Monday, October 1, 2007

The downsides of plastic

I'm generally of the view that credit cards are good things, especially if you're young and financially responsible. They help build credit history and allow you to earn interest on your money by deferring payment until the last day of your billing cycle. Unfortunately, the little consumer is always going to be at a disadvantage when going up against the big credit card company in any conflict. Plus, credit card contracts are notoriously difficult to decipher, like when they spend four pages talking about how they will calculate your interest rate, only to end with "and we can change our minds whenever we feel like it and we don't need your permission either and by the way neener neener neener!" To top it off, most credit card agreements require the consumer to submit to arbitration, and a new report from Public Citizen details how arbiters overwhelmingly favor credit card companies over consumers. (Hat tip: Simple Justice).

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