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June 16th, 2008
03:15 PM ET

Your relationship with credit cards?

ALT TEXT

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Buy now, pay later... seems to be the American way.

A new Gallup poll takes a look at Americans' habits when it comes to their credit cards. When asked how they pay their credit card bills each month, 43% of those surveyed say they always pay the full amount. 17% say they usually do. 25% say they usually leave a balance, and 12% say they usually pay the minimum amount due. Only 1% pay less than the minimum. Credit-card holders have an average of about 4 cards.

When it comes to those who carry a balance, 30% say they have a balance of more than $2,000. 19% have a balance of more than $5,000, and 9% say more than $10,000.

The good news is people might be getting a little smarter about using their plastic. In April, the Fed said consumers actually used their credit cards less. And the poll found that the percentage of people who say they leave a balance or make the minimum payment on their credit cards has actually gone down over the past few years.

This suggests that the shaky economy has more people thinking twice before whipping out their charge card. But it's also a difficult situation for millions of people trying to figure out how to make ends meet. Just today the government reported the cost of living rose for Americans last month. Inflation increased 4.2%, led by surging energy costs.

Here’s my question to you: How would you describe your relationship with your credit cards?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


JC writes:
Use it when we absolutely need it and pay it off at the end of the month. It's really simple: we own it, it doesn't own us. And we are not in debt to the legal loan shark system.

Shirley from Ohio writes:
Jack, my credit card relationship has been over since my college years. I now have a new relationship with my debit card which I must say I am still in.

Vern from Anaheim, California writes:
Jack, Not good. I’m one of those who overcharged on credit cards and will be paying them off for some time. It's too easy to get them and I like most people didn't pay attention to what I was buying on them. It is much better to pay cash for something you buy and if you don't have enough to pay cash don't buy it.

Diane from Melbourne, Florida writes:
I've broken all ties to credit cards. Living within my means is more important to me than "stuff". And I'm trying to set a good example for my government.

Deb writes:
I'm on Social Security disability of $908 per month. Every month, I find myself relying more on my credit card for taxes, insurance, medical costs and other emergencies. Each month, there seems to be a new emergency. I pay as much over the minimum each month as I can and seem to be falling into the debt hole more each month.

Dave from Queens, New York writes:
My credit cards keep to themselves. We don't associate with the same circle of friends. It's not that they are particularly weird or nerdy, it just doesn't seem right for me hang with them or their kind. I'd like to think I'm not too harsh with them, but they will turn on me on occasion and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

John from San Diego writes:
Jack, My relationship with my credit cards is the same as my relationship with my ex- wife: I've gotten rid of both and I'm infinitely happier for it.

J.R. from Arkansas writes:
You're not a bill collector, are you?


Filed under: Economy
soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. Jed in Redding, CA

    Me and credit cards broke ties a long time ago. You get in trouble once and you make darn sure you never get in trouble again. Sure, I've got one - 'for emergencies only' - but I doubt I'll ever use it. That's why I've got a savings account where I can earn money on my money instead of paying 25, 30% annualy on my balance. Just put what you'd be paying monthly in there and you'll do allright.

    Word to the wise: If it's not a car or a house and you can't pay cash for it, you probably don't need it.

    June 16, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  2. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    Well, set up two glasses of champagne, play some quiet music, dim the lights dress her in Victoria's Secret best, and she still just lies there in my wallet with a zero balance. This economy has numbed whatever there once was between us.

    June 16, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  3. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,they are a great convience,but you have to use some common sense,or you will find yourself in bankruptcy court!

    June 16, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  4. Deb (Bow, NH)

    I use my two credit cards because I don't like to carry much cash – but I pay the bill in full every month. If I won't be able to do that, I don't buy. But then, I'm one of those (apparently increasingly rare) people who believes each one of us must actually take responsibility for our lives and the decisions we make – and I have worked very hard to make sure I am in a position to do that.

    June 16, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  5. Winston in Berrien Springs, MI

    Dear Jack,

    You can have my credit card when you pry it from my cold indebted fingers!

    June 16, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  6. Stacy from Virginia

    Jack, credit cards symbolize everything wrong about America. This “buy now-pay later” mentality has got us in most of our economic woes. I use them as a substitute for hard currency and pay off the cards at the end of each month. They keep trying to raise my limit, so I call and tell them to not, lest I be tempted to shop frivolously.

    June 16, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  7. Carol

    Credit cards sure help your credit score but only if you pay them off monthly, don't pay late, don't abuse your credit limit and choose wisely when to use them. Its to bad most people have to learn that the hard way...we did.

    Carol
    Oregon

    June 16, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  8. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    At this point in time its not a good idea to use credit cards for anything, if you cant pay cash for it you dont need it. We have to focus on food on the table gas in the car and paying the mortgage and utility bills, and if theres anything left maybe you can purchase your life saving medications.

    June 16, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  9. Byron Fairview, Texas

    I don't own any credit cards. I have a Bank Debit Master Card with absolutely no fees. I figure that if I don't have the money in my banking account to buy it then I don't need it.. I also have a savings account to put money in while I am saving up for things I can't afford at the moment. Credit cards are nothing more then a scam developed by corporations to get money out of people that have none.

    June 16, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  10. Mary CT

    I dumped my credit cards for a debit card: I'm in control, I decide the limits, and I don't have to panic about being late (paying the bill)!!

    June 16, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  11. Paul, Columbia, SC

    Zero balance and tucked away in a desk drawer. Utopia. Let me help all of you who don't read deliberately confusing disclosure statements. The condensed version is "Beware of Sharks".

    June 16, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  12. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Friendley. I have three creidt cards. I pay each off every month regardless of the amount. It is that simple. Do not charge more than you can afford to pay.

    June 16, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  13. Ray,Florida

    Disfunctional Jack!!

    June 16, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  14. David, Natches MS

    I treat them like asking my Dad for a loan, only as a last resort.

    June 16, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  15. Jacklyn in NC

    Jack, bad, bad & BAD! Right now I am working with all of the willpower that I can muster to get all of them paid off and breath a sigh of relief. I'd rather spend my own money.

    June 16, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  16. Julie, NY

    We met on Match.com. People always said that when it's just right, you know. I didn't know what they meant until I met my Visa. 😉

    June 16, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  17. Jay-Mississippi

    Jack; I have been to hell and back several times with Credit Cards, I pay them in full for the most part, but being self employed in Real Estate, I found myself revolving last year to make ends meet. Now I have stop using them all together and trying to get them paid off. Truythfully, I have no clear black and white answer, I deal with them according to my financial position

    June 16, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  18. Julie, NY

    Strained. I think my Mastercard is straying, he stays out to all hours of the night and it's becoming harder and harder to contact him. Hehehe 🙂

    June 16, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  19. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Jack,
    I use my credit card to fill up my gas tank as would not
    want to carry that much cash around without bodyguards!!

    June 16, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  20. Paula in Albuquerque

    I use a debit card. No money...no "honey"!

    June 16, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  21. Steph

    Like a marriage that should have never happened.

    June 16, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  22. Nancy, Tennessee

    Credit Cards are good for trips. A trip to the garbage can after the card is cut into many pieces. A trip to the car to take the garbage off. A trip to the landfill to finish off the journey. That is the best trip I ever took with anyone or anything.

    June 16, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  23. Ron Mechanicsville, VA

    Going in debt paying for gas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 16, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  24. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: The Roman Centurian on my wife's American Express green credit card has the biggest smile that I considered entering him into a toothpaste commerical. My American Express Blue remains blue, but I get bluer at each monthly statement. And since I passing through this life only once......the relationship is pretty good.

    June 16, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  25. Greg ...Cabot AR

    My credit cards fill my gas tank, get me airline tickets, a nights stay at a motel, repair my car and sometime cover online shopping.

    They keep me covered with the IRS each April 15th and give me peace of mind when it comes to unplaned major expenses.

    As long as I pay the bill each month....(and I do)...occassionally they take me and the little lady out to eat for free with the reward points.

    June 16, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  26. Brian, Puerto Rico

    Love Hate Relationship

    Love having them to buy things

    Hate having to pay them off

    June 16, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  27. Mary, Alabama

    I got the credit card message years ago when I got stuck with too many. I have one debit card that is paid directly out of my account and one gas card. I learned the credit card lesson the hard way. You can never pay them off by paying the minimum. They screw you with the interest rates which most people don't think about when they get their first card and think of those luxuries that can be had now. You pay through the nose for whatever you charge on a credit card. It's a racket.

    June 16, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  28. Dick B

    Credit cards are like the snake in the Garden of Eden.

    June 16, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  29. James in Idaho

    The walk of shame comes to mind.

    June 16, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  30. Linda Richards

    I seem to be one of the few sane people with regard to credit cards. I buy what I can afford, use the cards for convenience and pay the full amount when the bill arrives. It is not surprising, however, that in the US, the citizenry is following the lead of its government; buy now; pay later. Scratch that. Buy now. Have your great, great, great grandchildren pay later. Linda in Woodbury, NJ

    June 16, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  31. Ron in Indiana

    I dont own any credit cards so I will use this chance to say Hi to jack. Hi Jack.

    June 16, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  32. Mike, ABQ, NM

    Credit Cards are as phoney as the plastic they are made of. These companies do not verify or validate who they are issued to. They may as well be skipping down the street throwing out cards in yours and my name to whatever identity thief will take one. I discovered the hard way that fact. Credit card companies do not keep a copy of the agreement contract with your signature on file. They do not keep a copy of a signed reciept on file. They are incompetent, deceptive, and currupt.
    Still, I use mine to by gas and pay for repairs on my car.
    I pay the balance in full every month.

    June 16, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  33. Jim Cape Coral, FL

    Jack,
    The relationship I have with my credit cards is shakey at the moment. We're fighting because they want money and I can't seem to find any extra cash laying around. So just like my wife it won't be too long before I have to hire an attorney to take care of them.

    June 16, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  34. Judie

    Jack,
    Warm and fuzzy. My credit cards are my personal bank loan officer on call 24/7. If I want or need something I have the where with all to get it any time day or night. My credit cards are now part of my monthly budget. Works out great as long as I do not let temptation take over. Now my relationship with Cold Hard Cash is another story its nonexisitant.

    Judie
    St. Augustine, Fl

    June 16, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  35. Mike Nunn - Hot Springs, Ar.

    I love my credit cards and always have. They have been lifelong friends and have assisted me and my wife in our journey towards old age. We have not taken advantage of them and they have rewarded us with love and security.

    June 16, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  36. DMAC/Post Falls, ID

    I cut mine up 4 yrs ago. Should have kept at least one for emergency but I just do with out what ever comes up till I can afford it. Saving out of my SS for new tires right now.

    June 16, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  37. Richard/Nh

    Jack, I am a firm believer that if you let your outcome, exceed your income, that your upkeep will become your downfall; therefore, I approach credit card use like a second marriage-remembering what went wrong and for how long.

    June 16, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  38. Don in Florida

    Isnt that how we're paying for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan by credit?

    June 16, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  39. Laura Schneider, Theodore, AL

    I learned my lesson the hard way. At one point in my life, I was living on credit. It doesn't take much of an unexpected disaster to set the ball rolling down the hill to destruction.

    I now pay all my credit cards in full at the beginning of each month. That way I maintain a credit history, don't have to carry cash and don't have to pay exhorbitant interest rates and finance charges.

    June 16, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  40. Candie

    Jack:
    I have no relationship with credit cards. That love affair soured about 15 years ago when I want over $30,000 in debt. Today, I have a single credit card, with a zero balance, to use for emergencies only.

    June 16, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  41. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Jack,

    We have two credit cards, an Amex and Visa. We use the Amex for everything and when the bill comes we PAY IT IN FULL!

    Americans are deeply in debt because we have an attitude of "I want it, I want it......" Look at all the women with couture handbags and fancy shoes. Can't afford their payments, but boy are they dressed to "impress"!

    We have taught our children to be wise about money, to respect it and be good stewards. NONE are in debt.

    I coined a phrase, "The ONLY ONE you need to impress is GOD!"

    June 16, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  42. Harry

    I am starting to realize how far out of step I am, with mainstream America and you. I do not have relationships with inanimate objects. As a matter of fact the ONLY relationship I have, is with my wife.

    NOT that there is anything wrong with your kind of lifestyle, Jack. I'm just saying it isn't for me.

    Harry
    Ky.

    June 16, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  43. Lan

    My cards were always my emergency valve for unplanned expenses. Sadly, my normal expenses are at emergency levels already.

    June 16, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  44. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    The only credit card that I have is because you need to have a credit record and a credit card to survive in this society. But I don't use a credit card for everyday expenses,that is the definition of insanity.

    June 16, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  45. Frances Dothan,AL

    Jack, i have no ties ot any credit card. Thhe only plastic I carry are insurance cards and my ATM. I can find a loan shark around the corner if i need quick cash.

    June 16, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  46. Paul

    Jack,
    Credit Cards, EVIL, EVIL, EVIL!!! Use and lose.

    Paul
    Austin. Texas

    June 16, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  47. Billy G in Las Vegas

    I personally think that for people living paycheck to paycheck, these so called "payday loan lenders" are a greater danger to their financial health than credit cards. here in Nevada they are nothing but legalized loan sharks who charge "fees" on their short term loans that can add up to an annual interest rate upwards of 400%.

    these so called "lenders" make a Mafia crime family look honest.

    June 16, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  48. Sabrina

    My relationship with my credit is to use it to make money from. My card pays 5% back on groceries, drug stores and gas, 1% on every thing else. First year made over 600.00 and now they dropped it to 300.00 a year, I pay it off every month and never pay interest. Sabrina in Surprise,Az.

    June 16, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  49. Thomas, Yo.town, OH

    So far, I've been fortunate enough to pay off monthly. I love the 30 days my money gains interest sitting in savings and the points for feebees I receive for charging all bills. I liked the days of maxing out lines of credit for a max. of $50 initiation fee at 0% interest for 6 months to a year. I stuck that money in my savings too. Unfortunately looks like max. initiation fee of 50 bucks is a thing of the past. The credit card companies finally figured out too many of us were using their money for almost nothing. So, I guess my relationship with my cards is healthy.......for now.

    June 16, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  50. Dori in AZ

    Jack,

    Just waiting for that darn tax stimulus check so that I can pay 'em off!

    June 16, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  51. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    Hey Jack,

    Do you hear that sucking sound? If Stephen J. Hawking is still searching for a black hole, he need not look any further. It's the Visa Card residing in my wallet.

    June 16, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  52. Barb Neafcy (Pronounced Nayfcy) from Iowa

    Oh Man. This is a painful subject! wW are a one income household due to a disabled hubby whose work is volunteer. Last year our plumbing dies as well the our kitchen floor ruined by damaged pluming and our anitquaited kitchen cabinets where the shelves literally craked and broke. We had to invest in home improvements. It looks great now but I must say I can only pay barely more than the minimum on both my credit cards.

    I hate that. I am palnning to do a debt consolidation thing now, and barring any future emergencies, I hope we can live without plastic for the rest of our days. Except for the debit card. Man I love that!

    June 16, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  53. Marilyn from Louisiana

    I don't like to think about the relationship that I have with my credit cards. I have put them up and DO NOT USE THEM. What is happening to our country scares me and I am trying to be very careful.

    Marilyn

    June 16, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  54. Darren S.

    Girls Gone Wild.

    June 16, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  55. Deb from Lancaster, PA

    My husband and I have a love/hate relationship with plastic.
    We love to use cards rather than carry cash. And we HATE to carry a balance, so we pay it off every single month.
    That doesn't mean it's easy. We are always budgeting, always considering our purchases wisely, and we don't buy what we really cannot afford.
    It's been worth it. His credit scores are in the mid 800s, and mine are in the very high 700s. That has opened many, many doors for us over the years.

    June 16, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  56. Judy, Exeter, Ca

    A tool to manage our money. Balances are paid in full every month, there's no interest, or fees, and we get points. We use them for all of our expenses. At tax time it's easy to use the statements to pull our numbers together for our returns, and the IRS does accept them in the event of an audit.

    June 16, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  57. Joe in VA

    After both my daughter's took courses on freeing one's self from debt, I too got on the bandwagon. I paid off all my credit cards and canceled all but one. I only use it to book travel and when it's the only reasonable or accepted mode of payment. I always pay the balance at the end of the month. It feels good. Besides, I've learned that more toys don't make one happy despite what the culture tries to beat into my head every day. The joys of life are not in "stuff" but in close relationships with friends and family.

    Joe Rogers
    Chatham, VA

    June 16, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  58. Rosalynd Florida

    I use credit cards only when I have the money to pay for the purchase immediately. Otherwise I wait– call it lessons learned from experience. Americans wake up and stop drinking the koolaid. Credit card companies and their collectors make loan sharks look like pikers. They have the courts in their pocket not to mention the government via their bankruptcy law lobbying .

    June 16, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  59. Mary - PA

    Good. We pay for most things with credit, earn rewards and pay in full at the end of the month. Basically the credit companies are paying us every month. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

    June 16, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  60. Emmanuel

    Jack, I use only one credit card, and I use it all the time.
    However, I don't really use it as a "credit" card, but rather like a debit card with a credit rating attached to it.
    I'm a student with a $1,500 maximum credit, and I pay back my credit card two to three times a months as I usually spend more than $1,500 per month and have sufficient income to do so.
    The only reasons I use a credit card are because it improves my credit rating, helps me list all my expenses on a single bill, and offers me consumer protection programs in case of fraud or theft.
    I think all americans should do the same, instead borrowing money they can't afford to pay back and then declaring bankruptcy, which is precisely why their economy is suffering massively.
    This system was just unsustainable, and it doesn't take an economic bachelor to get that.

    June 16, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  61. Bill in Albuquerque

    A little bit out of control. When you pay cash for something, there's an emotional parting with your hard-earned money. Credit cards offer a buffer to that painful encounter. You just hand over your card, sign your name, and you take your purchase with you without having to even spend any money!

    June 16, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  62. Gigi in Alabama

    Jack, I only have one of those things and at the moment we are busom buddies. One of these days we will part company (hopefully sooner than later) and I won't miss those folks in the least.

    June 16, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  63. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    Credit cards are for fools who cannot fight the childish urge to have everything "NOW!" Learn restraint and deferred gratification.

    June 16, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  64. Lynn in Ohio

    I treat my credit cards like a deep pockets buddy. I never pay cash for any bill more than $19 and I use them to get a 30 day float on my cash by paying the balance every month. Then my buddy is happy. How else do you make reservations at hotels, vacations, buy ticxket for the megabus, etc?

    June 16, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  65. dennis north carolina

    I have none. I want none. I need none. this should be the motto of everyone especially the government.

    June 16, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  66. Cody Grant

    Credit cards are a convienent way to pay for things and yes easier than carrying cash but all too often people go a little crazy and spend, spend, spend and then all of it catches up with them at once. Credit cards are not for people who have problems paying bills and are definitely not good to use to pay off other credit cards. Although they do prolong payment but is it worth going into debt over?

    June 16, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  67. John S. in Baltimore

    Jack,

    I have more than $5,000 in credit card debt and I wish I could pay it all off at once. But alas, when you're living check to check in this economy of ours you have to chip away at it patiently. Fortunately, I've avoided emergencies that require the use of a credit card and have been knocking the debt down slowly but surely. It'll be gone within two years. After that, no more credit cards for me. I don't care what it does to my credit score. I'd rather have money in the bank.

    June 16, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  68. Courtney, South Windsor, CT

    Thankfully, my father instilled in me a deep fear of owing money to anyone or anything – perhaps it was the Shakespeare. As a result, my relationship with my single, dusty credit card lies somewhere between "in case of emergency" and "use only if you want to donate your eggs." I use plastic on occasion, but only as a debit card when cash isn't handy. As a result, I'll keep to a tight budget until my student loan is repaid and at 24 have damn near perfect credit. Thanks dad!

    June 16, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  69. Marty, Idaho

    The relationship with my credit cards is best described as divorced. I cut them up, cancelled the accounts, and have already paid most of them them off. I don't ever plan on paying 36% interest on anything again. The overwhelming feeling of freedom from that ball and chain is comparable to leaving a bad marriage.

    June 16, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  70. BD Saugerties, NY

    My relationship with my credit cards is akin to slave and master. My cards are evil, I tell you, evil. They are demonic. They own me, they control me, they torture me. They are so villanous I named one Bush and the other Cheney.

    June 16, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  71. Rick-Minot North Dakota

    Paid in full every month. Collect the airline miles and hope they will still be in business to fly my family somewhere.

    June 16, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  72. Sid----Texas

    Hello Jack,
    I have had a Gold card and 3 gas cards since 1983, all paid up on a monthly basis. I learned to stay away from credit debt after taking almost 3 years to pay off a revolving major store card debt of less than $1000.00. A warning to young folks. If you must have a credit card, read, and re-read all of the terms. You may not want a card as much as you think do. Remember the old saying.." The big print giveth, and the small print taketh away"....
    Sid...

    June 16, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  73. Randy

    Jack,
    I have a Debit card,which I use when needed. I didn't have a credit card for over 10 years until two months ago. I needed some dental work and a new heating a/c unit, so I got a credit card with 15 month 0% interest. I have more than enough to have payed these on my own,but why use my money when I can use theirs and still get points for a flight. I am 66yrs old,drive a 7yr old Buick that get 20/27MPG,have an IRA/Roth Ira and I live below my means. Also I try to help my friends when they are a little short and nothing beats the smiles on children's faces when they get somethink from someone who really cares about them.

    June 16, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  74. chris from Wausau

    I recently received a big discount on my insurance as my credit score was rated as superior. so i keep them paid on time. However, I'm not making additional purchases & haven't for some time. People complain about unions, high paying mfg. jobs (auto workers), but good paying jobs have been stripped from America. Retirees 401K's have been decimated, there's no buying power in America.

    June 16, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  75. km from Iowa

    We are what the credit card companies call 'dead beats.' We only charge what we can afford to pay off in full when the bill comes due. We don't make a ton of money but we learned valuable lessons from our parents: that needs are a lot different than wants. You don't borrow for wants. But we put everything we can on the card to earn free mileage points. By doing this, we have gotten free air flights to Disney, Oregon and Denver vacations.

    June 16, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  76. G.G. Falderal

    Draining.

    June 16, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  77. G.G. Falderal

    Interesting.

    June 16, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  78. Kyle from Southern California

    As a 24 year old recent college grad, I tried not to get sucked into much credit card debt. I have four major credit cards and I pay most of my balance in full every month. My credit was good enough where I could buy a brand new truck (SMART I KNOW) with 0 money down and a very low interest rate.

    It is all about self control with your spending kids.

    June 16, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  79. G.G. Falderal

    Co-dependent.

    June 16, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  80. Deb

    I'm on S.S.Disibility @ $908.00 per month.Every month I find myself relying more on my credit card for taxes, insurance, medical costs & other emergencies. Each month there seems to be a new emergency. I pay as much over the minimum each month as I can & seem to be falling into the debt. hole more each month.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:07 pm |
  81. Darr/Cleveland/Ohio

    It's like a heroin fix to have a credit card. You try not to use them, but in the end you find yourself pulling one out of your wallet and using it to buy something. The credit card companies know this and keep on supplying us, the consumers, with more and more offers for their cards. These cards are the needles of our consumerism; poking our need to buy with high, sharp interest rates verging on loan sharking. And the banks are in on it too. Dare say you go cold turkey or miss a payment. You blink and the next thing you know you have an overlimit fee, late fee; if the banks could they would charge a 'no use' fee along with their annual fee. So my relationship with any credit card is to go cold turkey...no matter how much it hurts.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:08 pm |
  82. Will Pitt

    I try to avoid them

    -Will
    Gainesville, GA

    June 16, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  83. Sue / GA

    Jack, I only spend what I know I can pay in full when the CC bill/s come due....I use it to benefit me, not the CC companies.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  84. Spence

    We dine together occasionally.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  85. Roy

    About the same as my relationship with the rattlesnake under the barn. Very careful!

    June 16, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  86. john

    i used my cards five times every day. i really don't see the reason why i don't have to. and i wonder what the change would be, if i did the effort of using them lesser.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  87. Keith

    Well personally i hate all big business

    June 16, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  88. Tom, KS

    I Hate's Them..... Precious. (LOTR Reference)

    June 16, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  89. Jeff S

    Anything but monogamous...

    June 16, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  90. Mark

    I divorced all my credit cards a decade ago. My only income is Social Security, and I save a little of that nearly every month. It's possible to live frugally if one trys.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  91. Tom

    I'm 23 years old and am in the first year of my career. I had quite a few problems with credit cards when I was in college because so many companies were so willing to hand them out to me. I had one card cancelled and another card I had more than $2500 of debt. I realized what kind of trouble I was in and I worked an entire summer to pay down every penny of my debt. Now I have an extraordinary credit rating and pay down my credit cards at the end of each cycle. This has gotten me great offers on car loans and other financial debts. Basically, I make sure that when I use my credit card for something, that I'll have the money to pay for it come the due date.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  92. Sean L.

    Jack,

    I would love to say that my relationship with my credit cards was over so I can look to attach myself to something else but its not. Nothing would make me smile more than to break up with them. With the economy in such disarray I have am focusing my efforts to pay them down and use them less. I can't afford to get swallowed up any further in this drowning economy. Its bad enough that gas is rising up to my waistline.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  93. MJohnson

    My husband and I each own two credit cards, one Visa and one gas card. We have never carried a balance on it. No matter what we charge, we pay the entire balance each and every month. Anyone who doesn't do this is crazy. The fees on these cards are enormous. Why give that good money away??

    June 16, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  94. Cassy

    I'm the credit companies worst nightmare. I never carry a balance on my credit cards, buy only what I can afford and do without items I don't need. This may seen unAmerican, but it is really just common sense. Imagine an America where more of that existed.....

    June 16, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  95. Tonya Helm

    I currently put most purchases on credit cards and pay them off in full at the end of the month. My credit cards have reward programs so I can earn a little extra while I shop. I will keep doing this until the democrats get in office and start taxing me on the money I earn by using these cards. God bless America!

    June 16, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  96. Erika

    I basically have to swallow my AmEx in order to curb my desire to purchase the newest Jack LaLanne. I mean have you seen that thing? Have you???

    June 16, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  97. John and Stephanie Giaquinto

    We're divorced; we're in bankruptcy now.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  98. chris

    two words, prison shower

    June 16, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  99. Michael Le Houllier (Taichung, Taiwan)

    I divorced my credit cards several years ago. I am financially so much better off for that.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  100. Monica Orey/ Olney, Maryland

    Simply Put, I am going through a credit card DIVORCE.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  101. Robert in Long Beach, CA

    My credit cards and I have split due to "irreconcilable differences".

    June 16, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  102. Dave in Marquette, Michigan

    I'm 25 years old and have abstained from getting any credit cards. I know how irresponsible I can be with extra cash sometimes; I can only imagine how I'd spend $5000 or more of free money. With the credit crunch being what it is, and how tempting it can be to buy what you don't need because everyone else has it, I'm grateful I've stayed away from digging myself even deeper into debt than my student loans have put me.

    Like Jed said, if it isn't ridiculously important and you don't have the cash for it, you don't need it.

    Dave

    June 16, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  103. Josh, AR

    Well Jack, it was love at first sight, but now it seems like I work just to pay spousal support. Can you say "prenup"?

    June 16, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  104. Mary Watson

    I have 2 credit cards. The first keeps me in good standing with my credit union...just in case I need to borrow money fast for an emergency. The second is a frequent flyer credit card. I use it for everything from groceries to gas to prescriptions to home repairs, piling up lots of miles that I can then use to visit the grandkids out of state or take a vacation. I pay them both off every month when the bills arrive. As long as you use your credit cards wisely, they can actually benefit you.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  105. Genevieve

    Well I have 2 credits cards. I pay in full whenever I get my statement. I don't even get a statement through the mail, I view on e-mail. I have all my bills on direct debit. So I am never late to pay. It is the best way for me. What say you

    June 16, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  106. Henry

    Very good, I pay full payment. But, I'm afraid gas prices might change that, even if I can afford it now. $4.09 in New Jersey? Pathetic.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  107. j

    working with our credit was easy , we filed bankrupsty , we lost our home anyway so our attorney this is the way to go
    j

    June 16, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  108. Michael Creekmore

    Asexual-I don't have a single one of the damn things. I use a Debit card for on-line purchases. Freedom is great. I don't own a vehicle either.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  109. Jeffrey Batt

    I am retired, and my wife is retiring soon. Our credit cards and we have had an amiable divorce.
    Austin, Texas

    June 16, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  110. Luke, New York

    Im 26 Jack and I seem to be smarter than 98% of America. Call me a genius, but I have never relied heavily on credit cards! I pay as much as I can in cash! You can give the credit to my parents who actually taught me financial responsibility by always making me save while I was young and paying off my small credit card debt every month! Why are people just starting to realize that their credit score dictates everything in their life? It took a recession to figure that out? I'm afraid to think what it will take to get the people to start paying attention to politics...

    June 16, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  111. Dwight in San Bernardino, CA

    I have 5 or 6 credit cards. I mostly only use 1, which I charge almost everything I buy. I pay the full balance off at the beginning of the next month. I don't charge more than I can pay when the statement lands in my mailbox every month.

    I believe that a high % of the people in the poll are not telling the truth, since there is a high % of people that don't pay the balance each month and there are a whole lot of people that are behind or have quit paying.

    I'm glan I'm not one of them. ;^)

    June 16, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  112. luva pendarvis

    don't have any, don't want any!!

    June 16, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  113. Dan from Santa Barbara

    With my credit I can't even get a gas card. Over 20 years ago I had 2 credit cars (Capital One, Household Bank) Each had a $200.00 limit. I paid the minnimum until some job transitions caused me to fall behind. Eventually, service charges and late fees climbed to over $1,500.00 per card, even though the original $200.00 had been paid.

    I think credit cards can default on you long before they do. I feel as if they kept the account active so they could build a balance. The only card I have now is my debit card(s) and a library card. Ah... the simple life!

    June 16, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  114. Jackie

    WOW! 4 cards each!? I'm 31 and have NONE! Never have. I've always said, "If I can't pay for it, I don't need it" and "Credit Cards are evil".
    Debit cards work just as easy....

    June 16, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  115. Eleanor Biggs

    How to I handle credit card payments today? Well, DUH! The same way I have always paid them, i.e., the entire balance every month. Minimum balance payments are stupid. I rest my case!

    June 16, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  116. Danny

    Having cc is just like to married the devil 🙁

    June 16, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  117. Dave Gethings

    Jack, credit cards are like Republicans, they offer quick fixes and big promises, but end up wanting double in return and putting me deeper into debt.
    – Dave, Washington, DC

    June 16, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  118. Diane

    I've broken all ties to credit cards. Living within my means is more important to me than "stuff". And I'm trying to set a good example for my government.

    Diane
    Melbourne, FL

    June 16, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  119. Linda Kearney

    Credit cards are the BLACK SHEEP of most familys. You REALLY don't want them around BUT you include them cause you need their services.

    We are 4 adults and one 2 yr old.in one household. Grandad works full time, son in college, daughterin law works part time and grammy keeps baby.

    No EBT or WIC here. We are blue collar family with about $10K debt and NO increase in paychecks not even cost of living. Walmart prices are about where Kroger used to be so where there was pork chops/pot roast, its now hotdogs/meatloaf!

    Credit card interest is about 20% so no matter how much you can pay monthly – interest is always half of what you paid and it doesn't go down.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  120. Janice

    Romantic !! When I am in the mood a credit card pleases me..But I also respect the power of no. Since I am a child of the 50's..I maintain that good old fashion value of respect..In otherwards..Saving the charging for my husband..

    Santa Fe

    June 16, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  121. Mark

    I paid off then got rid of all of my credit cards 5 years ago. I only have a debit card now. I think one reason why some people are cutting back on the use of credit cards is because of the high fees and interest rares the banks get away with charging. Thanks for nothing, Banking Chairman Chris Dodd.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  122. Alex

    What? We have a relationship? I thought it was a debate. Between all the hidden fees and the rate increases, sometimes I feel as if the credit card companies are just waiting for the right time to pounce.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  123. Stan Patten from Charlotte, NC

    Jack, my relationship with my credit cards is a lot like my relationship with you: a necessary, but extremely irritating, reality.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  124. E. Bruce Bushong

    My wife and I pay off our balance every month. We only use the card for Internet purchases and those repetitive things like a Net Flix membership. However, we did consider using our credit card to pay for EVERYTHING. We were still going to pay it off each month but we were looking to get the airline promotional miles. We finally decided that those promotions may change. Also, since we both believed that there is truly no free lunch, we dropped the idea.

    E. Bruce Bushong, Shawnee OK

    June 16, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  125. JC

    We enjoy using someone elses money for a month, pay off our bill and not pay the loan shark interest rates. We also can get free meals by using our card which in this day and time is a great benefit.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  126. randombyter

    Great, don't have any!!!

    June 16, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  127. L. Barone

    Jack, I don't use mine even though I have over 55K in credit card availability. I owe nothing and pray I can keep it that way. The reason why is because I understand that when you die with Judgements against you it is taken out of your assets before disposition of your Will. I will need every dime I can accumulate in my life time to help pay for my Granddaughter's education because she my only promise of the furture of this "tarnished Nation" and I will be of the past.

    Would someone do something about the damned gas prices? Ever?

    Me

    June 16, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  128. groom

    Credit cards are like wives cann't live with them and can not live with out them. I keep using it even if I don't have to....

    Groom, Maryland

    June 16, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  129. Matt from Sterling, VA

    The bad thing about credit cards is that no matter how much you spend, the card stays the same size. There's no feeling of your wallet getting thinner and thinner as you spend more, and that can lead to "Magic Money Syndrome" where the money you're spending on an HDTV comes from nowhere, and you never have to pay it back. . . until the bill arrives. oops

    June 16, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  130. Loretta from California

    Jack, I have ONLY one word to use when describing my credit card company. CROOK-I mail my payment in two weeks in advance of the due date and still receive a $39.00 LATE FEE CHARGE. They're crooks and it's time for new regulation.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  131. Mark. IL

    Jack,
    Credit card companies hate people like me because I pay my balance in whole. I would'nt give those guys a dime even if they came banging at my front door. The credit card pitches go straight into the recycle bin. If you want my attention, stop with the greed and give me a real deal.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  132. Jo Helen

    Only use one credit card and pay in full each month,no carry over blance.Don't have a mortage either,got smart many years ago,no debt here and am thankful. Wish people didn't feel like they had to keep up with the Jones,they are broke. Friends thought we were tight wads,well....no just smart.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  133. Linda Flagstaff, AZ

    My relationship with my dozen credit cards is simple. I took them out of my wallet, wrapped them up with a rubber band and put them in my storage unit 15 miles away!! When making purchases, I use only my debit card or the small amount of cash I carry. I look at it this way: If I don't have the money in the bank, I don't need to buy something and keep on paying for it.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  134. Don M.

    I have a slight balance. My balance is less than $2000. I will pay it off before January when the Democratic Congress and Democratic President take office.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  135. Paul S.

    Hi Jack,

    I got into credit card debt while putting myself through college. I think the industry takes advantage of young adults not fully knowing the consequences of debt and compounding interest. I'm 40 years old now and still in credit card and school loan debt. My relationship is that they are an albatross around my neck and I live for the day to be finally rid of them.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  136. Davon Campbell/cedar rapids iowa

    Im a college student and have 4 credit cards, in debt more than 3 thousand on each card plus student loans. Right now i wish credit cards were never invented.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  137. Helen- Ft Wayne, IN

    Was in good standard with credit cards, paid in full monthly. I now have been forced to turn to credit cards, hospital bills of which they offered to me an 18.88% to help me pay off. Thought I had insurance that would pay, they found their way out and I got stuck with all medical bills. Was paying each month, now they want payment in full or turn me to collections. I am an American too, but I do wonder just where I fit in at times.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  138. Mike, Greenville NC

    I owe nobody in this world. I have no credit cards and never intend to get one. I have a debit card, which acts like an instant check. If I can't afford i,t I don't need it.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  139. Elizabeth

    My credit card company hates me. I am what they call a "deadbeat".
    On the 10th of each month, a minimum payment is scheduled and paid On the 26th of each month, the entire balance is paid off. I do it this way because one time a payment was a day late by mail, and they jumped the interest rate anyway. The autopayment ensures there will be no bogus late fees, and I now pay the balance electronically, thus eliminating the possibility of delayed mail. Screw me once, shame on them, screw me twice, shame on me!

    June 16, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  140. Dennis

    Thank you Jack! Finally someone has brought attention to Credit Cards! With all the talk the media does about the economy, I have not heard anything about what I believe to be a ¨Crisis¨to me. I would not be able to survive without my credit cards. I have no choice but to leave a balance. If I was forced to spend only what I made I would have to choose between gas or food. I would not be able to do any extra curricular activities. I would have to give up my cell phone and internet which used to be extras but are now necessities. I am not alone, mostly everyone I know cannot live without their credit cards. The middle class is a sinking ship loaded with credit card debt and going down fast. Some American Dream huh

    June 16, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  141. Robert Kohl

    The Credit Card Industry are preditors. Their APR rates are criminal. They are terrorists of the worse kind. Their motto is the rule of greed and not Law. They break the law on a routine basis.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  142. Denis Duffy

    I haven't carried a balance since 1972.
    Back then it wasn't too bad. Now you could probably get a better rate from the mob!

    Denis Duffy
    Upper Saint Clair,Pa.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  143. James Pirih

    What relationship?

    I would be treated better if I were mugged in the middle of the night at gun point, at least then I could explain my situation when the mugger discovers I dont have any additional money to give.
    At 30% or more interest rate changes in the middle of the night by the credit card compaies I stand a better chance with a serial killer.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  144. Stephen M. Dougherty

    I would have to describe my relationship as a strategic one, ya see I only have one and I use it for what I need....not what I want. Been there done that.

    Steve
    Pa

    June 16, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  145. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Pre-divorce: We carried a huge balance. Post divorce: I pay it off every month. I also have 4 times the closet space I used to.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  146. Bill Slough

    I love my credit card. I buy everything I can with it. I've never paid a penny of interest, never paid an annual fee, and have received cash back and/or merchandise over the years.
    I'm thankful for those 40% of people who live beyond their means because the revenues they generate allows credit card companies to offer people like me a tremendous value.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  147. Derek J

    My credit card is parked. I prefer to use my Visa check card. If the money isn't there I don't get to buy. Therefore I am able to keep myself out of credit card trouble.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  148. Michael in Stone Mountain, GA

    My relationship with my cards is choppy. Meaning I cut them in half and tossed them all a year ago. Cold turkey is the only way to go.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  149. ROBERT

    Jack, I am one of the very few who actually have the upper hand on the credit card companies. For the last few years I have been taking the card company balance transfer offers, usually at 0 to 1.9% with no more than $99 transfer fee, and then paying down my home equity mortgage at 5.5%. When the teaser rate expires I just pay off the card with a check from my equity line and then do it all over again. I figure I have saved over $20,000 in interest so far. This is still a great country of opportunity if you just know where to look.

    Robert
    Miami

    June 16, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  150. Suri

    New York

    Debit cards were a wonderful inventrion.
    Sure a lot of people live paycheck to paycheck but when making the smaller purchases that we make having them drawn out of our accounts is so great. it's my "anti credit" approach'dit.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  151. Anthony

    Jack, Thank God we do not abuse our credit cards. But what's the use? You have soaring fuel prices and other costs of living ripping cash out of your pocket anyway. It's not easy raising 4 kids these days. Retirement? What's that gonna be like? Help Obama!!!! Help!!!
    Anthony – North Carolina

    June 16, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  152. Paul

    I feel as though my relationship with my credit cards is, "Old. White and not so Bright". Come to think of it it is the same way I feel about my relationship with John McCain.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  153. Anonymous

    My relationship with credit cards could be described as a savings account. I use it as a tool to get unlimited 5% cash back return on everything I spend. This includes all my day to day bills, which I pay in full as just one balance at the end of each month.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  154. Tom Kerr, Cleveland Heights, Ohio

    Just like my old girlfriend...thin, irresistible, expensive, and (as it turns out) comes with an expiration date.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  155. Art - Michigan

    Jack,

    My relationship with my credit cards is like my relationship with my
    ex-wife, the less I see of either of them; the happier I am. Paying interest on a credit card is like writing a extra check for alimony or child support; its way to unfair and if you miss a payment it just gets worst for your wallet. I do what ever it takes not to use my credit cards. If I cant pay for it now, I go without it.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  156. Faith

    Until Bush was elected for a second term I wasn't worried about credit debt. Since then I've worked very hard to cut it down to under a total of $2000. A major job because I live in rural north MI and am in real estate,.Now with surging food, gas prices & heat cost for next winter & not much hope of real change in nov. I honestly just Pray.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  157. Sheila Hammons

    I hate credit cards and completely did away with mine over 6 years ago. Now I am completely debt free! I will not even use a debit card because the psychology behind those is to keep that plastic habit going. It doesn't take me any longer to pay with cash or write a check than it does to swipe your card and wait for approval.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  158. Mike, Greenville NC

    Credit cards are the devil, it's just a way for corporate America to enslave a debtor society. I use a debit card, and owe no one in this world. If I don't have the money in the bank to afford it, I don't need it.

    Michael, Greenville NC

    June 16, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  159. Thomas

    I ended my relationship with all my credit cards two years ago. They always made me spend money that I "thought" I had, only to get a rude reality check one month later. By not using credit cards, I have been able to account for every penny that I earn.
    If you can't pay cash for something, guess what , you can't own it!

    Thomas,
    San Jose, CA

    June 16, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  160. Chris Kaufman

    Shame on the credit card companies for suckering in young people to get credit cards by distributing applications in their college book bags from the bookstore. For the rest of us...grow up and take charge of your finances.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  161. Elaine Aarons

    You have no idea how many clients come to me as a tax preparer credit card poor. Many owe as much as 40,000. I try very hard to teach no money, do not buy until you have it. I am proud to say once we figure out how to get them out of debt, they never get back into credit card debt

    June 16, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  162. Debra

    Finally "DIVORCED" and loving it!!!......I owe no alimony and will never marry to them again......only date a card making an annual income of only $400. I don't think MATCH.COM could do any better.

    Maple Shade, N.J.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  163. Sid----Texas

    An old buddy of mine used to say, "when your out-go becomes more than your income, then your up-keep will be your down-fall". Mis-use of a credit card will prove this saying quicker than you could ever imagine....

    June 16, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  164. james beaudry

    Jack,
    I have a love/hate relationship with my credit cards. I love to use them because its easier to carry one credit card than several thousand dollars when I want to fill my gas tank. But I hate it when I get the bill and see how much more it costs to run some errands and cut the grass.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  165. Greg Boise, Idaho

    I use my credit card like a debit card, after i charge something i pay onine out of my checking account. I do this just to get the points needed to get my prize

    June 16, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  166. Karen-Phoenix

    Cash or checks only. I keep one credit card for an imergency only and identification. It has a limit of $800. Never use it. And I only make $20,000 a year. If I can NOT pay for it, I don't need it!!! I live a pretty simple life and its not bad–no worries!!!

    June 16, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  167. nancy

    i have 2 visa cards and my debit/atm card. i use on a daily basis my debit/atm card(no interest). my 2 visa cards i use one to charge my home alarm monitoring system on and my car pool lane charges. the other one has such a high open to buy, that i only use that one when i have a very big emergency(car repairs mainly). then i pay them off each month. so, the only debit that i will have is my mortgage. and i plain on keeping it that way.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:31 pm |
  168. Derrik

    My Credit Card and I have become inseparable. Between the gas prices, and food cost my $30,000 a year salary just isn't enough and my credit card has became my lifeline. The sickening thing is that there are government contracted jobs in Iraq making more money than myself and fellow Soldiers. How far is this horrendous American government going to plunge? I guess as long as the Presidents last name is Bush we'll just keep falling, and falling, and falling....

    June 16, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  169. Sly from Michigan

    Hi Jack, i have a very good relationship with my Credit Card. I can't live without it. I do most of my non-food item shopping online with my credit card. I owe about $2,500, i don't pay it off every month, but, i also don't pay the minumin balance, i double pay the minumin balance. I feel that this country is built on credit, and i just can not see myself just saving just for me to have what i want in life.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  170. Drew Statt

    As a full time college student, credit cards are a necessary evil. How else can I afford to put gas in my car or buy put food on my table? I work nearly full time and still can’t afford to support myself with just my wage. It breaks my heart that I will be under a mountain of school loan debt and now credit card debt. I use credit cards as a means to survive. How many times would I have had to go hungry, how many times would I have run out of gas trying to get to class, how many times would I have had to go without heat, electricity, or water without a credit card? I have two options, use my credit cards or drop out of school to get another job. What would you choose? I’m 23 years old and in this economy I already have more debt than my parents accumulated in their entire lives.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:33 pm |
  171. Peter from NY

    My credit card was stolen once. I didn't report it, however, because the theif was spending less than my wife was.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:33 pm |
  172. tina m

    I don't think people are being very honest about paying them off every month. The majority of people I know do not (or at least not all of them). I do pay mine off every month but I'm pretty sure I actually spend more than I would normally if I used cash or a debit card. I just can't stand carrying cash around and I still don't feel comfortable with debit cards. At least with the credit card, I haven't paid for it yet, so if there's a problem, I'm in control. With a debit card, if there's a problem, you have to fight to get your own money back. This is especially true with internet purchases, my credit card company has saved me from a few unscrupulous merchants online.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:34 pm |
  173. Mr. Walker

    I do not have credit cards because I consider them a form of indentured servitude.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:34 pm |
  174. Christina, Upland, CA

    Well, I fell into the college trap and the student credit card, and boy, did I learn my lesson. I am now to the point where an end is in sight where it will be paid off, but I was very irresponsible. I do believe I will never do this again and am paying quite a large sum every month, and have to live very simply until I pay off the balance. I figure this is my punishment for letting myself get so out of control...no one's fault but my own....

    June 16, 2008 at 6:34 pm |
  175. Don Branscum

    Obviously, Credit Cards can help in a time of emergency or even allow you to purchase when ever you want. However, the real crime is how credit card companies continue to pray on the poor or even college students who dont even have employment. Credit Card companies continue to line pockets of Congress with thousands of dollars so that they can continue to profit billions of dollars. Credit Card companies can change their APR without notice and charge fees to keep most Americans in debt.
    Again, Congress profiting money in their own interest. Credit Card companies are out of control and need to be contained from raping Amercians. I am not against Credit Card companies from profiting, but I'm against Credit Card companies making impossible for individuals to pay off their debt.
    Don Branscum,
    Riverside, California

    June 16, 2008 at 6:34 pm |
  176. Smarty Pants

    Never use your DEBIT card, instead use a card that offers 5% cash back, and pay it off in full every month. You'll become a winner, and your wildest dreams will come true!

    June 16, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  177. Susan, Colorado

    I got into a lot of trouble with my cards in college/law school. I lived off my cards. It was bad but it was that or I didn't eat. Since then I have managed to pay them ALL off. I closed them and either paid cash, debit card or did without. I was only using my debit card but I'm back to using a credit card for almost everything because I get cash back where I didn't with my debit card. I still pay them off at least once a month. If I can't afford it I don't buy it. Only debt left is the mortage and the student loan. Debt is a scary thing – I never want to be in that position again.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  178. Nissim Sasson San Diego CA

    Its like that old Pack Man game realationship is eating me at the end of the Game : (

    June 16, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  179. Carm

    I have a love/hate relationship with my card. It's been a learning process since I got scammed in college with a very high interest rate credit card. People need to remember it's not free money and that you'll have to face the bill sooner rather than later. I am now a responsible 30 something adult who jumps for joy everytime my credit score inches up an extra few points.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  180. K

    I think it's criminal that store clerks are required to push store credit cards. My daughter works at a major chain which specializes in teenage clothing. If the clerks do not ask every customer if they want a card, there is a penalty. If the store does not meet a monthly quota, it is penalized. SHAME on them.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  181. Genevieve

    I have 2 credit cards. I pay in full whenever I get my statement. I used the cards since I do not carry cash with me. My 2 credit cards have a zero balance.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:39 pm |
  182. Hi from New York

    I learn from my family that living without debts is the real richness. For this reason I am able to pay before spending, I send everymonth some money in advance to my credit card (only one) and I spend no one dime more than I have already paid. I really sleep good and I feel to be rich like a queen!!!!

    June 16, 2008 at 6:39 pm |
  183. Tracy from Illinois

    I use credit cards lot less now that I have a debit card. If I do charge I pay the full balance each month...even if it hurts to write that check, it's the only way, I would never pay that crazy interest!

    June 16, 2008 at 6:39 pm |
  184. Don Branscum

    I think individuls are using their credit cards less due to the current gas prices for starters. With each purchase your balance becomes larger and so does your payment. With rising gas prices many realize the extra money may need to go the pump rather than the legal loan sharks in America.

    Don Branscum,
    Riverside, California

    June 16, 2008 at 6:39 pm |
  185. Adam

    I got my first full time job out of college in 2004. In 2005, I got a massive raise and bonus and was hopeful that it would continue. I put about $12,000 on a credit card on a brand new Mustang, Sport Motorcycle, trip to Hawaii, Japan, Guam, and San Francisco. I threw a couple of houre parties. In early 2006, I went to Jamaica. I finally came to my senses and have been being very aggressive in paying off my balance and now have it to under $4,000. I was super-ambitious about my future potential earning power without even thinking of the stupidity of racking up $90-100 in interest each month!

    June 16, 2008 at 6:40 pm |
  186. Keith

    Despise them ... out of 3 I have one left to payoff ... then it will be good riddance to the parasites

    June 16, 2008 at 6:40 pm |
  187. Sairam, Gaithersburg, Maryland

    Got ride of unused cards. Buy most of the things with cash, which will helpful in controlling the expenditure. May have to live like for till economy comes back.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:41 pm |
  188. Nancy in Florida

    I have a love affair with my credit cards. I rarely pay cash for anything, so I love the convenience. But I also know that credit cards are fickle lovers, so I love paying the balance off in full each month.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:41 pm |
  189. David Berg

    My wife and I have had a firm policy for the entire 41 years of our marriage – incur no debt (other than a home mortgate and auto loan – all of which have long since been paid off) – and we have stuck to it. Yes, we use a credit card, but only to the extent we can pay it off at the end of the month. We are constantly inundated with new credit card offers; they all go into the shredder (because they contain identifying numbers on them that can be tied to you). It's easy to see how someone can get into credit card trouble. But we each need to take personal responsibility for our financial stability.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:42 pm |
  190. Theoden Wyse

    Credit Cards? I have them. I use them. I pay them off each month. Actually, I have made nearly $600 this year by using my credit card for all of my purchases – from groceries to the cable bill. Credit cards are not bad if you know how to use them wisely. I see way too many people using them to subsidize their extravagant lifestyles and this is where most of the trouble starts. For example, I have a friend who is nearly 30K in credit debt yet he finds its totally permissible to buy $1200 worth of concert tickets – go figure? People bring this on themselves...

    June 16, 2008 at 6:43 pm |
  191. John Ekhoff

    San Antonio Texas

    I have three credit cards and one debit card. I only want two credit cards and one debit card, but the U.S goverment for whom I work for requires us to carry a official government card to pay for all of our temporary duty expenses. From my experience the real reason of the government card is to enrich another big banking corporation.

    I usually spend around $1000.00 per month on both of my cards which I pay off in full at the end of the month. I also like getting the cash back each year on these free cards, however one of my card companys apparantly does not like paying it out, because they are always trying to get me to "grade up" to a card that cost $75.00 per year.

    I hate paying interest and yearly card fees so I always try not to. But then I spent a month in Greece to save over $4000 in dental bills. An $8000 estimate from an American Corporate dentist as opposed to an actual 500 EURO dentist in Athens.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:43 pm |
  192. NoEnd

    I have over $134,000 in credit card bills..I started a business that is not making much money...i charged everything for it...now i'm scare to death.
    I had excellent credit..lately, I can't afford to make payments..I have 3 amex with over $25,000 each..payments a month are about $600 each just on the amex...not counting the other ones...I pay about $2500 a month just in credit cards..just making the minimum.
    I was happy when I opened my business...and so now with the economy things are really slow and so I don't make enought money to support all the bills. I also have 3 mortgages...two cars.

    I don't know what to do anymore. Any suggestions.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  193. Kristi

    I am 27 years old and have never owned a credit card, I pay everything using debit. I have heard enough horror stories from everyone around me to know that I am not financially ready to handle the responsibility of using one. I'm not bothered by the fact that I cannot own a home or get auto loans. At 27 what would I know about owning a home anyways? For now I am acquiring good credit through my parents and practicing good budget with my debit account. Unlike most of my friends, I don't have debt. Which is good considering the current state of the economy

    June 16, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  194. Sonia

    I have 2 credit cards: one for me and one for my job. I do not and have ot kept balances one either of them since 1992. That was when I decided to live within my means. If I needed more oney to buy something, I saved OR I got better jobs and worked more.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:44 pm |
  195. Aaron

    Jack, I am terrible with credit cards and currently have 3 that are all delinquent and my credit rating is pretty much destroyed. However, despite my terrible history, I continue to get more credit card offers! At some point you have to start putting the blame on the credit card companies deliberately targeting "at risk" consumers. These companies charge ridiculous interest rates to consumers that they know don't understand how credit cards work, and when the inevitable tough times occur, they can legally harass their "customers" with daily phone calls. It's modern day slavery of the naive and stupid, our bankruptcy laws should be loosened, not tightened as the fat cat republicans want!

    Anonymous,
    California

    June 16, 2008 at 6:45 pm |
  196. scott

    My relationship with my CC is a necessary evil.

    I am carrying a balance of about 15gs. I am paying it off aggressively. I just sold my car so I can pay this off faster.

    Having spent my late teens and last 10 years living in San Francisco and Los Angeles completely independent of my family, there were some expenses that were just necessary: Lawyers, moving fees, medical supplies, school tuition and books, food when RENT took all my money. Of course, some it it was stupid spending that was unnecessary.

    There have been stressful times with this, but considering where I would be with out it (lawyerless, no college graduation), I am glad my credit was there when it was. Also, it feels good when my landlords see my credit score is better than their own...punks!

    My highest interest is 9.9, and my lowest is 7.4.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:45 pm |
  197. Carole Bouslaugh

    I was layed off 4 1/2 years ago do to outsourcing. I saw the writing on the whiteboard even though i was assured I was safe. Well, I stashed every dime in my savings cuz I knew the shoe was going to drop. I paid off my credit cards and do not use them, and because of this my excellent credit rating has started to go south because I am still unemployed even though I search the bordzzzz everyday. I don't care what the Talking Heads Say, the economy is bad, the job market is tough.

    What's one to do? I'm a 54 year old single female living off my retirement.

    Carole in Edmonds Washington

    June 16, 2008 at 6:45 pm |
  198. Kevin

    I hate them but sometimes they are necessary for emergencies. They have created a whole new credit counseling industry though due to peoples foolish expenditures.

    Kevin
    Warren, MI

    June 16, 2008 at 6:45 pm |
  199. Randy

    I love my credit cards. I use them for everything and always pay the entire balance at the end of the month. I get all sorts of free things. I use card rewards for rental cars, hotels, restaurants and airfare. In fact, my family and I have taken two vacations a year for 10 years and have paid 90% of the cost with reward points. Two years ago we spent 10 days in Aruba. Total out of pocket cost was about $100.
    My only complaint is if I ever pay a bill late, I'm socked with about $80 in late charges and interest. Even if it's just 1 day.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:45 pm |
  200. Wilbur Fudd

    I only get cards that have no annual fee and earn money back or frequent flyer miles or points useful to purchase things I need or would otherwise purchase. I use one card exclusivily for internet purchases and another for daily use – gas, groceries, eating out, etc. I pay them off in full every month. They can be useful for in certain cases, like providing assistance in getting refunds when the item you purchased does not live up to expectations or for providing some extra protection when renting a car. The trick is to be disciplined in your use of them so you are able to pay in full and on time.

    June 16, 2008 at 6:46 pm |
  201. Beau

    My Credit Cards and I are dancing a Tango,

    I am of the opinion that credit card usage, if done properly, can actually save you money. Many retail stores offer attractive financing offers for using their card. We recently purchased a television from Best Buy. By using their card, we received 0% financing for 36 months. We could have paid cash for the television, but why not use their money for three years at no cost? The trick is to know what you are getting into.

    I do feel that enticing college students to take out credit cards should be illegal.

    Beau,
    Shreveport, LA

    June 16, 2008 at 6:46 pm |
  202. Sudhir

    I have 4 credit cards. I pay them in full every month. I have a rewards card that pays 1 percent to 3 percent on my purchases. So I try to expense most of my monthly bills and payments through this card and earn interest on my purchases. Thats cool ... dont you think?

    June 16, 2008 at 6:46 pm |