One of the first things I found difficult to understand when I landed in Halifax aboard the Royal Navy Submarine Alcide back in January 1964 was the word “ Credit”. I tried to rent a car at a local rental business I was informed they needed my credit history. I very proudly announced I had no credit, I paid for everything in cash. To my astonishment they turned me down, no credit rating no car! I could not understand how I was a greater risk than someone who owed money. However, this was Halifax in 1964, and on almost every street corner one would see a loan company. Businesses such as HFC (Housewhole Finance Co) Avco and so many more, the many names escape me. Eventually, I did achieve a credit rating it was the way things were back then. Trying to arrange a loan through a bank was next to impossible. Near the end of the 1970s the finance companies were slowly disappearing, banks had finally realized they were missing the boat on this large segment of business. From that point on the banks took over, if you needed a loan, go to your local bank. Banks began competing against each other. Television and other media started advertising easy and simple loans with low interest rates. I think now in the 21st century most of us deal with banks when we need to finance most big ticket items. But let’s not forget the credit cards, people sometimes will max out there card to pay for an item rather than going to a bank. This may all seem normal and simple in our modern world of plastic. I see one rather compelling worry in this new way we manage our monies and pay our bills. First of all not everyone manages their budgets, and often fall on desperate times. Unable to meet rent or mortgage, car payment or medical bills and are turned down at their bank, what do they do? Lately, I see more and more pay day loan shops offering quick and easy loans. Television ads promise an easy way to repair a leaking roof, fix your car or maybe pay off a credit card. Their interest rates are very high so instead of easing your debt you are increasing it. Some unfortunate people may never get from under their heavy burden of debts. Finally, I once believed when I heard the word Bankrupt, it meant a business had failed. These days it is not uncommon the hear of families declaring bankruptcy. Perhaps we have reached the point where over borrowing or over using credit cards has become the norm, just like our governments we are running deficits. Nevertheless, somewhere down the line this will surely all come crashing down. That’s my thoughts a this wet and depressing day! But hey cheer up, it’s snowing out West!!
God Bless and keep reading