Holy stinkin’ crap you guys. I’m writing this purely out of the kindness of my heart. I’ve got to give you a little background info before I tell you why I’m freaking out though.
Sooo, back to when I was like 18 years old. I got my first credit card, and then I got another. I’d heard “no credit is bad credit,” so I was like “Yeah, I need a VISA, an Amex, I need a Nordstrom card… Heck, I could use a Victoria’s Secret credit card too!” I’m young and vulnerable so I got approved for allll these credit cards. I was doing an awesome job at keeping up with all of my payments, though. I wasn’t even paying any interest because I was only spending money that I had.
Halt. An emergency arised. My crappy ex-roommate moved her intolerable boyfriend into our apartment so I was like, “Nah, I need out. I’m breaking my lease.” Hmm.. Said roommate didn’t pay her half of the penalty for breaking the lease. (This was a mutual agreement.) I start getting phone calls from the apartments. They’re like “look, if you don’t pay this, we’re gonna put it on your credit.” Oh crap. So guess what I did? I maxed out my credit card for $2,000 that I didn’t have. Thanks ex-roommate. I still hate you.
Ok, anyway. At the time, I was in school full-time and I had a very unsteady income. (Serving can be great, but it can also suck on slow days.) Long story short, I racked up some serious debt in a short amount of time.
I did some digging. My google searches varied from “Debt free secrets” to “Paying of my *&%$#!@ debt ASAP”
Lots of sites and articles told me to pay off the credit card with the highest APR first. So I started thinking, and what do you know? I don’t even know what my APR is on each of my cards. So I signed into all of my accounts today. Pulled up those statements and searched for the APR I was approved for… Holy stinkin’ crap, AGAIN, y’all. This is insane. Ok, so the interest rates on all of my cards ranged from 14.15% to 24.9%. Ok, I guess. That seems normal.. Right?
Well, unluckily for Wells Fargo and American Express, I recently started working at a credit union. These people are finance ninjas. They’re like super money nerds and know all these top secret banking tricks. Anyway, credit unions are awesome because they’re not-for-profit. So they don’t offer interest rates out the ass and ridiculous monthly fees. So I did some more digging and looked into our debt consolidation options at my credit union. Low and behold I can transfer my debt here for anywhere from 9.4% to 14.5%. And actually, we’re about to start a promotion for 7.9% APR. Literally, I feel so stupid because I’ve been paying hundreds of dollars in interest each year and I could seriously cut that number in half if I had done all of this through a credit union.
So, yeah. I walked downstairs to the lending lady and I was like, “Yo, can you hook me up?” And of course, she’s like “sure, waddup Sam?”
So basically credit unions are gonna offer you lower rates and fees because they’re not trying to make a profit off of you. Even our board members are volunteers. They seriously don’t even get paid. So my message to you is this: Bank locally, at a credit union. If you insist on a bank, then fine. But go to a small one.
Chase and Wells Fargo are literally gonna rape your wallet with interest rates and fees, if you let them.
So, yeah. You’re welcome. 🙂