Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Nanny State is Alive and Well

By U.S. News & World Report
At age 18, Americans become eligible to vote, enter the military, serve on a jury and marry without parental consent, in most states. But starting in February 2010, there will be one less opportunity with that milestone: getting a credit card.

On May 22, President Barack Obama signed into law the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009. The bill restricts credit card issuers from raising interest rates without warning, penalizing customers who pay on time and levying excessive fees.

There's also a provision that specifically concerns young people: Under the new law, no one under age 21 can get a credit card unless a parent, guardian or spouse is willing to co-sign or unless the young adult has proof of sufficient income to cover the credit obligations.

So at 18 you are an adult and can decide what is best for you... or maybe not. The Feds are telling adults and the banks (who they have by the cojones due to the idiots at the banks accepting bailouts) that you can't have a credit card until you are 21. Why 21? Why not 20 or 25 or 30? There are plenty of 40 something people who can't handle credit cards. What is it with the government and their arbitrary ages they assign to what you can and can not do.

I swear each day this country gets more and more like the old Soviet Union. At 18 you can enlist in the army and get sent overseas to fight in a war but you better not apply for a credit card until you start making a sufficient income - whatever that may be.

Never mind that that's 3 more years that 18 year old's have to wait until they can start building credit history. Good luck to all you college graduates in trying to lease an apartment or buy a car upon graduation. When our oldest turned 18 last year I took her to my bank and had her open a checking account and get a credit card. She's now had the credit card 18 months and has had no problems handling the responsibility. She pays off the balance each month and there are no charges on her statements from "Tribal Piercings and Tattoos" or "Ajax Liquors".

Well at least you at 18 you can still get tattooed and buy a pack of smokes.


momto5minnies said...

That really is crazy. At some point we have to let our children make decisions ... even if they mess up.

Annaberri said...

I think it might give their prefrontal lobes some chance to develop. To tell you the truth, this is one law I like, only because we've been through credit card hell for ten years, and are now on the other side of it. They are pretty fierce about it on college campuses, and that is ridiculous, because most college students don't have real income.
Anyway, I agree with Dave Ramsey on this one. Really.

Kim said...

Does this mean that my 8-year-old will stop getting credit card offers in the mail?

And, of course, there can be no parental interference with those teenagers' "right to choose" an abortion. The wise Planned Parenthood counselors surely can counsel our teens better than their own parents, right?

We're heading for a Brave New World, for sure!!

David Murdoch said...

I don't think that's so bad. The Soviet Union went far beyond this kind of control. If the government started spying on what you were buying and interrogated you on specific choices... then it would be a bit more like the Soviet Union... although this is just limits on credit card ownership. I don't have anything against it.

God Bless,

Anonymous said...

Oh my stars! Have you been getting my cc statements in the mail by accident? I thought those guys at Tribal tramp stamp were paying attention when emphasized the need for confidentiality!

In truth the US government is like a teenager with ADD or an old woman with schizophrenia, pick one. What is the crisis du jour or the in the moment fad- let's make some kind of law to address that- some crazy kind of topical anesthetic for what ails our culture today or some sort of popularity courting move- like save the pandas awareness month or orthodontists appreciation day- your tax dollars at work...sort of.