try to use it will have a hard time.
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33 / M / core of abstract...
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Posted 10/1/07
ermm...i have one credit cad...and a debit card....and both the accounts are taken care of by my parents...i mean the accounts are in my name...but...its them who actually pays the money...and i am allowed to spend as i wish :D...well..my parents are extremely caring abt me...and they wont let me work until i finish my studies...so till then i dont really have to worry abt such things..
4769 cr points
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76 / M
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Posted 10/1/07
its the shit
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