The temptation to correct people

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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kcm7
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The temptation to correct people

Postby kcm7 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:08 am

I feel like most people on this forum have more knowledge of credit and cards than the average bear. So, do you ever feel the need to correct people when they say something that's blatantly wrong (either in public or among friends)? I try to never give unsolicited advice, but sometimes I really want to step in.

For example, I was waiting for my carry-out order at a restaurant. And a dude was talking with another dude about how he just got his first credit card.

Dude 1: So, like, I have to pay off what I charge though, right? Like it's not just like a debit card, where it just gets withdrawn from my bank?

Dude 2: Yeah. You can set it up to pay automatically, though. But don't ever pay off the whole amount. It's bad for your credit.

Dude 1: Wait, really?

Dude 2: Yeah. The card companies want to make money in interest. So if you leave some of your balance and pay interest on that, that makes them happy, so they give you a better score.


I mean, there is just so much wrong in that statement. I didn't say anything. I doubt they'd believe a stranger anyway. But I really wanted to step in. This poor guy is now going to spend unnecessary money on interest.

What would you have done?
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Revelate
 
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Re: The temptation to correct people

Postby Revelate » Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:26 am

Most don't want it and you wind up looking like a jackass as a result. Unsolicited advice is rarely appreciated even if admittedly credit education in the US is abysmally low. Even people that have discussed things with me it's hard to get over their preconceived notions and this is when they are interested in having the conversation.

Nixon
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Re: The temptation to correct people

Postby Nixon » Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:29 am

I carry a pair of scissors with me just for occasions like this. Declined for stupidity.
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Vermonster
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Re: The temptation to correct people

Postby Vermonster » Thu Jun 25, 2015 12:31 pm

Yeah I learned from talking to my parents that unsolicited advice is not welcome. At best you are trying to convince someone that they are wrong, which is never a good way to start a conversation. Most people are willing to do mental gymnastics rather than admit they might be wrong.

My parents believe that having 3 cards makes me a delinquent, having an Amex is dangerous, and Chase is a horrible bank because my aunt had her small bank bought out in the 90s. I wouldn't even begin to try and talk to them about their credit. It just wouldn't be worth it.
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morgacj2004
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Re: The temptation to correct people

Postby morgacj2004 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:11 pm

I would have done the same thing you did!

takeshi
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Re: The temptation to correct people

Postby takeshi » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:45 am

People don't take advice unless they're willing and ready to accept it. If learning about credit is a priority for a given person then he/she will take the initiative to do so. The information is out there.

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Re: The temptation to correct people

Postby Nixon » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:48 am

takeshi wrote:People don't take advice unless they're willing and ready to accept it. If learning about credit is a priority for a given person then he/she will take the initiative to do so. The information is out there.


You can lead a horse to water....
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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: The temptation to correct people

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:27 pm

One option to which a stranger might be more receptive (though it could be a bit more time-consuming) is to play semi-dumb. Pretend you know fairly little about credit, but are eager to learn. Ask a few questions which steer a stranger to realize there are big gaps or logical inconsistencies in his existing beliefs. Maybe you can nudge Dude 2 to "double check" some of his beliefs, or at least demonstrate to Dude 1 that Dude 2 is not an authority.

So, depending on the wait, maybe something like...

Dude 1: So, like, I have to pay off what I charge though, right? Like it's not just like a debit card, where it just gets withdrawn from my bank?

Dude 2: Yeah. You can set it up to pay automatically, though. But don't ever pay off the whole amount. It's bad for your credit.

Dude 1: Wait, really?

Dude 2: Yeah. The card companies want to make money in interest. So if you leave some of your balance and pay interest on that, that makes them happy, so they give you a better score.

You: Oh, hey. Do you know a lot about credit cards?

Dude 2: Yeah.

You: My brother has been telling me to get another one, but I don't know. He was talking about, like, utilization, but I didn't really understand it. What exactly is the difference between carrying a balance and letting a balance report?

You, a little later: And I saw something on the news in which they were talking about transactors and revolvers. Like, what are those?

If Dude 2 considers himself an expert on cards, he may feel the desire to learn those terms and find the truth.
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kcm7
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Re: The temptation to correct people

Postby kcm7 » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:57 pm

Yeah, it's a careful balance between giving helpful advice and coming across as annoying.

I like Carefulbuilder's technique -- maybe I will try that next time, if there is a next time.

At the end of the day, I guess there are two more people paying the issuers extra interest -- and paying for MY rewards. :)
Cards:

-Capital One Quicksilver
-Barclaycard Arrival (no AF)
- US Bank (no rewards)
-IHG

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: The temptation to correct people

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:43 pm

kcm7 wrote:Yeah, it's a careful balance between giving helpful advice and coming across as annoying.

I like Carefulbuilder's technique -- maybe I will try that next time, if there is a next time.

At the end of the day, I guess there are two more people paying the issuers extra interest -- and paying for MY rewards. :)

Or maybe only one more person. Dude 2 might just not like Dude 1. :ppp
Love: IHG, Platinum, Sallie Mae, AA Plat, CSP
Like: Discover, ED, BCE, Hyatt, Arrival, Freedom
Might drop: BrooksBros, Prestige (Costco PC?)
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when



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