Credit Cards are Problematic for Us Disabled on Low Fixed Incomes...

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caitianx

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Credit Cards are problematic for us disabled adults on low fixed incomes.

My latest bill came in, and I need more funds out of my meager 401K Retirement Account to pay it off to maintain a "zero balance".

I guess I will have to give up the single credit card I have, which I have used since 1987.

A rather harsh choice.

:sad:
 
I am 64 disabled and never had a Credit Card.

Why pay good money just to use a piece of plastic as money.

The drawback is your Credit rating will be someplace below 500.

95% of credit rating is based on Credit Card use and balance.

I pay my bills on time and and always have, Because i have never had a Credit card my score in below 500.
 
i've never had one (well, been offered them as a matter of course, but always refused or not activated them). i've always preferred cash, but i have given in to the debit card (mainly because employers refuse to pay you, so that you have go chasing some third party for what they owe you; try doing that when you buy a Mars bar: "go and ask Joe Bloody Bloggs for the money cos i'm not giving it to you!".....mind you, that is the way that we tend to buy Mars bars, nowadays, isn't it? bonkers!).

as for credit worthiness, i've previously notched mine up by buying smallish stuff (electronika, etc) on credit, and usually on the '6 months interest free' gig and paid them off within the 6 months, but i've not seen many of those deals lately.

mostly, mine's been a hand-to-mouth existence, so borrowing of strangers is a big no-no.
 
Credit is as I said, problematic when one is on a low fixed income like me.
I had to dig into my meager 401K Retirement Account to cover this latest credit card bill.
Problem was, I had $300.00 extra in medical bills this month to pay off, which skewed my
budget.
 
Credit cards only become an issue when you buy something you can'y even afford. I treat a credit card like it's my own money than just unlimited money. But the good thing about credit cards is you can use them for an emergency and you don't have to pay it all at once. You can make monthly payments on it but just pay above the minimum so you are not paying for only interest only.

But fortunately my husband and I are able to pay them off the following month because we are not really poor. But there have been times where we had to make payments.
 
I'm actually finally starting to "make money" for the first time in my life...Even with that, I can't afford to pay off my credit card. It may take a year to clear $1000 and I just buy essentials. The only "extra" in my life is a $19.60/month tablet payment for my ipad mini. Still I wonder should I have ever bothered to get credit back? It honestly hurts on a down month because I literally can't afford what I need let alone to pay it back. I spent years in that cycle - if I didn't have enough money to pay the bills I had to use the credit card to buy groceries, knowing I had no way of paying that down later. It became a pay them all I had left, then use that same credit I just paid to survive, scenario.... I definitely understand being poor... But I've got a plan, and right now I can properly survive, and in 2 years I'll finally be able to "live".
 
If you cant afford to pay it back, why buy it in the first place is my question for those who can't afford it. If you can't pay it back, don't buy it with your credit card.
 
Calico said:
If you cant afford to pay it back, why buy it in the first place is my question for those who can't afford it. If you can't pay it back, don't buy it with your credit card.

This is true, but at one point I was uninsured and NEEDED some health care, the doctor agreed to treat me, and he came in several hundred over quote, as I gave them all my cash, and was explaining that they'd have to work with my on payments, she pointed out that I had a credit card in my wallet. :( As soon as they saw a card, that was all they wanted.
 
Calico said:
If you cant afford to pay it back, why buy it in the first place is my question for those who can't afford it. If you can't pay it back, don't buy it with your credit card.

Not to be sarcastic, but I guess you haven't experienced long-term income below the poverty line. It's not "do I want this", it's "can I do without satisfying these needs (or medical treatment in his case)"...

Have you ever gotten paid only to find out that the amount for your 2-week cheque is less than your bi-weekly rent or utilities? That leaves a deficit, and then what do you eat? Your credit card feeds you. I lived on rice for over 2 weeks once, because I couldn't afford fruit, vegetables, or meat. Never again...
 
Plushie said:
Not to be sarcastic, but I guess you haven't experienced long-term income below the poverty line. It's not "do I want this", it's "can I do without satisfying these needs (or medical treatment in his case)"...

Have you ever gotten paid only to find out that the amount for your 2-week cheque is less than your bi-weekly rent or utilities? That leaves a deficit, and then what do you eat? Your credit card feeds you. I lived on rice for over 2 weeks once, because I couldn't afford fruit, vegetables, or meat. Never again...

Yes!
My American Express bill is "paid" now, but I had to use it yesterday for medicine and more adult diapers.
:wallbash:
SHIT!!!!!
I have to use it on Wednesday this week to get the Oil & Oil Filter changed on my handicapped-adapted car.
Later in the week, I have to use it for gasoline to travel to 2 different "remote video shoot sites" for the Derry, NH Community Public-Access CATV Channel where I volunteer as an "Independent Producer", unpaid - of course.
These 2 "remote" video shoots are "necessary".

Anyway, also until I receive my next SSDI cheque, I also have to use my American Express charge card for "Food".
Yes!
I did use it to purchase "soap" today, because as a disabled adult with Autism and Cerebral Palsy, I do not want to be "DIRTY".
 
Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm not sure why a card has to be "used" if you're unsure if you can pay the full statement balance before the due date. Treat all plastic as if they're debit cards, and one does not run into the problem of carrying a balance.

There may well be a problem that your fixed income really isn't in line with the cost of living. That's a serious problem. It's not, however, a direct issue with the credit card nor one that needs to involve a credit card at all.
 
The question to ask is, what would you do if credit cards wern't a thing. If the answer is "probably starve to death", then as fruitkitty said, the credit card isn't the issue, if anything, it's acting as a really bad crutch. Unfortunately this has become such an established thing and other support mechanisms are ineffective, so it's a reality.

Personally I wish we could roll back the whole credit card thing. Giving people such convenient access to credit has, in my opinion, been devestating. Loans still need to be a thing, but imo should be for large items (car, house) and should require you to actually go to a bank rather than swipe a card and justify that you'll be able to afford the debt. The only real benifit to credit cards, and the only reason I use one, is they act as a security measure by isolating your purchases from your actual money.. but there are much more direct ways that this could be accomplished in a credit card free world.

The whole thing is (quite deliberately) designed to suck people into a situation that they can't easily get out of. If you don't have enough money to pay off the balance one month, chances are you won't have enough to pay the balance plus interest next month.. and then you're basically caught. I'm normally not a fan of nanny-state type thinking, but if the last 10 years has shown us anything, it's that making credit this available is really bad, and the impact of it spreads well beyond only those who are in debt.
 
Well shit I must be one lucky SOB then. I never had a lot of health problems so no money to spend on medical needs and I have parents who will pay if I ever needed it and I couldn't afford it. I guess health insurance doesn't always pay for things. I am not even on any anxiety meds because my health insurance won't pay for any pills and I am not on Plan D and last time I tried to sign up, it said my income was too high so I didn't qualify. I also refuse to spend any money on medicine because I will not go paycheck to paycheck or spend anymore money on bills. I like my freedom and entertainment. Money terrifies me because of money anxiety I have so any change in our bills really freaks me out if it's more money to spend instead of less which is why my husband handles all the finances. I just couldn't handle it. But luckily it's something I can live without even though it might make my life easier.
 
My finances are a mess, but my credit rating is 800. I'm not sure what I am doing right or wrong. I think it is so high because I got a student loan and it automatically is deducted from my bank account, so it is never late and always gets paid regularly.
 
Decades ago, I never had any student loans to pay off.
My Dad paid the first two years.
The last two years came out of my own personal pocket.
Therefore I never had any student loan debt.
 
WriteAndLeft said:
My finances are a mess, but my credit rating is 800. I'm not sure what I am doing right or wrong. I think it is so high because I got a student loan and it automatically is deducted from my bank account, so it is never late and always gets paid regularly.
Timely payments of your debt / credit is a large part, but the amount of debt you have relative to your credit limit, and your performance or history at paying it off, as in reducing the amount, are two other large parts. To me 800+ would seem to make sense. You've got a large debt, the student loan, which is likely substantially less the original amount, which means you are actually eliminating it over time, coupled with a lengthy amount of on time never late payments. It's pretty much everything a creditor would ever want to see.

I can see my credit score swing in the neighborhood of 70-100+ points in a month based on payments and proximity to my limit. If I'm 90% of my credit limit and only making minimum payment (which I setup so I never *miss* a payment) then for the month my score will be borderline between top 600's and basement 700's -- maybe 702 or 698. But if I make a payment significantly reducing or eliminating that debt it'll bounce to 770+ or 800+ the next month. I don't always want to entirely pay off the balance because maintaining on time servicing of debt is a good. Not that a $0 balance every month is a bad thing. It's a **very good** thing. But, instantaneously pay off your debt doesn't establish long term on time payments. A bank might want a downpayment from you first, before extending favorable terms, in that case. Where has a history of on time payments of reducing large debt to $0 might allow for financing the whole amount. (More likely to happen in car financing)

The US has never defaulted on it's debt, as far as I understand, -ever-. Such a ridiculously long term on time repayment history, I would assume, is what allows them to float the trillions of that they do. But, the recent spike to the debt that occurred from assuming the responsibility of all those bad mortgage loans got at least one credit agency to downgrade USA debt from AAA+ to AA+. Ostensibly, meaning they're concerned a bit about the amount of debt in total. But, of course, there is *a lot*. Let me repeat that, A lot of politics that goes into the credit rating of entire countries by agencies. Which you can read as, "Maybe these rating that are being given aren't entirely accurate. They likely have been pushed higher or lower due to the aforementioned politics." But, more or less the same basic principles apply. Missing payments or defaulting is very bad.
 
AshleyAshes said:
So basically you came into this thread to lecture people about how they simply shouldn't have debt, and you then explained that you don't have health problems, you refuse to buy medications, your parents will always bail you out, and you allow your husband to handle your finances while you make every effort avoid even THINKING about financial matters. So basically, you are completely and purposefully ignorant about financial matters, bragging about not needing to know about these things, and then lecturing people on how to deal with debt. Wow. Did you consider just NOT posting in the thread and moving along?


Families are supposed to step into help if a family member is in need. That is what we do in our family. We have bailed my in laws and my brother in law out when they needed money for emergencies and my parents are going to bail my brother out for a lawyer because he is fighting for custody for his kids. He does have custody but it's to fight his ex in court.


I also have an anxiety disorder so I have money anxiety and my husband decided to take over the finances so I wouldn't have to worry about and have lot of anxiety over bills and he got tired of being chewed out over spending a dollar because I was always freaking out over our budget and finances. I do not like surprises and I get scared when there is any unexpected bills and I am always afraid of something happening so I fear spending so I live like I'm poor. My husband got tired of that so he decided to take over the finances to end this issue and it's solved our problem. I can relate to those people on Extreme Cheapskates and I am not that cheap so that makes my issue look like nothing. Which is why I am not as judgmental about those people because I can understand the anxiety. But it's hard to not judge when some of those people have kids because I believe they shouldn't have to live that way. Sometimes I have wondered if social services ever get involved in after seeing those shows. But hey thanks for judging me after not knowing I had a anxiety issue and I am diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and OCD professionally from 6th grade and way to see you thinking people with anxiety disorders and OCD are purposely ignorant. Now everyone here knows how you feel about them.

And I wasn't bragging btw but I notice when people mention anything good, it's considered bragging but yet if we talk about how bad things are in our life, we are considered whiners and complainers and going woe is me. Go figure.
 
AshleyAshes said:
You say this as if everyone's situation must be similar to your own. There are people who do not have families, for a range of reasons. There are also a good many families who do not have the financial resources to assist other family members out of their financial troubles.

I did not realize people had to use their credit cards to bail themselves out for medical expenses so I was admitting how wrong I was by say how I must be a lucky SOB then and then you were all critical and judgmental about it by accusing me of bragging and acting like it's wrong for my family to bail me out so I said families are supposed to step into help. I realize not all families care about their loved ones so they don't care to bail them out and some others can't bail them out because they have no money to, can't afford it. Some people come from poor families so they can't be bailed out so they are forced to go in debt if they have health issues that can't be ignored or if they can't live without their meds.

But hey I guess admitting how wrong you are makes you a bragger :shrugs:
 
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