We teach kids to not begin a sentence with the word “Because.” We tell them the smallest things in the universe are atoms and molecules. But when the kids grow older they learn about proper grammatical structures and subatomic particles and inevitably realize that the information they were taught as children were simply inaccurate . Popular financial advice like “Don’t carry a balance on your credit card,” can be misleading as well.
One favorable reason to carry credit debt is for investing purposes. Earlier this summer, my pal at Finance Journey updated his June net worth where he had multiple credit cards with a combined balance of $26,800.
Being $26,800 deep in credit card debt may sound like a bad situation to be in, but he was actually leveraging the promotional low interest rates on his credit cards to buy large cap, blue-chip companies that paid him more dividends than the interest he accumulated on his credit card loans.
He’s an average, middle class guy but he’s managed to grow his investment portfolio to about $100,000 in just a couple of years thanks to his modest savings and credit card leverage. Even low risk government bonds will still yield a higher return than the cost of those special credit card rates. If we know for certain that our borrowing cost will be low for a set period of time, and higher returns can be made elsewhere, then we can use the opportunity to make some extra money at virtually no risk
Credit cards can also be used as a bridge loan, for example to cover the cost of buying a new car before selling the old one. It’s a way to use other people’s money at no cost to us. Many people including myself also use credit cards as emergency funds When I received a promotional 1.9% balance transfer last year, I did not hesitate to carry a $5,000 balance for many months. My credit card loan became part of the money used for a down payment.
Simplified financial advice is designed to connect with the most number of people so it tends to be generalized. Believing credit card debt is inherently bad is like believing humans evolved from apes. It’s just a convenient lie we tell kids because their brains are not developed enough to comprehend the real truth. But we’re not kids anymore. We must look at credit cards objectively and make decisions based on facts, and not on stereotypes.
We shouldn’t borrow money just for the sake of having debt, but in some circumstances carrying a controlled amount of credit card debt can be our best option to financial freedom At the end of the day what really matters are results. Crunch the numbers and do whatever makes sense to you.
Random Useless Fact:
Both humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor that lived 5 to 8 million years ago. Given the right conditions, a modern ape species might evolve into something like a human, but it would take millions of years.