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.
- Utah unemployment rate hits five-year low
- Q&A: Gauge the costs, advantages of long-term...
- Dave Ramsey says: Don't waste your time,...
- The disappearing 401(k) and inequality
- Nickel and dimed: How pennies and nickels are...
- Smartphones and the Internet are changing the...
- 'Deseret News National Edition' looks at CPAC...
- Social Security Q&A: Military retirement; IRA...
- The disappearing 401(k) and inequality 19
- Utah unemployment rate hits five-year low 18
- Dave Ramsey says: Don't waste your... 15
- Nickel and dimed: How pennies and... 3
- High steaks: Beef prices mooove up 2
- Survey: Cost a growing factor in... 1
- Here are 5 clues to the health of US... 1
- 'Deseret News National Edition' looks... 1