The first point that must be raised if you live in ANY capitalist society is: You receive NOTHING for free. The only instance that this rule can be broken is by a modern trend to entice people into various products by offering 'free' periods of borrowing.
A good example of this are credit cards. Lots of credit card companies offer 'Free Balance Transfers' for 6 - 9 months when you sign up. This is a method employed by credit agencies to MAKE you buy into their card. As a company they know that a majority of people that take their cards will use the free balance transfer option and move their debts. Now this leaves the consumer in a tight position, you must now a) Not use the card and b) Pay of the minimum monthly balance payable. Now if you pay off the minimum monthly balance, by the end of your 'free' period it is more than likely you will not have paid off the transferred debt in full (Well, they hope that you haven't). If you now take into account the following: Purchases made on the card, Remaining Balance and Monthly interest (8.9% -> 29.9% APR), You will find that paying off the minimum amount barely covers the interest that they apply each month.
Solution: Sign up for a new card with another 6 - 9 months balance transfers at 0% interest.
Great! you have another 6-9 months to pay off your card! That sense of elation as you give yourself a pat on the back for saving all that money! Well in fact you'll more than likely end up paying much more! Why?
1) You now have your old card that if you've not got the willpower, can turn out to be right back up at its credit limit in no time!
2) Every time you have a credit check run against your name it is counted as a negative to your credit rating. You may just find that after your 2nd or maybe 3rd 6 - 9 month period that credit companies will start to refuse you credit. Especially if you have not met regular payments on your other cards.
True Solution: Do not rely on credit cards! They are INCREDIBLY useful at times, only the prudent and the shrewd should consider using them.
As for banks: Well, they will generally charge you for everything that involves them lending you money.
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