Spending

Restrict number of credit cards a person can possess

Some people end up having several credit cards and spending on a whim. The result is that quite a number of them cannot afford to pay their credit card bills on time, not even the interest, says the writer. ST FILE PHOTO
Some people end up having several credit cards and spending on a whim. The result is that quite a number of them cannot afford to pay their credit card bills on time, not even the interest, says the writer. ST FILE PHOTO

Invest editor Tan Ooi Boon's article on the quicksand of overspending is timely as there are many sales ongoing (The quicksand of overspending, Nov 29).

We saw record-breaking sales during the Nov 11 Singles' Day promotion, and then there were long queues for the Black Friday sales. There are just too many opportunities for shoppers to "spend in order to save".

The irony is that most of the time, we do not need to buy anything at all. One of the key reasons many people come under financial distress is their overuse of credit cards.

Many banks offer credit cards that profess to give users better discounts or rebates. Some people end up having several credit cards and spending on a whim.

The result is that quite a number of these people cannot afford to pay their credit card bills on time, not even the interest.

I hope that the authorities will restrict the number of credit cards a person can hold based on his annual income.

Assessments should be carried out on credit card users to ensure that their annual income justifies the number of cards they have.

This would reduce the likelihood of a person overspending on his credit cards and ultimately suffering financial distress.

Banks must not push credit cards to a person who has more than two or three cards. Business interest aside, social responsibility should also be part of a bank's mission.

Foo Sing Kheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2020, with the headline 'Restrict number of credit cards a person can possess'. Print Edition | Subscribe