Evil Credit Card Companies

So, when I finally got a bank account this summer, they gave me one of those visa debit cards and told me I could sign up for the credit card also, and that way if I ever exceeded my balance it would just bounce to my credit card. "Coolness," I think. I wouldn't really have much interest in a credit card otherwise, but that sounded like a really good "just in case" thing to do.

Well, owing to the fact that my work didn't pay me for three weeks, I was a little in the red with respect to my account, but I made a couple of Christmas purchases (viz., an mp3 player for my little sister, plus a second one because buy.com is stupid and would neither 1. cancel my order nor 2. get it to me before Christmas) expecting it to go to my credit account. Well, the transactions did bounce to my credit line, but not as was explained to me. They were done as "cash advances" which apparently include an absurd finance charge ("Composite Annual Percentage Rate (whatever that means) 279.59%").

Yikes. If they'd explained that to me, I would have just put it on the actual credit card in the first place and avoided that non-sensical "finance charge."

I also made a more recent purchase of ~$300 worth of books for school. Exceeding the total money in my account. The story behind this is that I declined the state lottery scholarship (on moral grounds) and student loans don't come in until a week after school starts, so in the meantime I had to pay for books and the extra tuition I owed all by my lonesome.

I think the finance charge may be a flat charge for each purchase, so it's going to be a tad bit upsetting for me if they hit me with a slew of separate charges for each of my books.