Credit Cards are Dumb

How do we stop credit card companies from sending offers? And how do we get them to lower the APR? And how do we get out of debt? George answers all these and more!

Jan 30, 2024 | Podcast

About the Episode

There, I said it. And how do we stop credit card companies from sending offers? And how do we get them to lower the APR? And how do we get out of debt?

George G answers these questions, answers a letter from the mailbag, and more!

 

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George Grombacher

George Grombacher

Host

Episode Transcript

This week’s letter comes from little Janie little Jamie writes, Dear George gee, how can I stop credit card companies from sending me offers in the mail? Little Janie, thanks so much for your letter. I certainly appreciate you taking the time to reach out. And let me know, your question and what you’re struggling with right now. I wonder what the real problem is? If that’s not the real problem, a lot of the time, there’s some kind of an underlying issue or problem going on, which is why people take the time to write letters. Are you accepting every credit card offer that comes your way? I certainly hope not. But maybe that’s the case. Whatever the case may be, it’s a great question. I appreciate you sending the letter. And the answer, just to answer your question is to go to www dot opt out pre screen.com. So opt out pre screen.com. And you can take care of it from there, it is a governmental agency, Consumer Protection Bureau, some kind of an arm of that, which will, again, just get you off the list, and they’ll stop sending you offers. So another answer. Another answer your question is that credit card companies sending you offers is not the problem. I’m reading into this sort of reading between the lines looking at tea leaves, credit card offers arriving at your house is not the problem. Money in general, is not the problem. It never or very rarely is the problem. The problem, little Janie is you and I in this example, it’s you. But it is us as individuals more so than it is the fact of credit card companies, the stock market, just outside entities, our ability to control ourselves and our impulses to to go without things. We live in this very instant gratification society, which in a lot of ways is incredible. From my phone, I can with one, click, maybe a couple of clicks, I can have anything show up my house, within hours, certainly within days. And that’s an amazing thing. So I’ve been conditioned through the success of our society and our culture and everything else to be able to get whatever I want, essentially, whenever I want it, the credit card piece of this is that, that enables me to do that. I know that I believe it or not can remember a time when I ran out of money, I could actually run out of money. And when that happened before credit cards before I had them, that just meant that I stopped spending, well, credit cards, get rid of that problem. They remove any friction of you don’t have any money, therefore you can’t buy anything. And now I can just keep going keep spending with reckless abandon. And here we are. So our ability, again to control ourselves and our impulses to go without to make sacrifices or to make investments in our future. Rather than satiate our needs and our desires today. That’s more of the problem. But maybe that’s not what you were looking for. But I’m gonna circle back on that in just a little bit. One more thing on opting out of receiving credit card offers, I’m all for it. Because I believe that we must position ourselves we must position oneself for success. We must overcome ourselves. And a lot of the time when we develop good habits that helps us to do that. But why not also ask credit card companies who are not necessarily always acting in your best interest to stop sending you offers at your home. So you know if you can do that, and you know that you are somebody who in the past has signed up for things when they show up at your door, well then, by all means, do that opt out. And as they say, Just do it. So while we’re talking about credit cards, while we’re on this very, very important topic. You know, I really think credit cards are just one of the worst things. They when we’re in credit card debt, consumer debt, it just stops us from doing a lot of things that we really want to do. I know that when I was in my 20s If I was putting everything on credit cards, I would go out for happy hour and subsequently end up paying for vodka soda for like five years, just because I run up a credit card balance and the annual percentage rate 20%, or whatever, that just meant that I ended up paying a lot more than the actual cost of it over a long period of time. And it just keeps you stuck. Financial problems follow you around everywhere you go. It’s just a bad place. It causes you to not be making investments in our future because we’re having to pay for, you know, just decisions of our past. So that’s a, that’s a really important thing to make sure that we’re not doing. Because obviously, if we’re just constantly playing defense, then we can’t play offense. I wonder if there’s any other analogies or metaphors that I can throw it your bet that I can. So how can we proactively while we’re talking about reaching out to credit card companies proactively work to reduce your APR or annual percentage rate? That’s what we pay on any credit card balance that we may have? So how do we do that? Simply, you can pick up the phone and call them. And you can ask, Hey, credit card company, can you reduce my APR? Can you reduce my annual percentage rate? What’s the worst thing that can happen? We tell you no, you are not in a position, we’re not in a position to reduce yours. Well, now, you know, hey. So you could also, if you find yourself in credit card debt, which the majority of Americans do, and again, I did. There are other options. If you find yourself in that position, you can disregard everything I was just talking about about not accepting offers from credit card companies and getting them to take their offers to have them stop sending it to your house. But you can totally like I said, disregard that, and see if you qualify for a new credit card with a 0% interest rate or a lower annual percentage rate, the different credit card company. So pretty impressive, I’m able to talk out both sides of my mouth. I know, I know, the better answer is to improve your credit score. So you can get a lower annual percentage rate, and an even better answer as to just get out of credit card debt. So you’re not paying any APR to the credit card companies? I know it’ll be sad, can you? Can you put yourself in their shoes and feel how sad they’re going to be? When they’re no longer receiving money from you? Does a tear form? Do you do you hear a violin playing? Of course you don’t. To help you to do that. If you do find yourself in that predicament, which so many of us do. I have in service of helping you to do that I created a course called get out of debt, I’m really good at naming things, walks you through the process of making a plan and executing your plan and getting out of credit card debt. So being credit card debt is the very worst, and it is very, very human. It’s very human thing to do to blame other people when we are struggling. But you know, for being honest with ourselves, it’s really often our own fault. And remember, when you point your finger at someone else, three more. Two, three, are pointing back at us. Now that can’t be a mistake, can it? Maybe maybe not. Now, I know just talked about a minute ago that I spent a good amount of my 20s in our credit card debt. So I know how sucky that it is I also know how hard it is to get out of subsequent credit card debt. But it was always my fault. And not anybody else’s fault. Maybe it’s your fault as well. There are obviously other situations well beyond our control. Maybe you got in some kind of an accident or you got sick and there’s medical bills. That’s really not what I’m talking about here, talking about the self inflicted wounds. But we do have little to no control over the circumstances of our lives. I can’t control what things are gonna happen to me, but I have absolute control and 100% control over how I think, feel and respond to those circumstances and that my friend is a superpower

when the resqwater Like the other superpowers that we have, but when you accept responsibility for your situation, you make a plan for getting out of it. You put that plan into action so many virtuous things start happening. You start to develop confidence in yourself you develop belief in your abilities, you start to make progress you pay debt off you start saving you make you get momentum. You learn. You have new learnings, new belief, all these things you break bad habits. You create good habits. And that’s good. That’s good. Breaking Bad. Good. Creating new good yes checks out. So little Johnny, position yourself for success by reaching out to the credit card companies get off their list, ask them to lower your your annual percentage rate and then take a good hard look in the mirror and then get to work friendly reminder. It’s never going to be anybody more interested in your financial success than you are. So act accordingly.

 

 

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