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Highway Robbery

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After filing for bankruptcy, I made a conscious decision not to apply for any new credit cards. Damn, am I glad now.
(CNN) -- Credit cards are as much a part of the American economy as $20 bills, but a fervent subset of consumers has sworn off plastic money altogether.

"Credit card debt is our biggest hindrance in being able to take care of our families and set ourselves up for prosperity," said finance student Brad Chaffee, 34, of Charlottesville, Virginia.

"If your paycheck is going toward paying all these credit card companies off, you can't get very far," added Chaffee, who has a Web site called enemyofdebt.com. "You certainly can't use your income as a wealth-building tool -- which is what it becomes when you don't have all these debt payments. I feel very strongly about that."

After our bankruptcy of 2005, The GirlFriend™ and I swore off of credit cards. But what really sucked was the urging of the various mortgage and loan companies to sign up for credit cards again, stating it would be beneficial for our credit rating. "Proof" of our ability to handle making payments. Uh, dumb asses; we obviously had difficulty in making our payments, hence the bankruptcy.

Actually, our bankruptcy was the result of The GirlFriend™ getting laid off from her job followed by a period of recuperation after surgery. Needless to say, we simply could not keep up with both our house payment and the credit cards.

Now, of course, we've lost the house in foreclosure because I was laid up for almost 3 months with what would turn out to be pinched nerves in my lower back and tail bone. Interesting that in both cases it was a combination of losing a job and medical issues that caused our financial problems, not mismanagement of money on our part.

Anyway, after getting rid of all our credit cards, I am grateful to have not succumbed to the urgings of the loan and mortgage companies to get another credit card, considering the changes in the credit card laws that were passed by congress in 2006 or 2007. In the end, the whole credit card industry appears to be a scam; they tell you you have to have credit cards for a good credit rating, but then can use any excuse to up your interest.

I remember back in the 1970s (God, just typing that makes me feel old) having a credit card was only for the upper middle class and the rich. Otherwise, you simply did not qualify. Even my parents were scornful of credit cards.

Sigh. Back then, I wanted to qualify for a credit card while my parents were scornful of the whole concept of credit cards. Today, I want nothing to do with credit cards while my parents carry one to help with their credit rating. My, my, I've become my parents; my parents have become me. Almost makes me understand the desire to be a conservative.

I said almost. Shut up, you in the back row. I didn't -- I say; DIDN'T -- ask for your opinion. 

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