Looking at a billing statement can make it harder to get out of debt, according to an article by Wise Bread.
Your billing statement is full of traps, Wise Bread says. That website offers three things to watch out for as you view your latest statement:
The minimum payment is as little as 2 percent of the total balance. Paying only the minimum causes you to pay more in the long run. The Credit CARD Act of 2009 requires companies to show how long a debt will take to be paid off if only the minimum is paid each time.
Banks use a tactic called anchoring, Wise Bread says. Individuals are influenced by the first piece of information they are offered. When a statement comes, the lower offer appears first, making it more likely for customers pay less than the full amount.
Statements show how much credit you can still use. This effect, called framing, makes consumers focus on how much they have left that they didn’t use, rather than focusing on how much they owe, Wise Bread points out. Knowing how much is available also lowers rational thinking in spending purchases.
This is not just like wiping a credit card. The lender treats these as cash advances, which have higher interest rates. Sometimes the rates are 20 percent or higher, according to Wise Bread. Another 3- to 4-percent fee is charged for writing one of these checks.
“When you receive these checks in the mail, shred them immediately and back away slowly,” said Emily Guy Birken, in her article for Wise Bread. “You don't want to be seduced by the power of the Dark Side.”
Unlike a credit card, there is no interest-free grace period. The full purpose of these checks for lenders is to take advantage of laziness, since it’s easier to write these checks than to order more personal checks when they run out, Wise Bread says.
- The best Black Friday deals of 2014
- Can a cash grocery budget save you money?
- Which home improvements give the best ROI?
- 4 reasons why you shouldn't shop on Black Friday
- BLACK FRIDAY LIVE: Protests, beer and prison
- Why Utahns are some of the biggest spenders,...
- 6 steps to better budgeting
- What women can do to prepare for retirement
- Working on Thanksgiving Day? Here's why... 12
- Why Utahns are some of the biggest... 12
- Immigration reform will boost the... 8
- In our opinion: Fear, intentions can... 7
- Thanksgiving trumps Black Friday for deals 4
- What women can do to prepare for... 3
- Why Salt Lake City is one of the best... 2
- 5 ways to talk about money with your... 2