How not to get into a debt hole?
In the 1930s, an elderly Tonto tells a boy a story about John Reed, the Lone Ranger, who rides away on his white stallion Silver and shouts “Hello Silver! Away!”
The Lone Ranger is so named because the character is the last survivor of a group of Texas Rangers. An idealistic lawyer, he, along with his brother and other Texas Rangers, go after the infamous Butch Cavendish. Ambushed by a criminal and left for dead, Reid is rescued by a renegade Comanche, Tonto, and offers to help him bring Cavendish to justice. Becoming a reluctant masked rider with a seemingly obscure partner, Reed pursues the criminal against all odds. However, John and Tonto learn that the Cavendish is just part of a much larger injustice, and the pair must fight her on an adventure that will make them a legend.
There are a lot of rangers these days who go after middle class people. One of them can be seen on the road, especially along Ayala Avenue, Makati City, handing out leaflets to passers-by. Some rangers stay in the office and hunt down people using the power of technology. Another example can be seen in malls encouraging people to purchase their item with a gift such as an umbrella. I’m not new to this as I often commit to just getting their freebies. These rangers are so good at convincing their targets that if one is not careful, one risks falling into a debt trap.
These Rangers we all call the Borrowed Rangers. Their job is to get people to agree with the idea of what they are proposing. The first type offers fast cash loans even without collateral. If someone is in dire need of money, he will not hesitate to take advantage of this offer.
The second is a credit card offer which, once approved, will mean instant money that can be withdrawn at any time. It is very convenient, especially in difficult times. However, convenience has its price.
If not properly managed, temporary convenience will become a source of unnecessary stress related to interest accrual. The temporary joy of getting easy money will be replaced by worry and anxiety.
Not only that, he will be pursued by another squad of rangers. This time it will be a debt collection department that will use harassment to force the borrower to pay. I have often come across people who are deeply in credit card debt, who are often scouted by credit card companies due to their growing outstanding debt. They often blame the credit card companies for their misfortunes, but it’s actually their misbehavior that got them into their current predicament.
Please allow me to share some methods whenever these credit rangers communicate with me:
1. Reject the offer. This is the best way to avoid getting into debt. Since this is an offer that will definitely take money out of your pocket, politely decline the offer. I always use a joke to drive them away. I tell them that I always have “asthma” when I receive such offers. When they ask me to clarify, I tell them with a smile that I should “ask my [asthma] wife.” It’s just an alibi, but it works for me.
2. Make a counteroffer. Because I work in sales, what I do when I get an offer is to slowly change the subject and flip the table. I will be the one to make the offer to the point where the sales agent will do their best to end the conversation with you. I used the golden rule “Do to others what you would like others to do to you” to scare them away.
3. Accept the offer. If all else fails, just accept the offer and don’t use it. Many times I was offered a credit card, and when I ran out of reasons, I accepted the offer, but tried to keep the card away from me. Of my 15 credit cards, I only use 2 (one for personal use and one for corporate use). Credit cards are convenient, especially in emergencies. Just don’t abuse it.
Instead of being targeted by rangers in getting our money, one should go out of their way to be a lone ranger looking for people or groups that can help improve his finances, as I have experienced in the past. After studying personal finance ten years ago, I decided to become a lone ranger who chases knowledgeable people and groups to learn more.
Are you being hunted by a credit ranger or are you the lone ranger?
Edmund Lao is a Registered RFP Financial Planner in the Philippines. To learn more about personal financial planning, join the 100th RFP in March 2023. To find out, please email. email@example.com or text <имя>