Cashing In Q&A columns

Credit lessons from the soap operas: All My Children

Whether you’d classify your credit habits as young and restless or bold and beautiful, remember that you only have one life to live, and how you use (or abuse) your credit will shape your financial future. Before time passes like sand through the hourglass, learn these credit lessons, courtesy of your favorite daytime drama cliches … 

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The evil twin

All My Children: ABC/Ron Tom

Beloved character Jesse found his way back to “All My Children” — alive and well! — years after his character was killed on-screen.

Back from the dead

Just because soap characters seem to have nine lives, don’t think the same rule applies to your credit. Once you’ve gone off the credit cliff or blown your financial profile to smithereens, there may be no going back … at least not without recasting your credit character!

Lesson: Deal with outstanding debt head on, before your credit ends up six feet under.

“Ignoring your debt is like committing financial suicide,” says money expert Denise Winston. “Walking away from debt can impact your long-term financial health and determine the quality of your life.”

If you can’t pay off your debts in full, consider negotiating a lesser payment or a repayment plan with creditors directly, suggests Catey Hill, author of “Shoo, Jimmy Choo! The Modern Girl’s Guide to Spending Less & Saving More.” “They may refuse to cut you a deal at first, but keep pushing. Make it clear that they can either get something or nothing, so making a deal with you is in their best interest.” And don’t forget to get the terms in writing!

See related:13 greatest credit card songs meld pop, plastic, Top 10 Hollywood credit card movies, Money and credit lessons learned from TV, 8 novels show how credit cards appear in fiction

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Published: June 10, 2010

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: July 17th, 2019
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