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Credit Card Epidemic Essay, Research Paper

The silent epidemic sweeping the nation today is credit card abuse. As prices of goods increase faster than average wages, American families slide deeper into debt. In the meantime, the banks are flourishing from their desire to buy now and pay later. It is amazing how a small piece of plastic can be so dangerous. Society today almost requires people to carry credit cards. In my opinion, credit cards are one of America s family s most underrated problems.

One could assume the banks encourage spending on impulse in order to secure their future. The access to credit cards make it possible to make large purchases instantly. The banks set low minimum payments; however, by doing so all you pay on the account is interest. In turn, a consumer is opted to make a purchase on impulse only thinking of how much the monthly minimum payment will increase. The stores thrive on this type of spending, and even target credit customers with such offers in their advertisements.

Next, in today s society, more service providers are requiring that you use credit cards to pay for and receive their services. One example is Internet service providers. It is almost impossible to acquire Internet service without using a credit card. The regular payment by check is not acceptable to many providers. Most of the time, a person needs a credit card in order to make reservations at a motel or restaurant. Also, if someone wants to purchase tickets to a popular concert coming to the area, the preferred way to reserve a seat quickly is by using a credit card.

Another card sweeping the country now is the ATM card. Presently, most companies require or encourage direct deposit for their employees. The banks really have an advantage in this process. A person will have to receive an ATM card for accessing their money, but the bank will also include a VISA symbol on the card. In some cases, the bank allows the VISA credit line to be used for overdraft protection. A consumer may be unaware that exceeding their checking balance by $5.00 causes the bank to draft $100.00 increments into the account from the credit line. This procedure can be deceiving to the customer.

The banks offer credit cards to most everyone, and sometimes they even send the cards through the mail without permission from the consumer. It is unbelievable the high limits of credit offered on some of these cards. People with good credit are targeted highly by banks and lending institutions. It leads one to think that the banks are adding more stress to the lives of Americans by making spending so easy.

Finally, with the large lines of credit available on most cards, the problem of theft is very dangerous. If your card is stolen, a thief can potentially destroy someone financially in a matter of hours. Everytime the card is used it presents a danger of someone using your account number. Also, it can lead to other vital information including, social security number, bank account numbers, and other private information. Consumers take a large risk using credit cards.

In conclusion, the problems having credit cards can lead to are numerous. The epidemic of debt caused by the use of cards effects all social classes of people. In some families the addiction to these cards are as serious as alcohol or drug abuse. Society does not view this practice as a serious problem, and seems to accept the debt. In some cases, the abuse of these cards can lead to violent or deadly acts. America should start to realize how the problem is growing and educate people on the dangers of this abuse.

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