Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Say No To American Financial Card

My sister came over to check out our newborn daughter and asked to use our Internet access. She went to check out American Financial Card on our computer. My sister is not the wisest with financial decisions (several cruises in one year and then couldn't pay for school). She was looking at digital cameras and for the price they were selling them, I could buy 3 or 4 digital cameras. The way they work is the following:
  1. Send them $200 as a deposit. You get 4 $50 payment vouchers to use in the future.
  2. They charge $10/month for an inactive account.
  3. They required 35% down on any purchase.
  4. After you have purchased from them for a while, you can get 20% cash advance loans.
This is wrong in so many ways. The biggest one of course being that the 35% down is pretty much what you could pay for the product in full by doing a little searching on the Internet for new or used. Next, the $10/month for an inactive account makes you needing to shop there for items you really don't need. Third, if you don't have the ability to get a credit card, you should probably be putting the $200 into an emergency fund instead.

I tried my best to talk my sister into going with other options, such as showing how she can get a used one for $50 instead of buying one from them for $300. And explaining that digital cameras don't last for long and need to get replaced.

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