Friday Financial Tidbit-Credit cards are not evil. It is what you do with them that can get you into trouble.

What’s your view on credit cards? If you ask that question 100 times you will probably get 100 different answers. My friend Matt Wegner recently wrote a great article titled “Can you live debt free and still have credit cards?” I left my thoughts in the comment section and if you have read this blog very often you also know that I do not recommend that people use credit cards.

A common belief about people who are against credit cards is that they think credit cards are evil. Personally, I do not feel that credit cards are evil in and of themselves. It is what you do with them and how they are harmful to your financial health that makes them a bad financial product.

It is the overspending, getting into debt, and the burden of high minimum monthly payments that I hate.

It is the not paying attention when you use credit cards and falling into the trap of being just “good enough” financially that bugs me.

It is the pre-commitment of your future income that robs of you of the ability to follow your dreams and goals that I can not stand.

But even if you do not carry a balance or pay interest on your credit card, it does not mean you are not being harmed.  To me credit cards are like a cigarette. Yes, you can smoke your whole life and never get cancer, but to say it never impacted your health negatively would not be a true statement. Likewise with credit cards, you might never carry a balance on your card, but the overspending, the not paying attention to where your money is going, and the missing out on discounts by not using cash will impact your ability to win with money.

So what’s your view on credit cards? I would love to hear your opinion. Leave a comment below or vote in our Facebook poll.

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4 Responses to Friday Financial Tidbit-Credit cards are not evil. It is what you do with them that can get you into trouble.

  1. Matt Wegner says:

    Thanks for the shout out Jon, and for the great guest posts you’ve been providing over at Living in Financial Excellence. It’s been a blessing having you on the team and in the community!

    • Jon White says:

      No problem Matt. I love to give credit(but not credit cards) where credit is due. It has been a joy to be on your team and sharing with people how they can live their financial dreams!

  2. I totally agree with everything you say with one distinction. To me it’s the credit card companies that I HATE. The idea of the cards is… okay (baring the misuse issues of course).

    I could not be more opposed to the way credit card companies prey on people for profit. To feel like that and be even somewhat okay with giving them my business would be a huge black eye on my character in my opinion. So yea, maybe you can use credit cards and still be “debt free,” but you can’t also hate the way they do business.

    PS, I also went to great lengths to not bank with anyone that took bailout funds – same deal.

    Great post Jon! Clearly I feel strongly about this issue, hahaha

    • Jon White says:

      I agree Deacon; another reason that I do not use credit cards is because I do not want to give the big banks any of my money. I have heard horror stories of awful customer service and the only thing they seem to care about is their bottom line. I personally use local banks and have had a much better experience with them.

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