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11/20/07

When Credit Cards Become an Addiction

There are many benefits to credit card ownership. You can develop a strong credit report and a high credit score. These will result in lower interest rates for you on loans that you may take. Additionally, your debt to credit ratio could help you apply for a big loan. Another advantage is the spending power that a credit card offers. Do not misunderstand what I am saying; a high spending power does not necessarily mean that you should utilize that power whenever you want. Doing so will result in financial hardship and probably, some legal issues.

One definition of “addiction” is “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice.” Therefore, is it possible to be addicting to credit card spending? I believe that it is possible to be addicted to such a thing. Continuously using your credit cards without regard for the financial and legal consequences sounds like an addiction to me. Keep in mind, I am not a doctor of any kind and therefore am not qualified to give an opinion as to a person’s psyche. However, irresponsible credit card use can be a serve problem if a person does not know how to control the problem.

Solving the problem of irresponsible credit card use requires preventative measures. Teaching a person the possible dangers of irresponsible credit card use is the first step towards creating a responsible credit card user. Educate yourself as to the correct and responsible way to use credit cards. This is the best way to safeguard yourself against irresponsible credit card use.

Although this is sound advice, how do you kick the credit card spending habit after you are already “addicted?” Your primary concern should be for your financial welfare. Because of this, you may have to close all of your credit card accounts in order to achieve this primary concern. Closing all of your credit card accounts will negatively impact your credit score, however, it will save you from the continuous spending. Credit scores and credit reports can be repaired, however, your financial welfare is much harder to fix.

Remember, credit card ownership is a privilege. Therefore, if you cannot handle the responsibility of credit card ownership, do not get a credit card. There are other ways to build a credit score and credit report, and if you cannot do it with credit cards, you will have to utilize other methods.

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