Who gets the bill?

Who gets the bill?

A Story by Andrea A. Wentz

A little wit in the midst of credit card bills from hell, banks begging for cash, and citizens paying the price.


So you have a credit card... you use it to pay for random, rare things till you find yourself bringing home smaller and smaller paychecks. You're not aware of the economic crisis cause your president is on the TV saying how strong the economy is. So why are the paychecks getting smaller? It may not be much, 30 bucks a week or so, but if you're a smoker that's your whole week's supply of cigarettes. Well you're not gonna stop smoking cause of a small drop in pay when everyone is saying our economy is doing great! No, the drop must just be limited to you, therefore you skimp on something else. Next month drops a little more, skimp a little elsewhere, on and on until you move to credit to start paying for necessities. Now keep in mind you STILL don't know this problem is not limited to you cause Mr. Bush and Mr. Paulson are assuring you that everything is fine in the economy.

Now you do a last small purchase, using up the last of your credit. Then you start to stress about how to pay for cheap store brand diapers or Mac N' Cheese next month. Throw in a few vitamins as well cause you're all eating cheap, crap food so you know no one is getting their necessary vitamins. Next, you get your credit card bill. You're over your limit! YOU didn't go over your limit, the bank did, charging you interest on your purchases. Turns out that during all your stressing over paying for needed items with credit, you forgot about the darn interest charges. Ah well, pay when you normally do but only make the minimum payment cause that's all you can afford.

The next month statement arrives and you're over your limit again, and then some! Turns out that on top of the $90 interest charge, you also have a $39 fee for being over the limit, and another $39 fee for paying late. Late? Wait didn't you pay when you normally do? Yep, you did. Problem is the bank is suffering and they laid off a bunch of people. Less people means your payment got input into the system later than usual. Meaning, even though the payment came into their office 5 days before it was credited to your account, they will only count when someone finally was able to physically input the payment into the computers. You call...raise a little complaint, and are told tough s**t. The bank has it's policies and all you can do is pay earlier. Never mind whether or not your paycheck has come in yet, that's not their problem. So you pay the $90, the $39, and the other $39 and breathe a sigh of relief that you got it in before that 20 day stamp expires, forgetting that you received this bill only 5 days before that deadline. Meaning you're gonna see another over limit charge next month.

Next month rolls around, Mr. Bush and Mr. Paulson finally announce that the economy is not as well off as they have previously lead you to believe. You're only weeks away from hearing about a 700 billion dollar bail out for banks. You don’t know that the banks are in trouble yet, but the banks do!

Around this same time you receive your next credit card bill. Lo and behold, $90 interest and another $39 over limit fee. Huh? But I just paid all that! Yeah you did, but you paid off last months charges and forgot about the next $90 they were gonna charge you which put you over limit once again!!!

Oh....ok.....so this time you pay $90, $39, and another $90 so you don’t go over the limit with next month's interest charges.

The next month is here, the 700 billion dollar bail out has been agreed upon and signed into action. You get your credit card bill. $110 interest charges and $39 over limit fee?! Turns out that your bank couldn’t lay off anymore people to cut costs, so now you are footing the bill. They have increased your interest rate, and once again you're over the limit because of their interest charges. You ask the bank what is up, and they once again say tough s**t.

This time you pay $110, $39 over limit fee, and another $110 to bring yourself down even further so they're no worry about being forced over the limit again.

Next months' bill arrives, interest rate hasn’t changed, but again you have an over the limit fee because you were charged your annual dues. Yes, not only do you have to pay $110 per month for having a credit card with that bank, you also have to pay $90 per year to keep that credit card in operation! This month you will pay your $110, $39, and $90 and things will finally be at peace. You are finally under your limit when you receive your next bill so all you have to worry about is the interest rates and whatever else they say is part of your minimum payment due. Thank god!!!

Now why did all this happen? Simple, the banks financed mortgages to people who couldn't pay them and they turned to you to pay for their mistake. They passed the buck. This year you will pay for the bank's mistakes as a tax payer financing the $700 billion bail out, and as a customer. Welcome to America! The land of the free, and the home of letting someone else pay for your mistakes.



December 5, 2008

© 2009 Andrea A. Wentz

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Added on January 23, 2009
Last Updated on January 30, 2009


Andrea A. Wentz
Andrea A. Wentz

Phoenix, AZ