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Credit cards: Essay from Examiners

Nowadays it is easy to apply for and be given a credit card. However, some people experience problems when they are not be able to pay their debts back.

In your opinion, do the advantages of credit cards outweigh the disadvantages?

It is all too easy to obtain a credit card and then to run up debts which are difficult to repay. In my opinion, the disadvantages of credit cards far outweigh the advantages.

Many people consider only the benefits of owning a credit card. It is true that a credit card gives you access to money and the facility to pay it back later, like a loan. This could be useful for emergencies or something expensive, like a holiday. In addition, having a credit card is more secure than carrying money around with you. If you lose your wallet or purse, or if you are mugged in the street, a quick phone call to the bank means that the card will be instantly refused if anyone tries to use it.

On the other hand, credit cards encourage people to spend money they do not have. I would never have a credit card for this reason. Debts can build up and leave people in real financial difficulties. When people cannot pay their debts back, everyone suffers: those in debt may lose their homes, the banks lose money, and the whole economy suffers. The enticing message of ‘spend today, pay tomorrow’ should not seduce US into embracing this philosophy. As my mother used to say: it will end in tears.

In conclusion, listen to the advice of the older generation. Do not be tempted by the ease of using a credit card, because it may result in mounting debts which cannot be paid back.

(Peter Walton)

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