To cut debt, reduce credit card interest

Editor: Tighter mortgage controls seem like a good plan for property owners trying to sell their properties between now and the March deadline, as there will be a rush to purchase. This deadline will lead to a drop (perhaps temporary) in home building, as people will continue to turn to home renovations, but then they will be controlled by how much financing they can access, due to restrictions on equity borrowing. Hmmm — so much for renovating my home.

The ideal control, if you will, would be to reduce the interest charged on credit cards. People are paying exorbitant interest rates on credit cards that they use to purchase materials to renovate the homes that they would like to continue to live in.

Savings accounts? Toss them. They only pay two or 2.5 per cent, if you’re lucky. The credit companies and banks charge upwards of 23 per cent on the dollars we use to ‘live.’ It is an unfortunate truth that credit has become a way of living, and the credit providers are taking full advantage of that.

Why is it that financial institutions can give so little for trying to save, and charge so much for trying to live? Look at the profit margins of these financial institutions.

They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising to try to get you to come to them so they can ‘help you’ save, while they charge you to take money out of your own account. They are charging you to use your own money.

The more clients they have, the better they look within the industry. Whatever happened to stuffing your mattress with your hard-earned cash? It’s starting to sound good to me.

If we weren’t paying so much in interest on credit cards, there would be more money out there for people to spend on contractors to do the work that you or I can’t do, or to purchase materials and supplies for projects that you or I can do. What a concept

Think about this. You owe $6,700 on a credit card, and the monthly payment is $200. That’s only three per cent of the balance owing. Then the credit charges kick in, at 23 per cent.

Do you really think that the credit provider is trying to help you pay down your debt? Not in your lifetime. To do that, you would have to stop using your credit card and pay $400-plus a month (for approximately 15 months) to pay it off, and believe me, before that happens the credit card carrier will have another offer that you can’t resist.

Interest rates on credit are crippling this country, not mortgage rates. This is the issue that the government should be addressing, but it is so caught up with kowtowing to the financial institutions, it has forgotten about the little people who pay their salaries.

Debbie Atkinson,

Langley