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(Time)   Most Americans still have no idea how much interest their credit cards actually charge them   (time.com) divider line
    More: Facepalm, financial crisis, Late-2000s recession, new study, basic financial literacy, National Capability Study, Americans, FINRA Foundation, unpaid medical debt  
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3644 clicks; posted to Main » and Business » on 14 Jul 2016 at 12:16 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2016-07-14 1:36:00 AM  
Wow, based on this thread, every Farker out there is a slice of the most responsible life.  (I sound like I have crippling debt... no, but I do have sharp knees).

/one 15 year old credit card
//balance is higher than I'd like but 8.9%, thanks USAA
///don't get engaged... but certainly don't get married (whew)
////slashies like slashing that debt... 7 months to go
 
2016-07-14 1:36:33 AM  

Wadded Beef: Online banking is the sh*t. I pay off my card pretty much every other day rather than a check to pay the bill at the end of the month like we all did prior to the internet age. It also means I can keep track of my balance at a moment's notice instead of suffering the occasional sticker shock of a snail-mailed monthly bill.

Not to mention, seeing my balance on demand keeps me honest about staying within my means and tempering any purchases so I don't accumulate a sizeable debt. The result is I haven't carried a monthly balance for years now.

/CSB


I used to have late fees almost every month back in the days of mailing it in, since I mailed out all bills on the same day. Autopay and being able to check your balance from your phone are awesome.
 
2016-07-14 1:41:10 AM  
How is any of this a surprise? Apparently most Americans signed into mortgages without having any idea of what the terms and payment schedules were. There is no limit to most people's fiscal stupidity.

That said, I'm no wizzard, but I manage the bills, mortgage, IRAs and minor investments just fine, so...
 
2016-07-14 1:44:09 AM  
Y'know, it's amazing how so many Farkers always pay off their credit cards in full every month, and none of us ever is foolish enough to carry a balance.

Seriously, though - in my case, my good financial situation is a combination of being educated by parents who understood about credit and debt and made sure I knew why not to incur any I couldn't handle, and the good fortune to be very good at something that pays very well and also not quite lazy enough to get fired from it. But I do wonder what's going on with the people who carry large credit card balances.

(Realistically, it's probably a spectrum, from entitled brats who buy the latest iPhone every six months even after being cut off by their parents to hard-working and frugal but not especially skilled folks who were barely making it paycheck-to-paycheck and then got hit by a huge bill and have had to juggle credit cards ever since. I guess I'm wondering what the proportions are on that spectrum. Or actually, I'm wondering how many people could actually climb out of the hole if given a chance, and how we as a society could make it possible.)
 
2016-07-14 1:54:23 AM  

mcmnky: FormlessOne: "What good is math to me?", they say...

TwowheelinTim: The comments in this thread make it look like the average Farker is fiscally responsible. There are a couple explanations that come to mind, but I'm going with "the average Farker is fiscally responsible". It's good to see you have ignored the lessons and examples your family, friends, and government have been providing all these years.

Yeah. Paid off my mortgage, paid off & canceled my credit cards, and my reward? A lowered credit score, because, hey, I clearly won't make a bank any money if they give me a line of credit. Never mind that I have an 80+ spread between credit scores depending on which agency I ask, or that one agency still thinks I work at CIGNA, a company at which I haven't worked in 18 goddamned years.

No, I'm supposed to curate my credit score because it's increasingly used to measure my value as a person, instead of merely indicate how much of a profit margin I'd give a creditor. Fark that.

If you don't have any debt and aren't planning on getting any, why would you know/care what your credit score was?


Car insurance to name one thing.
 
2016-07-14 1:54:57 AM  

Mithiwithi: Y'know, it's amazing how so many Farkers always pay off their credit cards in full every month, and none of us ever is foolish enough to carry a balance.


Pretty sure there are plenty of balance-carriers around, but most of them are shamed into not admitting it.

I didn't get to be good with finances overnight. I've been in debt to my ears. It was the work I did getting out of debt that made me good with finances.

It's like if you're a smoker, and you want to quit. Ask a lifelong non-smoker and they're like "Why don't you just quit?" Ask a former smoker and they'll go something like "Well, first, let's identify your triggers..."
 
2016-07-14 2:01:37 AM  

Madman drummers bummers: It's not easy to find safe places to stash bucks and still beat inflation, anymore. The powers that be are, intentionally or not, encouraging debt and spending rather than saving. And most of the people are more than happy to oblige.


If you have $10K disposable (and a little patience) Martin Guitars usually appreciate well. Look for the signature series.
 
2016-07-14 2:04:29 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2016-07-14 2:16:20 AM  

gunsmack: FDR Jones: I don't carry a balance, but I also don't live a lifestyle that is prone to huge surprise bills, i.e., no house, car, kids, etc. No medical issues. I'm also liquid AF because I keep way more money in my checking account than is necessary.

Liquidity is nice, but checking pays less interest than stuffing it under your mattress. Grab a few CDs (which don't pay much more) or bonds if you have a surplus.


Meh, if I threw 15K in a CD for a year, it would get me about $37. I'd rather have the feeling of checking my balance every once in a while and feeling like a boss, even though it's really not that much money.
 
2016-07-14 2:20:13 AM  

FormlessOne: "What good is math to me?", they say...

TwowheelinTim: The comments in this thread make it look like the average Farker is fiscally responsible. There are a couple explanations that come to mind, but I'm going with "the average Farker is fiscally responsible". It's good to see you have ignored the lessons and examples your family, friends, and government have been providing all these years.

Yeah. Paid off my mortgage, paid off & canceled my credit cards, and my reward? A lowered credit score, because, hey, I clearly won't make a bank any money if they give me a line of credit. Never mind that I have an 80+ spread between credit scores depending on which agency I ask, or that one agency still thinks I work at CIGNA, a company at which I haven't worked in 18 goddamned years.

No, I'm supposed to curate my credit score because it's increasingly used to measure my value as a person, instead of merely indicate how much of a profit margin I'd give a creditor. Fark that.


I'm pretty sure they don't care about your value as a person one single bit.
 
2016-07-14 2:31:34 AM  
I dont have good credit, but i get a lot of credit cards in the mail offering me a low low rate of 20% APR taht goes up 30%

should be laws against high interest rates.. and force banks to actually GIVE credit beyond a "I love debt" credit score
 
2016-07-14 2:33:02 AM  
Moreover, most Americans don't know that TimeTM is the only corporate entity left that actually knows how to be a proper American. Once Trump is president we'll do away with all the whiners who think the police are abusive. We'll stop Mexicans and Mooslums from...umm...keeping this once great land from taking it back from someone. Yea that's it, TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY dosh garnit.
 
2016-07-14 2:44:39 AM  

kkinnison: I dont have good credit, but i get a lot of credit cards in the mail offering me a low low rate of 20% APR taht goes up 30%

should be laws against high interest rates.. and force banks to actually GIVE credit beyond a "I love debt" credit score


Blame Joe Biden.
 
2016-07-14 2:47:32 AM  
13% and it goes up to 24% if I screw up. I usually don't carry a balance but I had a cash squeeze and some expenses at the same time so I've carried a balance for a few months. Paying it down by about 1/4 of the high balance each time but I was happy to have a bit of credit for a while even if I had to pay 40 or 50 bucks for it.
 
2016-07-14 2:58:12 AM  

wax_on: 13% and it goes up to 24% if I screw up. I usually don't carry a balance but I had a cash squeeze and some expenses at the same time so I've carried a balance for a few months. Paying it down by about 1/4 of the high balance each time but I was happy to have a bit of credit for a while even if I had to pay 40 or 50 bucks for it.


When I was young, I really had no conception how much living in debt cost me, and I had a ton of debt. Then, I got out of debt, and started to build wealth. You start to see what 7-10% year over year looks like, and you realize what that debt actually cost.
 
2016-07-14 3:00:07 AM  

chicken nugger: Sure I do, it's 7.50%, the lowest rate of any card around.


[snert]  5.65% here.

Which is actually a little annoying.  I checked to be sure before bragging and it changed on the first statement of the year.  It was 5.40% for a long time.  So I guess the headline was right.  I mean I knew it was a variable rate in the mid 5% range but I haven't bothered to check in ages because I haven't carried a balance in years.  So I guess the article was right.  I didn't know.
 
2016-07-14 3:00:19 AM  

chicken nugger: snowjack: 7.15% biatcheeees
https://www.becu.org/everyday-banking/credit-cards

:-)

Variable rate.....lol


Even if they say it's not variable rate, your contract may very well have some weasel words in the fine print of saying "we can still change the rate if we want under certain unspecified conditions ... because reasons." It is a credit card, after all. I hope you're not using yours to finance long term obligations. I am carrying a small balance right now, but if the rate goes up I'll pay it off.
 
2016-07-14 3:03:20 AM  

jtown: chicken nugger: Sure I do, it's 7.50%, the lowest rate of any card around.

[snert]  5.65% here.

Which is actually a little annoying.  I checked to be sure before bragging and it changed on the first statement of the year.  It was 5.40% for a long time.  So I guess the headline was right.  I mean I knew it was a variable rate in the mid 5% range but I haven't bothered to check in ages because I haven't carried a balance in years.  So I guess the article was right.  I didn't know.


That's amazing... hard to believe, even. It's tough to get even a secured vehicle loan much below 4.5% without a subsidy from the vehicle manufacturer.
 
2016-07-14 3:09:01 AM  

snowjack: jtown: chicken nugger: Sure I do, it's 7.50%, the lowest rate of any card around.

[snert]  5.65% here.

Which is actually a little annoying.  I checked to be sure before bragging and it changed on the first statement of the year.  It was 5.40% for a long time.  So I guess the headline was right.  I mean I knew it was a variable rate in the mid 5% range but I haven't bothered to check in ages because I haven't carried a balance in years.  So I guess the article was right.  I didn't know.

That's amazing... hard to believe, even. It's tough to get even a secured vehicle loan much below 4.5% without a subsidy from the vehicle manufacturer.


Yep, I am paying 4.5% on a HELOC, but that is variable, and tied to prime.
 
2016-07-14 3:11:10 AM  
Whe the fark don't americans just use debit cards?!

You only spend what you have.
What's not to get?
 
2016-07-14 3:13:13 AM  

snowjack: jtown: chicken nugger: Sure I do, it's 7.50%, the lowest rate of any card around.

[snert]  5.65% here.

Which is actually a little annoying.  I checked to be sure before bragging and it changed on the first statement of the year.  It was 5.40% for a long time.  So I guess the headline was right.  I mean I knew it was a variable rate in the mid 5% range but I haven't bothered to check in ages because I haven't carried a balance in years.  So I guess the article was right.  I didn't know.

That's amazing... hard to believe, even. It's tough to get even a secured vehicle loan much below 4.5% without a subsidy from the vehicle manufacturer.


Sure, I could fake it but I didn't.  Started out as 9.90 fixed back in the late 90s then they changed it to a variable rate tied to some complicated formula which caused it to plummet.  This is cropped from a recent statement.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2016-07-14 3:22:16 AM  
So the article says only 37% of Americans can pass a basic financial literacy test.

At least that's still more than half.
 
2016-07-14 3:24:27 AM  
TFA: Just 28% knew what happens to bond prices when interest rates fall. (They rise.)

Ok, sorry.  I consider myself an intelligent person, and I could handle some of those crazy EVE Online spreadsheets if I wanted, but what do bond prices have to do with "Financial Literacy"?  I might have gotten that question wrong if I'd be asked cold-turkey.

Bond prices are a vagary of the stock market responding to less profitable lending.  It has no relevancy to most people except that they're considered to be "safer" ways of storing money.  You can't fail 75% of people on "Financial Knowledge" for not consciously knowing that fact.
 
2016-07-14 3:33:42 AM  

FormlessOne: "What good is math to me?", they say...

TwowheelinTim: The comments in this thread make it look like the average Farker is fiscally responsible. There are a couple explanations that come to mind, but I'm going with "the average Farker is fiscally responsible". It's good to see you have ignored the lessons and examples your family, friends, and government have been providing all these years.

Yeah. Paid off my mortgage, paid off & canceled my credit cards, and my reward? A lowered credit score, because, hey, I clearly won't make a bank any money if they give me a line of credit. Never mind that I have an 80+ spread between credit scores depending on which agency I ask, or that one agency still thinks I work at CIGNA, a company at which I haven't worked in 18 goddamned years.

No, I'm supposed to curate my credit score because it's increasingly used to measure my value as a person, instead of merely indicate how much of a profit margin I'd give a creditor. Fark that.


How do you make plane/hotel/rental car reservations without a credit card? And shopping online can be a really good way to save money (and time, and gas), unless you're a doofus about shipping. But you need a CC, unless you can do everything through Paypal.

Also, I don't live in the US. Will credit card companies over there negotiate rates?
 
2016-07-14 3:38:25 AM  

Madman drummers bummers: gunsmack: FDR Jones: I don't carry a balance, but I also don't live a lifestyle that is prone to huge surprise bills, i.e., no house, car, kids, etc. No medical issues. I'm also liquid AF because I keep way more money in my checking account than is necessary.

Liquidity is nice, but checking pays less interest than stuffing it under your mattress. Grab a few CDs (which don't pay much more) or bonds if you have a surplus.

I used to do CD ladders: get a 3-month, a 6-month, a 9-month if you can get it, a 1-year, and so on. Every time one of them matures, buy the longest-term one you can get with the proceeds. You're never more than 3 months away from a maturity if you have an emergency (loss of job, hospital bills, that sort of thing), and you're generally getting more interest than with a savings account.

I quit doing that when CD rates dropped to "are you farking kidding me" levels. Bonds might be the way to go with that sort of thing now, but I don't know much about the bond market.

It's not easy to find safe places to stash bucks and still beat inflation, anymore. The powers that be are, intentionally or not, encouraging debt and spending rather than saving. And most of the people are more than happy to oblige.


Oh, isn't that the truth... it's a global problem. I just changed banks after 19 years because a smaller bank here is offering terms for new customers that include 3% interest on what you have in your current account up to the amount of your monthly salary. It's about the best deal going right now, a hell of a lot better deal than accruing pennies in a CD.
 
2016-07-14 3:42:23 AM  
I don't know or care either, because I pay off the balance every month.
 
2016-07-14 3:44:20 AM  

Public Savant: Whe the fark don't americans just use debit cards?!

You only spend what you have.
What's not to get?


Some do, but debit cards in the US aren't always chipped. Credit cards usually offer better protection. My parents have been the victims of identity theft a few times and the CC company was right on top of things.

Since I use their address for US recordkeeping purposes, even though I've been a dual citizen living abroad since 1994, CC offers continue to come to me at their house. 30% interest or more. I'm always tempted to fill out an application using the dog's information and her paw print signature and see if they'll send her a card. She's not a minor in dog years. Would that be fraud?
 
2016-07-14 3:54:53 AM  
I cut all mine up and paid them off. Never again.
 
2016-07-14 3:57:04 AM  

mcmnky: FormlessOne: "What good is math to me?", they say...

TwowheelinTim: The comments in this thread make it look like the average Farker is fiscally responsible. There are a couple explanations that come to mind, but I'm going with "the average Farker is fiscally responsible". It's good to see you have ignored the lessons and examples your family, friends, and government have been providing all these years.

Yeah. Paid off my mortgage, paid off & canceled my credit cards, and my reward? A lowered credit score, because, hey, I clearly won't make a bank any money if they give me a line of credit. Never mind that I have an 80+ spread between credit scores depending on which agency I ask, or that one agency still thinks I work at CIGNA, a company at which I haven't worked in 18 goddamned years.

No, I'm supposed to curate my credit score because it's increasingly used to measure my value as a person, instead of merely indicate how much of a profit margin I'd give a creditor. Fark that.

If you don't have any debt and aren't planning on getting any, why would you know/care what your credit score was?


This.

Debt is stupid.  Debt creates slaves. Nobody needs a new Mustang bad enough to go into debt.
 
2016-07-14 3:57:19 AM  

Nogale: I'm always tempted to fill out an application using the dog's information and her paw print signature and see if they'll send her a card. She's not a minor in dog years. Would that be fraud?


Is your dog capable of making informed consent?
 
2016-07-14 3:58:15 AM  

FormlessOne: "What good is math to me?", they say...

TwowheelinTim: The comments in this thread make it look like the average Farker is fiscally responsible. There are a couple explanations that come to mind, but I'm going with "the average Farker is fiscally responsible". It's good to see you have ignored the lessons and examples your family, friends, and government have been providing all these years.

Yeah. Paid off my mortgage, paid off & canceled my credit cards, and my reward? A lowered credit score, because, hey, I clearly won't make a bank any money if they give me a line of credit. Never mind that I have an 80+ spread between credit scores depending on which agency I ask, or that one agency still thinks I work at CIGNA, a company at which I haven't worked in 18 goddamned years.

No, I'm supposed to curate my credit score because it's increasingly used to measure my value as a person, instead of merely indicate how much of a profit margin I'd give a creditor. Fark that.


So, you are smart! Good for you!

Credit is for slaves.
 
2016-07-14 3:58:39 AM  

jtown: snert]  5.65% here.


Proof bro or I'm calling bullshiat.
 
2016-07-14 4:00:58 AM  

Harry_Seldon: I lived an extravagant lifestyle funded by credit cards for years. Then I lucked into buying house t just the right time. House prices skyrocketted in SoCal, so I started to use the equity as a piggy bank. Then, my income tripled over the next few years, so I was able to spend more money on credit cards. At one point, I bought a $10k motorcycle on a credit card. I saw the house bubble burst coming, so I sold my house in 2006 for a $250k profit, and paid off my student loans and credit cards, and still walked away with over $100k, so I moved to Portland. I decided to not work for a couple of years, and blew the $100k and ran up another $20k in credit card debt., so I had to get a job.


And what did we learn?
 
2016-07-14 4:05:57 AM  

chicken nugger: jtown: snert]  5.65% here.

Proof bro or I'm calling bullshiat.


Maybe read the rest of the new posts before calling bullshiat, bro.  I have a feeling you wouldn't believe me no matter what I post.  Because, for some reason, I'm compelled to lie about something so meaningless on an anonymous message board.  :rolleyes:
 
2016-07-14 4:07:15 AM  

Harry_Seldon: Nogale: I'm always tempted to fill out an application using the dog's information and her paw print signature and see if they'll send her a card. She's not a minor in dog years. Would that be fraud?

Is your dog capable of making informed consent?


That's what he claimed in court.
 
2016-07-14 4:28:25 AM  

jtown: Maybe read the rest of the new posts before calling bullshiat, bro.


Link to the card, bro
 
2016-07-14 4:29:36 AM  

TwowheelinTim: The comments in this thread make it look like the average Farker is fiscally responsible. There are a couple explanations that come to mind, but I'm going with "the average Farker is fiscally responsible". It's good to see you have ignored the lessons and examples your family, friends, and government have been providing all these years.


Who asked you?
 
2016-07-14 4:35:01 AM  

Harry_Seldon: Nogale: I'm always tempted to fill out an application using the dog's information and her paw print signature and see if they'll send her a card. She's not a minor in dog years. Would that be fraud?

Is your dog capable of making informed consent?


She's certainly capable of deciding what she does and does not want to do. Admittedly not great with finances, but probably not very much worse than most two-legged Americans.
 
2016-07-14 4:36:02 AM  

chicken nugger: jtown: Maybe read the rest of the new posts before calling bullshiat, bro.

Link to the card, bro


You'll need a time machine, bro.  As I said in my second post (which I don't think you've read), it's an account I opened in the late 90s.  The fact that you can't get it now doesn't mean I don't have it.  You're being foolish, bro.  I've got a lower rate than you.  Accept it and move on.  Maybe when you've had the same account for a decade, you'll get a better rate.  Hang in there!
 
2016-07-14 4:43:39 AM  

jtown: The fact that you can't get it now doesn't mean I don't have it.


So, no proof then?  Got it!  Cards don't just up and stop offering a certain rate, please go somewhere else with that BS.
 
2016-07-14 4:46:16 AM  
Has anyone pointed out that they have zero interest because they pay off their balance every month?  Because that's what happens.
/the more you know
 
2016-07-14 4:46:18 AM  

Nogale: Harry_Seldon: Nogale: I'm always tempted to fill out an application using the dog's information and her paw print signature and see if they'll send her a card. She's not a minor in dog years. Would that be fraud?

Is your dog capable of making informed consent?

She's certainly capable of deciding what she does and does not want to do. Admittedly not great with finances, but probably not very much worse than most two-legged Americans.


That's just because there hasn't yet been made an ad targeting her demographic:

"Who wants to be a good girl?! Who wants to be a good girl!? YOU can be a good girl if you shop at K-mart! You're a good girl and you are always welcome!"
 
2016-07-14 4:49:22 AM  

paulleah: Yeah. Paid off my mortgage, paid off & canceled my credit cards, and my reward? A lowered credit score, because, hey, I clearly won't make a bank any money if they give me a line of credit.


It's a pretty well-known assumed fact that canceling credit cards lowers your scores (because the major criteria is precent of available credit used).

Also the credit bureaus and the banks are different companies, at least in theory.
 
2016-07-14 4:51:07 AM  
In the last 30 years
I've fluctuated between borrowing money and lending money.
In the last year I am finally figuring out that there's a happy medium between.
/ something similar to being 2 inches under water vs snorkelin and actually swimming
//The more known..et
///Just drained and refilled the pool water
 
2016-07-14 4:55:48 AM  
Really would like to find a way to raise my credit score quickly so I could borrow at a lower rate so I can live at currently.
 
2016-07-14 5:05:58 AM  

chicken nugger: jtown: The fact that you can't get it now doesn't mean I don't have it.

So, no proof then?  Got it!  Cards don't just up and stop offering a certain rate, please go somewhere else with that BS.


Christ, you're a farking idiot.  I posted a picture of my APR from a recent statement.  WTF do you mean "cards don't just up and stop offering a certain rate"?  Offers come and go all the time on cards.  You're an idiot.
 
2016-07-14 5:08:43 AM  
According to the article it's not that they don't know what their card's interest rate is, it's that they don't know how to calculate how much money it costs them.  So basically, they suck at math.
 
2016-07-14 5:11:17 AM  

jtown: Christ, you're a farking idiot.  I posted a picture of my APR from a recent statement.  WTF do you mean "cards don't just up and stop offering a certain rate"?  Offers come and go all the time on cards.  You're an idiot.


Yeah, offers such as a certain APR for a certain period and such.  No card gives a certain rate for those people who signed up in a certain year and another for those that didn't.  You're claiming to be grandfathered into a lower rate and that's flat out bullshiat.  You posted something from a new card, that's what you did.

Also, keep name calling, bro.  It's how we know who the cool kids are.
 
2016-07-14 5:17:16 AM  

chicken nugger: jtown: The fact that you can't get it now doesn't mean I don't have it.

So, no proof then?  Got it!  Cards don't just up and stop offering a certain rate, please go somewhere else with that BS.


Ooooooooh. You nailed him, brah!  Fist bump!

*eyeroll*
 
2016-07-14 5:28:40 AM  

chicken nugger: jtown: Christ, you're a farking idiot.  I posted a picture of my APR from a recent statement.  WTF do you mean "cards don't just up and stop offering a certain rate"?  Offers come and go all the time on cards.  You're an idiot.

Yeah, offers such as a certain APR for a certain period and such.  No card gives a certain rate for those people who signed up in a certain year and another for those that didn't.  You're claiming to be grandfathered into a lower rate and that's flat out bullshiat.  You posted something from a new card, that's what you did.

Also, keep name calling, bro.  It's how we know who the cool kids are.


He never claimed to be grandfathered in. He just said his variable rate had been 5.4% for a long time before going up to 5.65%.
 
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