Monday, February 9, 2004

I have never had an overdraft.

I have never had a credit card debt. I have always managed to pay off my credit card bill in full at the end of the month. Except for my mortgage, and my car loan, I have never borrowed money in my life. All that changed today.

Now, I am a proud owner of a HELOC. For those that are uninitiated, it isn't a form of helicopter. "MEDIVAC" was what sprang to my mind when I first heard it. No, HELOC is a fancy overdraft. A 'Home Equity Line Of Credit', no less. It's basically a second mortgage, but instead of you using the money for something useful, like paying down what you owe in your house, you are supposed to use it for spending. It even says so in the loan terms. Not to be used for investing, saving or business ventures. Nope. This is to be used to buy all those useless 'things'. All that stuff that you really don't use. The stuff that many people genuinely believe is the purpose of life to get their hands on.

We got the HELOC to pay off a $2000 loan that my wife took a couple of years ago. Her first loan, excluding student loans. So we applied for a $2000 HELOC. And got promptly declined. Why? Well, there is a $10.000 minimum! So we applied again. For $10.000. And were greated with smiles and hearty handshakes from the 'loan processing specialist'.

And then we got a fat checkbook. To write out checks directly against our spiffy $10.000 line of credit.

No wonder everybody is neck deep in debt in this country. Are you feeling happy yet?