Why People Stop Using Credit Cards

In yesterday’s Money section, USA Today talked to some consumers who refuse to carry credit cards, and looked at the hidden costs. One 24-year-old says they make her uncomfortable; a guy working at a gas station to pay for college says he doesn’t want to get accosted by endless junk mailings once his name enters the pool of potential customers. Then there’s the bankruptcy lawyer who canceled his cards on principle 8 years ago, after seeing how lenders behaved when their customers suffered financial setbacks:

“Any time there’s even a hint of a financial issue in the consumer’s life, the credit card company will raise the interest rate to the high 20s, or 30%,” he says. “They’ll do anything they can to make life as difficult as possible.”

Of course, there are some drawbacks, for instance the loss of extended warranty and purchase protection that comes with most credit cards. The most significant cost is that it makes it much harder to build up a good credit profile, although the 24-year-old managed to still get a car loan by combining her income with her fiancé’s credit history.

“More consumers just say no to credit cards” [USAToday]