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Credit is not for the faint hearted
by Gutschrift Halteseil

Life, these days, is governed by the culture of credit.
Inthis highly materialistic world, you feel you can't
affordto be left behind so you resort to taking credit.
Moreover,the incredibly tempting offers flashing from every
cornerare hard to resist. Thus you invariably get into the
habitof spending more than what you earn.

The instruments of credit are many and varied, such
ascredit cards, personal loans, interest free terms,
mortgages, IOU vouchers from the next-door grocery store
oreven borrowing from friends to tide over an
immediatenecessity and pay later.

But ask yourself this; where does it all end? Suicide
rates are on the increase, families are breaking down
from financial stress, and people are living below the
poverty line yet we still choose to live on credit. It is
quite ironic to note that the definition of credit mentions
the word ~defer~. Yes, we are deferring our payments
whilst we enjoy the benefits of such credit, but arent
we also deferring our lives as the bills pile high and our
disposable income is reduced to nil. Arent we deferring
our opportunity to really live life to the fullest by having
to work to pay this credit off?

Meanwhile credit agencies place the debts in the
hands of collectors who hound you for payment, who
promise that you will never be granted credit again,
who make your life a living hell and encourage thoughts
of running for the hills. Most dont run but they probably
resort to never answering the phone again either. Is
that living? No, probably not but it is all done in the
name of credit.

In this scenario, social responsibility of credit agencies
is even more pronounced. They should make sure that those
applying for credit do have the means to support it. Credit
agencies normally approve credit to people applying by
furnishing bogus information and never crosscheck with the
reference they had sought. The paradigm shift of society
should be carefully studied and remedies found. Earlier, it
was totally acceptable to live within our means and without
luxuries. But in this century, it has become a fashion to
live a life of luxury even if credit has to be taken for
it. Budgeting and saving have become practices of the past.

In the ultimate analysis it depends on you and your
willpower to decide whether you want to live with the
tensionof unpaid bills or compete with your neighbour to
show himdown. In this time of over-choice you have to make
yourchoices prudently.

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