Personal Statement : A Single Credit Card

912 WordsJul 26, 20154 Pages
I’ve been on an incredibly disciplined streak as personal finances go—all because I want to get out of debt. And because of this, I’m proud to report that I haven’t used a single credit card, except for the rare emergency, since mid-February 2014. Wow: 18 months. I suppose that’s something to celebrate ... but really, it keeps me on my toes. Here’s why: Every time I pull that debit card out, I take a risk. Just a week ago, I left it at a Chicago coffeeshop; when I returned an hour later, the barista handed it to me. I had no idea I’d even left it there. That barista got a nice tip—she was an honest person. But what if not? I wish I could say my miscue was a one-time occurrence. The truth is I’ve dropped, misplaced, temporarily lost, or otherwise fumbled my debit card many times. And since they don’t make mitten strings for these things, I’ve been forced to double my diligence to keep it safe. That goes beyond simple loss or theft: The card sitting in your wallet could be draining it without your ever knowing it. Until U.S. card issuers adapt data-encrypted microchips—which have been used in Europe and other parts of the world for years—our debit cards are at peril. You’re starting to see the chips on some credit cards but in the meantime, the world’s hackers know we that still use those magnetic stripe cards, and so they focus their thievery efforts here. No matter America’s status as the birthplace of the iPhone and the cradle of high-tech: When it comes to our debit
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