Using Credit Cards

Using Credit Cards

revised spring 2008 Patch

Area of Life: The area of life that I chose to study is using credit cards. In order for one to use a credit card, one must first own a credit card. This activity can take place at any store that accepts credit cards. All it takes to use a credit card is having one and swiping it through the machine at the store. In order to get to the store one must get into a car and drive there. Once at the store one must shop around for what to purchase. After deciding what to purchase it is check out time. At the counter, one would swipe the credit card that has been chosen for use and then sign the screen or the receipt to confirm the purchase.

Acquiring a Credit Card: There are different kinds of credit cards, some only allow you to use it at a certain store, and some can be used be used almost anywhere credit cards are accepted. The credit card that allows you only to use it at their store is almost always issued by the store itself where you can sign up for the card. You simply fill out your information on a brochure or packet and an associate will acquire your credit limit in just a few minutes over the phone. In usually about seven to ten business days for you to receive the credit card in the mail. For a card you can use almost anywhere such as a visa or MasterCard there are a few different ways to apply. Most everyone has received a credit card application by mail where you fill out your information and send the application back via mail. You can also apply for a credit card over the phone in which case you give you information over the phone to an employee of the company. Another way to apply for a credit card is to apply on that company’s website which you are either approved or declined in a matter of a few minutes. There are many way to get a credit card it is just a matter of finding the process that suits you best.

Juridic Controls: There are many juridic controls that one faces when using a credit card. The first laws that one confronts are while driving to the store. The laws that apply in this instance are: speed restrictions, driving on the right side of the street, giving the right away to pedestrians and bicycles, using required signals such as turn signals and being sure to not follow too closely, and wearing a seatbelt to name a few.1The next set of juridic controls that one may face is when they arrive at the store. One will face laws that restrict them from taking things from the store without paying such as shoplifting laws. When using a credit to make a purchase at a store there are plenty of laws that apply. There are federal laws as well as state laws. The federal laws include: The Federal Consumer Credit Protection Act, Truth in Lending Act, Fair Crediting Reporting Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit Billing Act, Right to Financial Privacy Act, Consumer Leasing Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. These laws are set in place to help prevent abuses in consumer credit cost disclosure and to make the terms of credit known to consumers. The state laws consist of: The Uniform Consumer Credit Code, Usury or rate ceiling laws, Consumer loan Acts, Retail Installment Sales Acts, and Seller and Lender Credit Card Acts. M2ost of these juridic controls can be found in municipal statutes. In fact, all of these can be found there. Some of these laws are more known to the public than others. For instance, traffic laws are very well known and the speed limit laws can be seen on signs along the roads that tell the driver how fast to drive in that particular area. If found speeding and pulled over by a police officer there will be a possible fine to be paid and a ticket given. The result of this is that it remains on the driver’s record. This is also the same with the seatbelt laws. The other laws actually pertaining to the use of credit cards and the owning of credit cards are not all that well known to the public. Mainly the only people who really know them are those who own credit cards and even then these laws are not that well known. With these laws the punishments can be more severe than those of the traffic laws. If one goes over the limit of their credit card the consequences are that there may be an overcharge fee that applies and ultimately may also cause the interest rate to go up on the credit card. If a cardholder does not pay off the debt in an allotted time the interest will continue to add up.

Burden: To many cardholders these laws can be a burden but to most of these people the laws do not mean much of anything. Every person that I spoke to about using credit cards and the laws that apply to using credit cards told me that the laws do cause them a burden from day to day. They do not frustrate their lives on a daily basis. However, each person I talked to said that when it came around to making a payment these juridic controls did show face and also sometimes when using a credit in a place that they have never used it before. All of the people I talked to told me that there was no effect on them of being good through direct action through the use of their credit cards. They make their payments as they come and use their credit cards responsibly. Therefore, to all of the people that I talked to the act of using credit cards to make purchases does not burden their lives nor do they frequently come to mind and frustrate their lives.

How to Escape Controls: There are obvious ways to avoid these controls altogether. One could use cash to pay for purchases instead of using a credit card but just not using a credit card alone will not rid them of the juridical controls of using a credit card. One would have to get rid of credit cards altogether or at least not own one in the first place. This would rid them of the juridic controls that are associated with using credit cards because it would no longer be an issue if one did not even own a credit card. Another way to take advantage of a credit card is to watch for a no interest introductory rate which range from a few months to a year. This is a prime time to use your credit card and not have to worry of interest piling up. You also want to be aware of you interest rate at all times because it can change depending on late fees, cash withdrawals, and other things that will be stated in your terms and conditions part of your contract. Last of all if you find a card with a better interest rate than the one you are currently using take advantage of it and store your other one; or you can usually call your company and explain to them the new interest rate on the card you are going to get and they usually match that rate. There is not any one lifestyle I can think of that would rid people of these juridic controls as most people at least own a car and more and more people own credit cards in this day and age.

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