About 14 % of all Americans have more than 10 credit cards, and a like percentage uses at least half their available credit (reducing the average credit score by 29 points).
I had clients who were habitual credit card maxxers. They became serial re-financiers to wipe out their credit debt each time they reached their available limits. They knew they were in a sort of Russian roulette, never really certain when they’d receive that fatal blow that buried them under their 21% credit card debt because they’d run out of life-saving plasma (equity in their home).
The time arrived, and a quick conversation with them about a referral to a bankruptcy attorney revealed they were carrying $18,000 of credit card debt at 21% or over, another $10,000 of debt under 12%, and have mortgaged 115% of their home’s March, 2007 appraised value. I gave them both the attorney’s information and the phone number number for a credit counseling service, but my client quickly cut me off about that with a curt “Oh, you gave us that service a few times over the years.”
I have personally taught old dogs new tricks. I hope that we can all collectively learn anew.