This morning, I called one of my credit card companies to change to my married name. As you may recall, the last time I called companies, I was trying to lower my interest rate on the cards. My hands were all sweaty, my heart was pounding, and I hated feeling like I was asking for a speical favor.
Today, just a few days away from the big payoff, I called the company with my zero balance. Rather than getting kicked around and ignored, I got the royal treatment. For the first time in my life, they offered up a “gold” option, and I was told that my credit report must be grand because not everyone gets this offer. Of course, I know they were just buttering me up, but I’ve never been buttered up by them before. Remember, for most of my twenties, I spent my time dodging calls from creditors. The “gold” offer was for debt consolidation at a “low” long-term rate. Once I was transferred and learned the specifics, I realized it wasn’t that great an offer, still 8% for the life of the loan. The woman asked how much debt I’d like to consolidate, and I happily said “none! I’m paying my cards off on Friday.”
She quickly countered that I could use the line of credit for anything, such as home renovations. Now, the husband and I would like to do some serious renovations in a few years, but we plan to save up for it. It could have been so easy to say, “Sure, we’ll take $30,000” and just jump in. We’d like to renovate the second floor of our garage into a gym/yoga studio and home office. We also want a den and extra bedroom in the basement. While we’re at it, why not toss in new appliances in the kitchen? Ours work great, but are not all shiny and new.
It just goes to show you how ubiquitous credit is in our culture. Now that I’ve worked so hard to pay my debt off, I could sink back in the blink of an eye. It’d be great fun to start on the house. I have lovely fantasies about a little nook to work in over the garage, with a view of all the pretty, old trees in our neighborhood. However, I’m not even officially debt-free yet. I also want to spend a few years wallowing in that feeling!