It’s often hard to put a comic edge on these blogs. Being sensitive when dealing with debt topics can be tricky but we try to make light whilst taking it seriously. Don’t want to stress everyone out too much. But something that came in the letterbox today really got on our goat. So annoyed at the timing, and what appears to be insincerity, of what is apparently an offer to provide a “service.” We looked and thought, here’s one we just can’t take lightly.
The letter received starts with ‘as a credit card customer, you have access to a service that enables you to receive written invitations to increase your credit limit.’ (Not sure where “service” comes into receiving invitations to place someone into more debt that essentially gives the banks more of your hard earned money) First thoughts were along the lines of “these recent changes imposed onto banks might give the think twice approach to credit a new life.”
Positive thoughts soon turned to annoyance at what seemed like a blatant push to “offer” people upped credit limits right before Christmas. This letter came in the mail six weeks before Christmas and if this permission form was to be signed and returned, it’s most likely that an offer of increased credit limit would be in the mail box within a week. Why? Because it’s Christmas panic stations. ‘People want to spend….let’s give them the ability to do that’ thinking.
Previous consent givers would have had their special offer to up their credit limit around the same time as this came in the mail and right now maybe signing up for increased credit limits. Debt Agreement holders wouldn’t find themselves in this predicament, but they may be living with family members who aren’t bound by the agreement and receiving in all appearances this special “service” to send them offers. Offers that in the scheme of things, may appear of value over the holidays as a reprieve from the financial stress. ‘Wipe the brow we have money now.’
Accounts holder with no credit card account would also be receiving credit applications or offers to apply online. All around the time that people are most vulnerable. Vulnerable to the stress of having everything or feeling a sense of inadequacy from a perceived notion of lack. We’re not directly saying that financial institutions prey on the weak, but the timing is all a little too convenient.
Facing the end of January when the statement comes along and the brow sweats up again, where does the EXTRA money come from to pay the usual living costs as well as the new credit card payments and interest on top. Christmas just got more expensive.
Do you really need special brand new placemats for the table or a new 12 piece table setting themed with Christmas snow because the in laws are coming for Christmas? Do you need the overpriced decorations or the incredibly overpriced “for Christmas” seafood? Would a day at the beach with a picnic and cricket with the kids be better then heaps and heaps of presents and too much food at the table? Yes, it is tough love, but it is just not worth paying the extra interest on credit card purchases and the stress of living in debt? When the following Christmas comes around will you still be paying off this years debts?
As all this rolls around the mind it would be much easier to not have the temptation of a conveniently timed letter “offering” a credit increase. But it’s also possible to opt out of this particular “service”. If you feel tempted, stay strong, opting out is a positive move you can make for your future self.
If you’re facing financial hardship over the Christmas period we are here to talk about a solution. Call us on 1300 887 211 or Book a Free No Obligation Phone Consultation with our friendly team and we can discuss debt management options specially focused on your personal situation.