Credit Card Debt & Personal Responsibility

by Mark Brinker

Earlier this month I wrote an article about the practice of certain credit card companies jacking up interest rates to astronomical levels even though the cardholder has never been late on their monthly payment. In case you missed that article, you can check it out by clicking here

There’s a related matter that I wanted to touch on briefly, and that is the topic of personal responsibility.

It’s true that I believe some credit card companies have policies that are unscrupulous or questionable. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the credit card companies are not forcing you or anyone to use a credit card. It’s all voluntary.

When a person racks up too much debt and creates a challenging financial situation for themselves it’s tempting to look for someone else to blame for their financial predicament, and often the easiest target to go after is the credit card company.

But remember, the credit card companies do not force their cardholders to:

  • Buy flat-screen plasma TVs for every room in their house.
  • Take a 10-day vacation to Hawaii and stay at the Ritz-Carlton.
  • Buy a $10,000 diamond engagement ring when a beautiful $1,500 alternative with a few less diamonds will do just fine (and she’ll still love you just as much).

Bottom line, we’re just talking about being personally responsible for your actions. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Don’t worry about keeping up with the Jones. Let the Jones — not you — get the ulcers from worrying about how they’re going to pay for everything.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not defending the credit card companies and some of their questionable policies and tactics. I believe there are some things they can definitely improve upon. 

And I’m not saying that all credit card purchases are reckless or frivolous, either. Unexpected events (like medical emergencies) do sometimes happen. All I’m saying is let’s not alter reality and place 100% of the blame on someone else when in fact we had a hand in creating the problem. That’s all I’m saying.

If you’re presently struggling with a lot of debt, I know what you’re going through. Been there, done that. Not fun. Most of have felt the financial pinch or maybe even an outright meltdown at some point in our lives. And yes, you’re going to have to address the situation sooner or later. But accepting responsibility for what has happened is almost always the first step toward resolving the matter.

If you’d like a little comic relief, check out this SNL video that pokes fun at credit card debt and personal responsibility >>  click here to watch the video

Previous post:

Next post: