SHOULD GOVERNMENT REGULATE CREDIT CARD ADVERTISEMENTS?
The tobacco industry’s advertising was regulated and as a result many people have quit smoking.
Yesterday I received a splashy piece of ad-mail from HSBC that announced “CUSTOMIZE AN HSBC MASTERCARD THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU.”
Alright let’s think about that for a moment. First to what extent can I customize it? Perhaps I can choose an interest rate that I like maybe 1% per annum? Nope! Hmm then maybe I can change some of the terms, to something like “if I miss three payments in a row because I lost my job I can defer those payments without penalty”? Nope!
I could go on but you obviously get the point, nothing is about obtaining credit is negotiable – we are not entering into contracts with lenders as equal participants in the forming of a contract. If lenders were required to be truthful and not allowed to make debt sound so attractive we would have less people having financial problems – not just debt problems.