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Moral Issues Involving Credit Cards

Some moral issues exist regarding credit card use, ownership, and providing. Credit card companies are faced with the moral issue of offering credit to people that cannot afford to have credit. On the other hand, credit card users are faced with the moral dilemma of maxing out a credit card with the intention of not paying back the debt. Both issues are equally important and both can be viewed as business decisions.

In regards to credit card companies; sometimes, a credit card company will target people with bad credit and/or low income. A credit card will be offered to these people. The credit card will have numerous fees and an astronomically high interest rate. Credit card companies will argue that these fees and high interest rates are necessary in order to offset any losses due to people defaulting on their debt. However, another way to look at it is that a credit card company can charge these high interest rates and numerous fees because people with bad credit and/or low income do not have an alternative option. Therefore, the moral issue of taking advantage of people comes into light. Should credit card companies be allowed to offer these sub standard credit cards to people with few assets? The quick answer is that credit card companies are not doing anything illegal. Then again, the plain for what is legal is far below the plain for it is considered “moral.”

In regards to people; many people take advantage of credit card companies by obtaining many credit cards, “maxing” them out, and then refusing to pay the debt. Basically, this is fraud because the person never had the intention of paying back the debt. Other consumers are hurt by this default by way of higher interest rates and more fees (as discussed above). Therefore, what if a poor person used a credit card to buy food and supplies with the intention of never paying back the debt? Should they be punished? Isn’t that person merely trying to survive and not trying to take advantage of a credit card company? Is it the credit card companies fault for giving such a person a credit card?

I cannot provide any answers to these questions because everybody has a different sense of what constitutes “morals.” There is no general standard for moral behavior. Therefore, the situations presented above are for personal consideration. What do you think the moral standard should be? Do you think that a degree of morality should be infused in the practices of a credit card company and an individual credit user? Would you be willing to pay more fees and a higher interest rate in lieu of a credit card company giving credit cards to people with bad credit and/or low income?

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