When the first credit card arrived on the scene in the 1950s, no one could have imagined how much that small piece of plastic would change the way we think about money.
By 1970, only 16% of Americans had a credit card issued from a bank, according to the Federal Reserve Bulletin . Paying with cash was just a normal way of life. But something happened in the ’80s. NerdWallet reports that credit card companies figured out how to market debt with interest rates of around 18%, and credit cards took off. That’s when the idea of debt as a way of life began.
Today, nearly 70 years after the first credit card was introduced, debt is everywhere. Only 6% of respondents to a GOBankingRates poll believe paying off their credit card debt is a top priority.
That means if you’re working the debt snowball and focused on getting rid of credit card debt, then you’re in the overwhelming minority. And that’s exactly where you want to be!
You’ve got too many companies nipping at your heels trying to convince you that debt is okay—that you need more of it! But companies like Chase and Sallie Mae aren’t out to be your hero. They make money off your debt.