Yesterday at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity, Jim described how credit cards get you in, keep you in, and keep you spending. This is particularly relevant due to our recent conversations about credit. Jim writes:

Credit card companies have three objectives in mind: Sign you up, don’t let you quit, and keep you spending. They make money whenever you spend and, in fact, they can make a ton of money if you never pay a fee, are never late, and never pay interest because they take a little cut off the top of each transaction. All the other fees and interest, that stuff is just gravy to them.

This is something to keep in mind as I use my new credit card. I like to support small, local businesses whenever possible. One way to do that is to use debit instead of credit. From what I understand, businesses are not assessed a surcharge on debit purchases. Meanwhile, Russell Heimlich forwarded a Daily Kos story about credit triggers. The author writes:

I just heard a piece on NPR about Experian selling your credit history to collection agencies.  They constantly monitor your credit activity and if you start to pay off your credit and are getting back on your feet, they notify the collection hounds and let them have at you.  This sounded pretty damn wrong to me so I got on Google and found out some more about this.

This seems counter-productive. I know that creditors want their money, and I don’t hold that against them, but if a consumer is making positive steps, shouldn’t they be encouraged instead of hounded? This concept is apparently being applied to mortgage triggers, too. Make a move toward refinancing, and you’ll be swamped with mortgage offers.

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