Had the whole rapper/actor thing not worked out for Ice Cube, he could have gone into personal finance counseling. He clearly had a grasp on credit card principles when he penned the 1993 hit Check Yo Self, which seems to refer to those “courtesy checks” credit card companies bombard customers with, hoping you’ll use them to write yourself costly cash advances.
It’s tempting to dash off a quick check for a quick infusion of Benjamins, but beware of the ludicrously high interest rates that come with the seemingly easy money.
I got a letter from Chase today begging me to cut myself a check or three for a “low promotional 0.99% APR” until my November statement opening date. What followed was a diminutive little asterisk that led to some telling fine print: A 3 percent transaction fee applies, with a minimum of $5 and no maximum, and if all of the advance isn’t paid off by November, the balance shifts to the standard astronomical APR.
The pitch letter asked me to kindly ignore the financial realities in order to “take a tropical vacation, get a new computer, spruce up the kitchen, make a down payment on a car, buy a new couch” or, what seemed most appealing, “do whatever you choose.”
But because I listened to Ice Cube, who so wisely rapped in the voice of a Chase courtesy check:
You betta check yo self fo you wreck yo self
Cause I’m bad for your health
I come real stealth
Droppin’ bombs on ya moms, f*ck car alarms
I held off. Don’t need Chase coming real stealth, and I’d like my moms unbombed, thank you very much.