Credit Out of Control Part 1 – Commercials

17 Jul Credit Out of Control Part 1 – Commercials

Buy now, no payments until January 2010! Zero percent interest! No closing costs! Life, it takes a credit card! Priceless.

Take this quiz. Over the next twenty-four hours count how many times you see or hear a commercial for a credit card, car dealer or furniture store with special financing, or a mortgage company or bank urging you to refinance.

This thought occurred to me recently while watching the evening national news. Five commercials played during a break. When the news resumed, I found myself trying to figure out what I had just seen. Then it hit me – of the five commercials run, they were (in order) a credit card company, a local car dealer offering to ‘hook you up’, a furniture store asking you to ‘come on down’ with delayed billing, a mortgage company suggesting that you re-finance to consolidate bills or do home improvement and then another credit card company hawking their debit card product. Each and every commercial was trying to get you to incur new debt! The next commercial break started with an ad for a Credit Counseling company promising to get you out of debt without bankruptcy.

It’s no longer good enough to advertise products that you want. You don’t need a video game console, a new car, or that latest cell phone, but you want them after watching those commercials. Now it’s big business to advertise new ways to get the money to buy those products.

So the next time your brain is in neutral, count those commercials and see how many are encouraging you to incur debt. My informal count is easily 3 debt commercials to 2 product commercials. I’d love to hear what you have found.

Is it any wonder why American savings rates are negative and bankruptcy remains such an important remedy to working families?

“ConnecticutGene Melchionne is a bankruptcy lawyer covering the entire State of Connecticut. He can often be found on Google+ and Twitter, where he shares information about consumer protection issues and personal finance.

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