Have You, or Will You Max Out Your Credit Cards?

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From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr near Monterey, California

I have not over-extended my credit cards, and I'm not planning on doing that, this year. It seems likely to me that doing so would cause a balancing amount of harm to people who never get their money back. It may be that they won't get their money back anyway, but I don't want that to be on my head. If I did charge my cards up to their max, I would feel a duty to share at least that much food with neighbors and strangers, and to tell them that this is how I'm able to have this stuff on hand.

-- Dancr (addy.available@my.webpage.neener.autospammers--regrets.greenspun), August 22, 1999


In fact, Mrs. Rimmer and I have done exactly the opposite. We began moving towards being debt-free a few years back for good reasons other than Y2K.

Y2K did cause us to accerlerate those plans starting a little more than a year ago. I am very happy to report that just a couple of months ago we reached that goal - with the sole exception of our home mortgage.

We've purchased nothing on credit in the past several years and do not plan to use credit in the forseeable future. (Again, our house mortage is the exception). Everything else is bought and paid for on the spot. If we can't afford it, we don't buy it. That's a simple but effective rule of thumb. Nothing goes to credit card and we don't pay those ridiculous interest rates.

As I said up front, we didn't do this just because of Y2K, though that did make us accelerate our plans quite a bit. But getting out of debt has had some very positive effects on this household.

I suspect that Y2K will cause significant disruption in some places. Just exactly where I wouldn't even pretend to know. But to 'bank' on the banks and other lending agents not being around come 2000 to collect what you owe them seems to be a fool's bet to me. Some financial institutions may not survive (some die every year anyway), but if events are anything less than a total meltdown (which I think is possible but certainly NOT the most probable outcome), then your bill, complete with added interest, will arrive and you will have to pay.

Anyway, that's my take...

-- Arnie Rimmer (Arnie_Rimmer@usa.net), August 22, 1999.

Debt-free after many years of carrying a floating balance that never seemed to resolve itself. Last year we paid everything off, canceled most cards, and now pay as we go...except for travel, which is pay when you get home. It does feel good. Sort of like when you quit cigs...you have so much energy you wonder why you ever smoke.

-- Shelia (Shelia@active-stream.com), August 22, 1999.


Not really. We haven't done anything different because of Y2K. Normally, in Jan, we have 6 months of food [or more; we grow our own]. We have a generator [for on farm use]. We have piles of camping equipment, lots of water, etc. We really haven't had to do anything different. We use credit cards, but pay them off on a monthly basis. My guess is that this is not too much help.


-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), August 22, 1999.


My feeling is that since I don't know what will happen I want to stay as light on my feet as possible. Y2k could result in nothing, a depression or the end of the world, I don't know and it seems no one else does. I've been paying off my credit cards and will be debt free in January. No matter what happens I want to come out on top, that's survival of the fittest in my book.

-- Mabel Dodge (cynical@me.net), August 22, 1999.

nothing to say of the morality of maxing credit cards when you may not have the ability to pay. i would think people would want to go into the millenium with a clean conscience? the practical side of it is 1) we may actually come out of this and oooops there is that nasty credit card balance and you gave all the food away, 2) it may make you less flexible to move or do whatever is necessary with no balance.

-- tt (cuddluppy@holierthanthou.com), August 22, 1999.

Being debt free is the only way to be. It is liberating that the debt load is off your shoulders. Just because the credit card companies dangle the bait in front of your face, does not mean you have to bite on it. However, I've been toying with the idea of refinancing my house, get my equity out of it and IFSHTF and my home is no longer worth what it is today at least I will have what I put into it in my pocket. If nothing happens, I can always sell my house and move to another house with a large down payment. My existing mortgage company may not even be around IFSHTF. With so many mortgage defaults and foreclosures, I suspect many mortgage brokers and banks will go under.

-- waiting & watching (waiting&watching@waiting&watching.com), August 22, 1999.

Dancer, this is a very good question, but Im shocked at the one sided answers, must all be polys. So I guess I will have to ask the same question in a defferent manor several theads up ( will there be a Y2K induced credit crunch )

-- Les (yoyo@tolate.com), August 22, 1999.

I've been holding back on hitting the cards big time, but the local well drilling company does take Visa and MC, and we could use a Y2K well. This might be the one big expense that we have to take a chance with on the plastic.


-- a regular poster (aforumregular@edsplace.com), August 22, 1999.

I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it left......

Malcom Berko

-- toast? (broke@llthe.time), August 22, 1999.

Has Murphy not added to his long list, "If Y2K causes problems, they will all be to our disadvantage"? I.e., the IRS and Visa will be fine but the frozen fries will not be delivered to Burger King.

Sweetie and I will have only the house mortage around our necks and we'll be one month ahead, just to be on the safe side.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), August 22, 1999.

Suppose you were on the Titanic and found yourself in steerage. If maxing out your VISA enabled you to upgrade to a cabin above the water line and on the other side of those pesky gates, would you use it? I betcha the Unsinkable Molly Brown would have. Survival instincts can be very strong and color many other things with the light of a new perspective.

-- survivor (survivor@steerage.com), August 23, 1999.

I put all of my credit cards, about $30,000.00 in total, in the microwave about 10 years ago, and now have a real nice piece of melted multi-colored plastic (the gold cards look really kool). I now use ONE debit card.


Tick... Tock... <:00=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), August 23, 1999.

No debt--and I will pay ahead on some stuff into the new year!

-- Mara Wayne (MaraWayne@aol.com), August 23, 1999.

I traded in my 1999 car for a 1994 vehicle. I got rid of the car loan ($500/mo for 4.5 more years). I charged the 'new' car on a credit card (7% interest). Making the same size pymts, I'll have it paid off in about a year and a half. In the mean time, I have title to the new car.


-- Raay Baan (raay@ba.an), August 23, 1999.

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