Cap urged on hike in credit card limit

By Ted P. Torres, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 28 2012 07:14 AM | Updated as of Feb 28 2012 08:44 PM

MANILA, Philippines - One of the world’s most respected personal finance advisers is urging Philippine banks to put a cap on increasing the credit limit of their card holders.

In a media briefing at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) head office in Makati yesterday, Suze Orman likewise encouraged overseas Filipinos to save on their own, aside from sending support to their families in the Philippines.

The 61-year-old native of Chicago was ranked among “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” by Forbes Magazine. USA Today has called her “a force in the world of personal finance” and “one-woman financial advice powerhouse.”

“If you have a credit card, immediately pay in full before you start using it. When you start delaying payment or just pay for the interest incurred, you are in card debt,” Orman said.

She recounted that the United States is a country in debt and one of the contributing factors is that Americans failed to pay their card debt, amortization, and lack of financial discipline.

“In US, the few rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer. There are 15 million Americans in naked poverty, another 100 million in the brink of poverty, and there are a lot more about to get there.”

She admitted to have spoken to the BPI group that handles credit cards and urged them not to be gracious in extending the credit limit of their cardholders.

Orman reminded that banks and other financial institutions make money when people use the card. And that it was greed that make financial institutions allow extending the credit limit of delinquent or irresponsible cardholders.

“Don’t be an aid to somebody’s destruction,” she said.

Meanwhile, Orman admitted that she had Filipino housekeepers as they were reliable and trustworthy. But a few of them send all their money to their relatives in the Philippines but do not save for themselves. In the end, they are forced to continue working well beyond their effective age.

“Their relatives in the Philippines do not save for them but use all the money sent for themselves. So my Filipino staff have to stay employed to start saving for themselves,” she lamented.

The seven-time Gracie awardee said that people must attain or create financial freedom.

“Wealth is built on what you do with your money. Wealth is not what you do with your money, but what you do with your time; the more you save, the more you have; the more you work or make use of your time, the more you earn,” Orman advised.

“Money is nothing more than the currency of life,” she added.

Meanwhile, Orman stressed that everyone must have an insurance policy for the protection of their loved ones.

The two-time member of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People said that she prefers term life insurance (20 years) since it is more focused.

Whole life insurance is a lot of money with promises of claims, and for the meantime, the insurance company can make tons of money from the premiums you pay.

“Term insurance also means money you (or your loved ones) can enjoy while you are alive.”

Orman said that everyone must have an insurance policy to protect the people they love, “the people that you brought into this world.”

Orman is a social work graduate of the University of Illinois. After college, she worked as a waitress earning $400 a month. Today, she is paid $90,000 for a 90-minute talk.

She has published nine books on financial literacy and personal wealth, earning her millions of dollars. She has seven homes in different parts of the US since she is always traveling around the country.

Majority of her earnings goes to various global financial literacy endeavors and humanitarian efforts.