The Credit Crunch Continues

You may have noticed this quite a bit lately, where various “helpful” companies are really preying upon the emotions of the credit card user and those in debt trouble. One commercial shown repeatedly on television seems to be the "freecreditreport.com" jingle. You know the one where a dude strums his guitar and sings a happy tune about how he was burned by not checking out his credit report. He sings how he had his identity stolen and credit destroyed, but if he had just checked his credit report he'd be fine. He even has to settle for a crappy, smaller car and take a job as a pirate at a restaurant, making him look like he's gone into the witness relocation program due to identity theft.

And that commercial isn't the only one being launched at people. There's also ads running all over about saving you from the IRS or "we will save you from all your debt". Consolidate now! Of course these helpful programs will also come at a fee, monthly yearly or percentage rate wise. The question really becomes who is to blame, the consumer or the lender? Credit card companies make it extremely easy for consumers to rack up debt, but the it is the consumer who makes that decision.

Even a UK site which discusses Secured Loans, says their nation's credit card market is starting to tighten the reigns on its lending criteria, reducing amounts loaned from 10,000 pounds to 5,000 pounds. Credit card companies are also starting to turn more of the risky applicants down. This has also been a repeated emphasis of 2008 presidential candidates, to save people from the debt, foreclosures and general financial mess going on in the US.

The credit card companies might be called the worst offenders here. While they don't necessarily run up all that debt, they definitely profit from it in a huge way with hidden fees, inflated interest rates and penalties. Consumers are at their mercy as they fight to survive. But when it's all said and done, the wisest decision may be to just become rich and pay for everything you want in cash, instead of letting vicious lenders gain the upperhand on you.

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