A very powerful financial tool originally meant for responsible educators came to an end in 2010—the Advanta Credit Card:
On March 19, 2010, Advanta Bank Corp., Draper, UT was closed by the Utah Department of Financial Institutions. Subsequently, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was named Receiver. No advance notice is given to the public when a financial institution is closed.
When I got an Advanta card, with its 7.79% APR and 20K credit limit, I thought I was benefitting from my mother’s constructive legacy as a retired public school teacher. Now all I am left with is ruthless Chase Manhattan bank, its Ink Business Card with a 13.99% APR. How did I go from 7.79 APR to 13.99%? You tell me, my fellow Americans, because you went there too—in one way or another.
So, for all you lovely ladies out there trying to size-up my financial vigor, let me help you get rid of me:
- Yes, it took me way too long to pay this credit card off.
- Yes, instead of using my non-existent “home” as a line of credit, this Advanta card was going to be a pale substitute.
Securing My Own Credit Card
I started out in the vulgar consumer credit world in the most humiliating way possible: with a $500 secured credit card (Capital One). I was a college graduate with child support payments, student loan installments and an immediate family with few work opportunities or surplus resources.
Unlike many who go through humiliation in secret and then try to forget what happened, my thang is to never forget in healthy, constructive manner (another constructive legacy from my mother). Instead of being toxically shamed into totally denying this secured card thing, let’s embrace and extend it. I need to secure my own credit card.
My superior, a totally disciplined person, would never use a credit card for anything but emergencies. I don’t envy my superior—I would like to marry her so drop me a line darlin’! I use my credit card online to pay monthly bills—like for the online service that hosts this Blog for example. I need to build a structure that can fourth, halve or completely eliminate my credit card debt in case of an emergency—which is like to be in this day and age a national emergency.
This ‘structure’ effectively secures the credit card. Instead of this “homeland security” being imposed upon me, my expression of liberty and freedom is to impose this limit on myself. So, for a financial loser like me, I would charge something for, say, $2000, securing it with $1000 in cash—and then spend the next two months paying it off. What’s important for a poor boy like me to understand is that I am paying off the $2000 debt solely with future income while holding the $1000 (or more) in reserve.
One day, when I’m a better person, I can just use my American Express card like how it was meant to be used. By the way, it took me way too long to pay off my Advanta Card—so clearly my self-secured credit idea was not working at all then. So it’s important for me not to go too far into the future with vulgar credit optimism—I need more dread, dread and more dread. Because of my socio-economic background and the company I have kept over the years, the future is often littered with financial tragedies happening to me and all around me. Dreadlock no smoke pipe in peace… Too much informers and too much laws…
Not really off topic: You know something about army ants? They build structures out of army ants in order to move army ants from one place to another. This idea might just work with money. Your wallet should not be made out of leather—it should be made out of money.
Fidelity Investment Rewards Visa Card Review: “We here at the Investor Junkie household have multiple accounts with Fidelity and is the primary account for our taxable investments. In addition, our low interest “fixed” rate credit cards suddenly skyrocketed to over 9% and now a variable rate. It was time for a new credit card strategy, because low interest rate credit cards are going the way of the do-do bird. We primarily used the cards for their points anyways, and after thinking about it, %1 return wasn’t such a hot deal.”
Charles Schwab Stops Offering 2 Percent Credit Cards: “When this card first emerged, I scrambled to get one myself. But knowing the sad history of other 2 percent Visas and MasterCards that have come and gone, I expressed my skepticism to a Schwab executive, Richard Musci. He told me in January 2009 that the company had carefully modeled its rewards program and wouldn’t have introduced it if Schwab didn’t intend to stand behind it.”
The multi-generational home makes a comeback: “Whether it’s boomerang children returning home or retirees angling for more face time with the grandkids, an increasing number of Canadians are choosing to reside in multigenerational family groups. And both builders and municipalities are taking note, with flexible housing options and a loosening of zoning restrictions.”
Disaster-Proof Your Finances: “Keep important documents handy. If you have to evacuate immediately, you won’t have time to go hunting for things like birth certificates, passports, wills, trust documents, records of home improvements and insurance policies. It’s a good idea to keep originals in a safe-deposit box, but you should also keep copies on hand in a small “evacuation box” (the fireproof, waterproof kind you can lock is best) that you can grab in a hurry on your way out the door. If you’re tech-savvy, consider scanning your important documents into a computer file you can store online or on a CD, along with a backup of your personal computer files (again, kept in a safe place away from your home).”