Is it true that without a credit card, you don't exist?

Professor Wolff: You have noted that, under capitalism, individuals are defined by their economic profile. That made me want to share with you my experience indicating that people who don’t owe money to a credit card company, don’t exist. I live within my modest means. I have a checking account and money market account at my local credit union. I use a debit card, but have never had a credit card. Last November, I flew to another state to help my dying sister, and needed to rent a car. I had heard that some rental companies will not accept clients without a credit card, so I did some research and found one that did not require it. However, when I arrived at the office and presented the Visa debit card, the worker ran it through a database and said they could not rent to me. Out of caution, I carried with me a printout of my bank balances (more than enough to replace a car), which I showed to the clerk. I also offered to make a cash payment in advance. However, apparently because there is no record of me in Equifax, I was refused. A friend of my sister agreed to rent the car and have me assigned as a designated driver. (I paid the friend the estimated amount the same day.) Without this act of kindness and rationality, I would have been severely hamstrung in helping my sister, unable to drive back and forth to the hospital during her last weeks of life. I guess this is my punishment for not paying interest unnecessarily to credit card companies that now define consumer interaction.


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  • Janet Locane
    commented 2024-07-04 05:55:08 -0400
    Today it is difficult to imagine a person without a credit card. Technologies do not stand still, especially in the financial sector.
  • Roza Yquema
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2018-01-24 13:32:45 -0500

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