May 29 2008

Really? A credit card co. that wants to help you get out of debt

You might have seen the Discover Card commercial that details a new “paydown planner” online feature.

I’m not, nor have I ever been a Discover customer, so all my thoughts are from the outside looking in, I suppose.

With the paydown planner, you enter your desired payoff date and/or how much money you can afford to send to Discover each month. It will show you your spending history and if your goals will be possible.

In the commercial, people are skeptical.

“Why would a credit card company want to help me?” one asks. Fair question.

Perhaps they think that if they show you how to get out of debt, you’ll feel more empowered about your financial situation. That may or may not spur you into taking action and paying off the credit cards for good. Or, maybe Discover hopes people will get out of debt, but continue to use their credit cards, figuring they’ll always be able to get out of debt if they wanted to.

Or maybe, Discover wants to paint themselves as a company that’s on your side.

I have a hard time believing any credit card company would do anything that’s actually good for the consumer. I guess I’m cynical like that.

If Discover can actually help some people get out of credit card debt, I think that’s a step in the right direction.

Ultimately, it is good to pay off your credit cards–and if you decide to continue using them, make sure you absolutely can pay off your balance each month. One way to be sure you’ll be able to is to have a decent emergency fund. Or, just stick with cash and debit and not have to worry about it.

What do you think?



5 Responses to “Really? A credit card co. that wants to help you get out of debt”

  1. I don’t use discover but I’ve never had a credit card balance. I pay off the card every time my husband gets a paycheck. We use only one card so its easy to keep track of. I don’t worry about getting wrong change (haven’t gotten back $5 – $10 numerous times) and it streamlines the process for me. So for our family one cc paid off every month has worked out beautifully. This month we got $150 back because we just moved into a new house and had abnormal spending. Others prefer debit card but I have had such personally horrific problems with them I only use it where they won’t take credit.

  2. My thought: people more deeply in debt are people more likely to swear off credit cards forever. People who carry a small balance they could pay off at any point are probably more likely to go with what works. And they’ll pay thousands in interest over the years.

  3. Hehe I’ve seen that commercial and it makes me laugh. Like you, I’m skeptical that Discover would actually want to help!

    ashley @ twentysixcats’s last blog post..a cool invitation

  4. I actually have a discover card and I am a big fan of the company. I have had my credit card number stolen and they fixed the issue right away.

    I will continue to be a big fan of discover and this is just another reason I will continue being a customer.

  5. I use Discover and they are one of the best cards I have. I started using Discover for my wedding, so I racked up quite a balance. They have been nothing but helpful from day one. The interest rate is ridiculously low (even after I missed a due date after about 6 months of using the card) and their website is one of the easist to navigate. I use the paydown planner and I think its great! Maybe there is an ulterior motive behind it, but for now its helping me pay off my bill in 1 year and I can’t argue with that.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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