When it comes to being solvent, I got nothing on carbon tetrachloride; my net worth is positive, and my bills are paid, but no one is going to confuse me with a missing Rockefeller heir. Still, I’ve had some rough times between Then and Now, and as a result, I am regularly sent offers for terrible credit cards, designed for people with terrible credit. One such arrived yesterday, proclaiming “You’re preapproved* for a credit line up to $2,500”. I need hardly point out that the presence of both the asterisk and the weasel phrase “up to” invites suspicion, at least with older weasels like myself.
That said, the fine print discloses that the minimum credit line is $300. Okay, fine. The interest rate is the Prime Rate plus 16.40 percent, which comes to 20.15 percent at the moment. Still not awful. There’s no annual fee until your first anniversary, after which it’s $45. But if you were hoping for a grace period, look elsewhere: “We will begin charging interest on Purchases and Cash Advances on the posting date.”
Now I’ve seen worse, and probably so have you. This is, though, the first time I can recall seeing an upcharge for 10 of the 12 available card designs, payable each and every time the card is issued or reissued. Now I wonder how long you have until it expires, though I don’t wonder enough to actually request one.