Friday, May 20, 2005

Beg to Differ

Cash should be your first line of defense when you are hit with unexpected expenses. But I know that in the YF&B years, you might not have had the time or money to build up a large enough cash reserve to cover life's inevitable surprises. That's where your credit card can come to the rescue; when you use your card for emergency repairs, that's a good use of debt.

— Suze Orman, The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, & Broke


No, Suze, it isn't a "good use of debt." It's just debt. It may be necessary, no-getting-around-it debt, but I'd suggest that even in that case, there's nothing good about it. "Good" would be having a rewards credit-card handy to get you a smidge of cash back just for making the "surprise" purchase, followed by the inevitable online transfer / payment of cash to said credit-card to pay all charges in full before any interest accrues.

I'm just bugged by Suze plugging the word "good" in there. Why not "valid" or "legitimate" or something like that? "Good" is way too benevolent. Too allowing. Too alluring. I'd contend that even if it wasn't what she intended, "good" puts the wrong idea out there ... even if at an almost-subconscious level.

Anybody with me on this?


— Posted by Michael @ 12:24 AM


Debt is debt. Whatever happened to the E-fund, anyway? A simple $1000 E-fund would take care of a lot of common emergencies, that's what its for- to rely on instead of going in to debt.


Good?! So if it is such a "good" use of debt, it would imply that there is no need to have an emergency fund - just a "good" credit card always available. Sounds like trouble, to me.

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 7:59 AM, May 20, 2005  

Suze has a habit of talking down to her readers/listeners. In fact, a lot of motivational speakers do the same thing. She uses the word "good" because she supposes her listeners/readers don't understand the words "valid" and "legitimate."


I'm with you. The word "good" makes it seem like "recommended".

But I'm willing to cut her some slack for the same reason Flexo is.


I first started paying attention to Suze many years ago, and now that I've been able to watch her for a long period of time I have to say I'm no longer impressed. I think she started out giving good basic financial advice, but has let her desire to broaden her audience lead her to dilute the quality of her advice.

Seeing her pitch those 0% truck loans as a smart financial move really started it. Now this YF&B stuff you mention. I can barely watch her any more. She sold out.

Anonymous Anonymous
, at 9:00 AM, May 20, 2005  

Dave Ramsey is 1000 percent better at giving out Financial Advice...
He LISTENS to the caller, and he STICKS to his guns...
Suze is whishy, washy...check out some of her earlier stuff, and compare to what she says now...
"Good" credit? get out of here...
it's good alright, good for the powerful credit card companies and banks...


I used to listen to Suze several years ago. I remember clearly her talking about not buying starter homes, but buying the most house you could afford, and not buying a house until you could afford a 15-year mortgage, and other advice that was really tough and not sugar coated. She was big into no-debt, paying cash, etc.

Now she says 0% car loans are a good idea, and credit cards can be used in place of emergency funds???? Suze has sold out.


Oh I'm with you. I personally called it Good Debt, Bad Debt, and Unavoidable Debt. Unavoidable debt is not good debt, it is just bad debt that you have no choice about. See


Dear Sir,

Money matters.The service rates of 2% to 3% on outstandings is a big show as the Card issuer never says it is on monthly basis making it to 24 to 36% PA.The cost of free purchase is abosorbed by the Member establishment at good cost.Thus we are unnecessarily promoting credit cards.




this also leads to you declaring a lot of things to be "emergenices". there's no longer any reason to plan at all. just slap it on the card.

** Comments Closed on this Post **

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