Has anybody seen 'Maxed Out'

scarlett2001May 19, 2008

This is a documentary about the credit card establishment and has been out awhile, but I saw it on TV for the first time last night. Pretty jaw-dropping. Now I know not everything you see on the telly is 100% for real, but here are some of the things they said:

1. a credit card company with a policy of holding check payments untit they were late so the late fee was in effect and also the interest rate could zoom up.

2.People who are mentally incapacitated given unrequested, "pre-approved" credit cards. People who are illiterate and unable to understand the fine print being signed up with very high rates of interest.

3. Mass recruitment of college kids- "Just sign up and get a free T shirt"- one girl had only a 12 hour a week job and got 7 credit cards. When her debt eventually maxed out, she became despondent and hanged herself in her dorm.

4. MBCA - the top contributor to Bush's two presidential campaigns - pressuring him to end bankruptcy laws, so people who get into trouble will just have to pay forever until they die.

Oh, lots and lots more. It was pretty shocking. I think the worst thing is that it ended with the prediction that if our government is just getting more and more into debt and people are just getting more and more into debt, the inevitable result is a real mess with all kinds of political, social and even military consequences.

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The first one..... "holding payment" happened to me. They raised the rate triple. When it happened I reread the contract on back of bill and it said they post payments at will unless sent through the mail with a date stamp on it. This was Chase, huge bank. Paid the idiots off and done with it.

Any credit card company can do this. The only way to get around it is to have a direct payment every month set up with them or call and pay over the phone.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 8:22AM
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I use on-line bill pay through MY bank, *not* the ccard banks. Payments are processed via electronic transfer (I'd assume that all credit card banks accept payments electronically), and post to the card account on the day I schedule them. I still schedule payments 3 to 5 days prior to the stated due date, just to be sure.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 8:13PM
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Well, in biology they teach you that a good parasite never kills off the host and that will happen eventually.I just am concerned at how people fall into this. It is having a huge effect on our whole economy. Couple that with irresponsibe government spending and we are in trouble.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 11:53AM
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I recently rented it. I found it interesting how many times the government has raided the social security fund to play for interest on it's own loans. The government can't even keep it's spending in check. I've learned a lot about student loans watching the Suzie Orman show. People get out of school with $100,000+ in student loans and only make $30,000 a year. Ouch! I'm going to miss that show once I cancel my extended cable next month.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 9:17AM
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I haven't seen it, but it sounds very interesting.

I have a mentally retarded friend (okay I know that's not a politically correct term but I grew up in the sixties and so did she and that's what WE call it, no disrespect intended.) She has been taken advantage of by credit card companies. :(

She does quite well living by herself and has used a check card for years, since she hates writing checks. However, once or twice a slick talking person will get her signed up for a credit card and eventually she'll come to me with a stack of notices and a garbled story. Since she is an independant adult there is nothing I can do to prevent her from getting a credit card except sitting with her and giving her a heart to heart talk.

If only she could balance a check book, she is pretty frugal and mindful not to get into debt. Just once in a while she gets tricked, though. Makes me mad that someone can prey on someone who is clearly a "vulnerable adult."

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 5:27PM
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