Monday, February 12, 2007

Lowering of income limit for credit

The income minimum for unsecured credit has been lowered to $20,000 per year. Maximum credit is still capped at twice the monthly salary..

On the one hand, I think that salary doesn't dictate whether a person knows how to handle their own finances. However, easier credit does make it easier for people to mess themselves up, even while it enables some of those people to change their lives for the better.

For instance, one friend I have used several credit card facilities to get enough cash to start his own business - a venture which was successful, thanks to his hard work and acumen. People should control their own destiny - it's not really anyone's role to protect people from their own folly. I mean, consider this news story from Wired, "Law Would Ban IPods When Crossing Street". So you're not allowed to listen to your iPod, talk on the phone, play PSP or check your BlackBerry while crossing the street - all in the name of protecting your life from yourself.

But there's a side of me that tells me that people may not be aware that how fast or how much they actually are spending, including whether they are spending above their capacity. Especially in the case of buying things they can't afford! I can buy something worth $6k on a credit card, but would I be able to put that much away while making all my other obligations? Especially if I need to make house payments, for instance. 7 years back I had to work my way out of a credit hole on a student credit card, and it was a heck of a miserable experience - and then the only person suffering was me!

But despite my misgivings, the perils of credit cards are a lesson probably best learnt by experience - after all, not everyone is as financially dumb as I was!

No comments: