Credit cards, loans, and EMIs rule the market now!
Credit cards, loans, mortgages, and EMIs are some of the most easily available things in today’s financial market. People swipe a credit card and get their shopping done without any hassle. Loans and EMIs are available for every big and small deal, be it a house, car, education, travel or personal expense. Plastic and digital money rules the market and transactions now.
Does this mean that we live in an era where we can have anything and everything we want, every facility that can be accessed? Because of this financial ‘freedom’, people buy things which they don’t need and which they cannot afford. People’s purchasing power has been increased dramatically and they are spending more than what they are earning through the use of credit cards and loans. Banks are the most profitable industry in these cases.
Advertisements are so designed that a person thinks if he or she do not have that particular commodity then they are inferior or incomplete. For example, if a new iPhone is launched, people first get curious and when it come in the market get crazy to buy the new phone, irrespective of whether they can afford the phone or not. They get the phone either by paying in full or getting it on credit cards or through EMIs. This is all due to their advertisements.
Why we buy an item with less priority earlier than the basic need?
Now the person has to work hard to pay the EMIs and their interest. People are in debt and they not only have to pay the price for what they have consumed but the interest as well. Basic needs are being thrown as the last item in the priority list. People are taking loans for a car before they have a home, purchasing air conditioning before furniture. I am not against a particular person’s priority list but the issue is that people are buying items which they don’t need and they are getting into increased debt.
What we are feed in; we act like – A basic advice
Advertising is the single most responsible factor for our irresponsible purchasing. Products’ slogans and tag lines are designed so that an individual is forced to believe that they really need that product. The words that are most commonly used are ‘freedom’, ‘attractive’, ‘success’, ‘heaven’ etc., and the slogans that are most commonly used are “if you don’t have this you don’t have anything”, “you need it for success”, “feel like heaven”. These words and slogans provoke an individual to purchase products even when their income doesn’t allow them to do so.
Most of the advertisements don’t have logic or science at all. There are more beauty related products than anything else on the market and claim to make an ugly person into an attractive one, to make one fairer, to increase brain growth, to increase height and improve health etc., etc. People are being told that if they are of a dark complexion then they are not attractive, won’t be successful and that their color is a hindrance in their life. They are told that by using an advertised cream or lotion they will look better and will have success within days. These types of advertisement are usually going against most countries’ constitution & laws and clearly promote racism.
A loan, Salary, EMI, and Loan – A vicious circle
First products are launched along with advertisements and then their loans are issued by banks. People are fed with the information that encourages them to buy more and more products and then they get entrenched in debt. Credit cards are made to give us a free hand to purchase more; we realize later that we have to pay. To pay for those expenditures an individual has to work more. As the expenditure grows, grows the need to work harder, increasing health as well as mental pressure. Suicides are very common in developed nations because of anxieties and depressions. But this epidemic has also spread to other developing countries.
The fact is; developing nations are big markets for banks and financial bodies for issuing loans and credit cards. Banks always tries to increase credit limits, ignoring individual’s income and forcing cardholders to buy more and more products on credit, while people think that their banks have increased their limit due to their financial capabilities, which is never the case.
Financial institutions and banks make the real money
Banks and financial institutions make huge money from interest and monthly charges on credit cards. The more people buy, the more will be their financial liabilities, regardless of their income. Manufacturers along with banks encourage citizens to consume credits and take loans, irrespective of an individual’s capability, affordability and income. The most striking aspect in all of these is that the governments are silent spectators, letting their people get into more and more debt; they don’t take action or issue guidelines against irresponsible and illogical advertisements.
We have degrees, but no sense of financial education
Most people would say that they are well educated and understand what to buy and what not to. But the truth is, we are never taught about these basic things in our schools or colleges. Our textbooks are not equipped with to deal with these aspects of our finances. We have degrees, but no sense of financial education. The worst part is, people are being fooled and dragged into debt right in front of the government’s eyes.