Yesterday, I opened a thick envelope from Citibank. It was the wrong time of the month for my monthly report so I was curious. What will I find in here? How beautiful. Three checks with my name and address printed in the upper left hand corner and a warm and supportive note telling me that if I have any financial problems- if I need money- if I wanted to take a vacation, all I needed to do was sign one of these checks. They are interest free because they want me to enjoy my vacation.
Citibank is so desirous of making my life easier that if I use one of these checks, it will be interest free until September 1, 2011. After that, it moves immediately to 29.99%!! The trick is, of course, that people who have to borrow money often are not able to repay it in an agreed upon period of time at which point they start paying merely 29.99%. God bless the credit card companies. They do so want to help us.
I don’t as yet know all the implications of the new legislation on credit cards but I do know that all these companies used to send these out to 18-year-old kids and frequently ensnaring them into a financial situation from which it is extremely difficult to be extricated. I do hope that they are more restricted now.