AJ's credit cards, most of them cut up
Photo from: I owe so much
Photo from: I owe so much
No, not me. I don't owe anybody anything and that is a great feeling. One Honduran, however, is drowning in debt and he candidly writes about it on his blog, I owe so much.
It's a clever and well-written blog that I think could be helpful to others in the same situation. I'm sure that there are plenty who fall into that category here in Honduras. I tried to encourage him to write in Spanish for that very reason, but he's writing in English so that should make it easier for many of the blogicito readers. (Hmmm, maybe I can convince him to try Google Translator. I works much better in translating from English to Spanish than vice versa. Two blogs − just what everyone needs. :-D )
Honduran credit cards charge the unbelievable, incredible, obscene, usurious, and evil interest rate of about 60%! Not only that, but they pass out credit cards to the unsuspecting like candy. They really, really push people to apply whether they should qualify or not and don't want to take no for an answer. We've even seen them passing out flyers to drivers at red lights and to non-working college students at universities. After all, the banks only need to get a few months of payments at 60% interest and they can write off the debt while still making a profit. If they are lucky, family members will struggle to make good the debt.
I don't think that I'm exaggerating when I say that most Hondurans (like many US Americans who have learned the hard way) do not really have a good grasp about how credit cards work and what the true cost is to use one. They aren't given complete and factual information and many are just very naive about money matters. They think, "Free money!" AJ is not one of those people − anymore − but it seems that various circumstances got him in the sinking boat that he's in.
I know some stories about other people who got into trouble with credit cards and a little bit about the way that the credit card companies operate in Honduras that I may write about one day. It's really shameful and I think is going to be disastrous in the future. Believe me, there are no consumer protections in Honduras and no truth in lending laws to protect the unaware. Apparently there are no bankruptcy protection laws and debtors can go to jail!
Check out AJ's blog. Despite the subject, it's an enjoyable read. Sometimes my heart just aches for the situation that he is in. He has a good attitude, though, and a wonderfully genuine way of expressing himself, which is so typical of Hondurans. AJ admits to still struggling to break the credit card habit, but he's come up with a few ways to save or earn more money, including a side business. He's trying!
I think you'll like AJ and who knows? Maybe you'll have a suggestion or two for him.
I owe so much