First of all, I want to say that I love this book and actually all of Chris Moore's books. He has a quirky sense of humor and writes the most original books I have ever read. I feel bad using his cover illustration as the image for this post, but it demonstrates my feelings perfectly.
Yesterday I spent the day dealing with my oldest son. Another caveat...he's not a slug, he's smart, talented, works and studies hard. He works full time at a great job and goes to school full time as well. His problem, he can't control his spending. During first semester he got into financial trouble. Maxed out 2 credit cards. He's been working since to stay on a budget and pay them off on his own. He had a few big hits, car broke down, old rental house with HUGE gas bill etc. I found out yesterday that he had opened another credit card account last month and charged it up too. What was he thinking? He wasn't. As angry as I was with him for his crappy decision making, I was even angrier at the bank who issued him additional credit.
After he closed the account I talked with a supervisor in customer service who assured me that they would have checked his credit report in order to approve him. She said in a sickly sweet voice, we were trying to help him. I wanted to puke! Now I'm not a banker, but even I know looking at his mess of a credit report that he's not a good credit risk.
This is what I think happened. If in fact they did look at his report, they would have seen that his other credit cards are maxed out. If they bothered to look further they would have seen that he has no money in the bank and has bounced checks and been irresponsible in handling money, not to mention that he is only 18. And then this bank salivated and said, I see someone who we can make lots of money off of in late fees and finance charges. We can charge him an outrageous fee for the card and even tack on a monthly annual fee. I won’t even mention the interest rate.
While I understand that charges and fees are sometimes required of those rebuilding credit. That is not his situation. He is a young man in trouble financially. What did this bank see? A sucker. Credit One Bank was totally irresponsible in issuing him any credit at all. At best they are unethical. At worst they are bloodsucking fiends. They preyed on a vulnerable and inexperienced young man to make a buck. I don't know how they can sleep at night.
I feel powerless. I wrote a letter to the president of the bank, Robert Dejong,(which will probably head straight to file 13) and reported their unethical practices to the state attorney general. We will continue to work with my son to act his wage and manage his finances responsibly. It is a hard lesson for him, but one I hope sticks this time. Even though we are working with him, he is still on his own to make good decisions. It's hard knowing that there are institutions in this country willing to sabotage our efforts. Bloodsucking fiends.