Baseball | Main | Friday beer blogging: Retro edition

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Just say no to student credit cards

discover.jpg * You have no money.
* You're a freshman away at school.
* Half your friends from high school went to community college.
* The other half went to the Army.
* Or jail.
* You're wishing you would have gone to beauty school.
* You have no money.
* You're sad.
* You're lonely.
* You miss your car.
* Your stereo is broken.
* You have no cool music, anyway.
* No one in the dorm likes you.
* And, you really don't like them.
* You have no money.
* Your boyfriend broke up with you.
* You're thinking about quitting school and joining the Army.
* More and more, you find yourself thinking about prostitution.
* Or maybe just working for an escort service.
* You have no money.
* Your parents cut you off.
* Your food allowance is running really low.
* Maybe your grandma will tuck a five dollar bill in with the oatmeal cookies you can't wait for her to send.
* Yeah, like that actually happens in 2006.
* Or, a twenty.
* You have no money.
* Your clothes suck.
* Your hair sucks.
* Your life sucks.
* You suck.
* You have no money.
* What do you do?
* You surf the net alone in the dark.
* You read a few blogs.
* And suddenly there appears the ad that will make everything better.
* Walla.
* That's you!
* Well, it could be.

Don't click it!

I don't think I've ever seen a more exploitative web ad than that one for Discover. Some marketing genius came up with a good one there.

The ad looks good. Very tempting. So easy. But, it doesn't tell you about the total desperation you'll be feeling when the bills come due and you can't pay them. And not only will you suck, again, but you'll suck and be in debt up to your eyeballs. Then you'll really have no money.

Posted by Marie at October 25, 2006 8:39 PM


i was not-so-young and really financially stupid, and i got in debt up to my eyeballs. as it turns out, my particular eyeballs were about $15,000 high. i had two credits cards, both with $7500 limits. that's just an outrageous amount for someone my age and income. it only took me about a year and a half to max them both out. i declared bankruptcy in january of '05, just a few months before the law changed. financially it was probably the best thing i could have done for myself, considering the position i was in. it was a little difficult to get the most recent car loan, but if i was still trying to pay the principle my credit score would actually have been far worse. in a perfect world i would have been flawlessly responsible in the first place, but i wasn't and at least i got a second chance.

Posted by: jason at October 25, 2006 10:21 PM

Good post. A- gets credit card offers at the house all the time. I can't tear them up fast enough. I hope he hasn't gotten one on the sly.

When I was in school, no one had a credit card. Hudson's Department Store in Detroit gave me my first but not till I got out of college.

Posted by: Kem White at October 26, 2006 2:37 PM

The contrarian argument: How do you expect young people to really get involved in what our society is about without a nice line of credit? I mean, our president has told us ad nauseam that we ought to go about our business--which apparently is feeding the gross domestic product. I've even heard from guys Defending Our Freedom over wherever they are--can't find it on a map--that part of the freedom they're fighting for is to jump in the unpaid-for SUV and head to the mall with a wallet full of plastic. If we don't extend easy credit--AND USE IT--the terrorists have already won.

Posted by: Dan at October 26, 2006 3:05 PM

Hahahaha. Now I know how am fighting terrorism.

Posted by: Don Ray at October 26, 2006 3:48 PM

Gotta love the tagline "Reward Yourself". I made it through college pretty-much unscathed by debt. I had one credit card that had a max of a $1k. It helped in those moments where I needed to buy books or fix my truck. Not to say I didn't splurge every once in a while on crap, but I never maxed it out.

But I figure where students get themselves into trouble is when they forget about the responsibility of having credit and bank on the premo-salary they will make after graduating. Little do they know that they will have other bills and won't be starting out as CEO. (I just got the shivers - I just sounded like my parents)

Posted by: shoo at October 26, 2006 3:52 PM

Jason, the lawyer I work for does a fair amount of bankruptcy work, so I know exactly what you're talking about. Also, this is one of the reasons I've recently started taking an interest in this very subject.

Kem, OMG! Same here. I think one of my girls got her first card offer while still in high school.

Dan, well, to the president I would say, "weak, but thanks for playing. Next." *snort*

Posted by: Marie at October 26, 2006 4:48 PM

Don't forget--our president is a patient man. But he won't stay patient forever. (So: Start spending!)

Posted by: Dan at October 26, 2006 5:53 PM