Plastic Kills

Card Sharks

Credit card companies are getting students hooked on plastic early, according to a study released last week by the Consumer Federa tion of America. Charging, anyone?

Stephen Dillon
Age: 25
Resides: Bayside, Queens
Occupation: Construction

How many credit cards do you have? One. It has about a $500 credit line.

How much do you owe? Zero. I only had this credit card like eight months. I pay all my bills.

How old should you be to have credit? At least 18.

Your worst debt experience? I owed $6000. Actually, I still owe. I placed an ad in the Business to Business directory. I wasn't able to pay it off. Now, with interest on it, I owe more than that. But right now, I'm not even think ing about paying it off.


Alon Biran
Age: 28
Resides: Chelsea
Occupation: Contractor

How many credit cards do you have? I don't have any. I have a debit card only. But pretty soon I'll get one. Sooner or later you'll need it. Like the other day, I went to a hotel in Cape May and they told me $269 for three nights. When I went to check out they said per night. I tried to stop the payment on that but couldn't because I only had a debit card. Fishy.

How much do you owe? I have no debts.

How old should you be to have credit? Eighteen.

Your worst debt experience? Actually, right after high school I got a credit card and I went crazy and before I knew it my bank account was closed. It was like minus $2500.


Njeri Abdus-Sabur
Age: 37
Resides: Newark, New Jersey
Occupation: Insurance

How many credit cards do you have? About five and altogether a credit line of $3000

How much do you owe? Most of that amount.

How old should you be to have credit? I first had a card when I was 20. For me, that was too young. But let them have it young, make the mistakes, and then they'll learn. Better that than learning it when you're 30.

Your worst debt experience? Your worst debt experience? It had nothing to do with credit cards. Student loans. I just got out of it now. I've been paying it off since 1982.


Samantha Foster
Age: 25
Resides: Los Angeles, California
Occupation: Fashion consulting

How many credit cards do you have? About three. I used to have a lot more. They're evil.

How much do you owe? About $1000.

How old should you be to have credit? I did that whole thing when I was 18. I got every credit card I could get, about six or seven, and they kill you. They just hook you.

Your worst debt experience? When I graduated from college I realized I owed about $50,000. That's student loans and credit cards combined.


Mike Verde
Age: 30
Resides: Soho
Occupation: Model

How many credit cards do you have? Too much. About five. It's too many.

How much do you owe? Probably $1200.

How old should you be to have credit? Twenty-five. I had them when I was 18, in college. We were taking advantage of it; then we couldn't pay it off. It's like a drug.

Your worst debt experience? Having a job, losing it, then charging $28,000 on your credit cards. You lose your job, but you still think you have the power to spend.


Michael Andrews
Age: 27
Resides: Springfield Gardens, Queens
Occupation: Architect

How many credit cards do you have? About seven.

How much do you owe? I owe them over $20,000. A lot of little things added up.

How old should you be to have credit? It comes down to discipline, not age.

Your worst debt experience? It was with Capital One. Their interest rate was high! I'm talking upper 20s. I paid them off and got rid of the cards.


Chellee Warren
Age: 26
Resides: Los Angeles, California
Occupation: Music production

How many credit cards do you have? About three. It's convenient, but it's a bad temptation.

How much do you owe? About $2000.

How old should you be to have credit? I had one when I was 17, when I got to college. I even got a free water bottle. I got carried away. My poor parents didn't like that. There should be an age minimum, or at least a really low limit.

Your worst debt experience? I spent about $5000 on clothes.

 
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