Sins of Omission

Not my usual thing to rant about the evil empire of credit card companies, but a new tidbit of information got my back up.

I remember a time when APRs were under 10%. The upward creep is invisible unless we regularly scrutinize the dollar amount of interest we pay each month. Mine is now about half my food budget.

So, I thought it was time to find out if I could get the 15.65% (!) APR on my Capital One card knocked down a few points. I polite associate informed me there was “no offer” available for such a reduction… and that the people who make these offers “have no phone numbers.”

Time for a supervisor – also equally polite but more forthcoming. It turns out that credit card companies are required by law to review all accounts every six months to determine, according to some arcane and unknowable formula, if the interest rate can be adjusted. If they happened to find that one’s history  (or whatever) warrants a reduction, they do NOT have to inform you. You have to be lucky enough to call in at the time such an “offer” is on their table.

A cartoon about investments I once came upon had the caption: “I’ve got all my money in fees.” Such is the reality of credit card economics. Good thing I’ve only got two.


I think about money a lot – mainly because I have nearly 450 people depending on me.

Even through I’m 10,000 miles away from Baraka Women’s Center in Nairobi, I know intimately what extraordinary progress has been made in just 8 months.

Chief among them is the resurrection of hope, the increasingly joyful belief that, given a small hand-up, these women will turn their lives out of poverty.

 They depend one me because I deliver what money I can shake out of America’s prosperity tree. WCI pays for a safe space for their Center, notebooks, textbooks, pencils, pitifully small salaries to dedicated staff, and fees for teachers and trainers.  I need about $6,000 a month to elevate the prospects of 464 women. It’s gonna take about 3 more months before the big grant money shows up.  So getting through the summer is my challenge. 

I know there’s lots of money “out there.” I’m looking for allies to help me secure it.

Is that you?