ABC Warns of Credit Card 'Addiction'

     When credit card companies “just make it so easy,” people become addicted to debt. That’s what “Good Morning America” reported on the June 11 show.  


     “With the increased costs of gas and groceries, more Americans are turning to their credit cards to make ends meet,” Robin Roberts reported. “But for some people it has reached a crisis situation, so bad that their credit card problem has turned into an addiction.”


     ABC showcased a couple who “racked up over $40,000 in debt on 15 different credit cards.”


     “[Credit card companies] just make it so easy. I mean they have introductory rates at 0 percent,” said debtor Paula Frederick.  


     Another debtor ABC showcased was only 21 years old with $22,000 in debt. Instead of reporting how she got into such a situation, Roberts lamented, “she feels like she’s carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.” Roberts said the college student works three jobs, and the young woman complained she doesn’t “see a dime of the money.”


     The Fredericks reached out for help, seeking counseling with their pastor. Roberts said many groups are available to give debtors support and strategies for getting out of debt.


     Roberts said the Fredericks “are part of a growing number of Americans trapped in debt.” The report didn’t mention how these debtors had spent all that money. “Good Morning America” has previously depicted credit card companies as luring and “trapping” people in debt.


     ABC brought on Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments. Hobson explained that the “typical American has $9,840 in credit card debt,” revealing ABC had cherry-picked people whose debt was much higher than average. The couple’s debt was $30,160 more than the average, and the young woman’s debt was $12,160 more than the average.


     Hobson said Americans are “walking around with about six credit cards in our wallet – five more than we need.” She advised people to make every effort to buy things with cash and to track their expenses. Hobson recommended the National Foundation of Credit Counseling for those in trouble who are looking for help. 


     The Business and Media Institute has tracked a media trend of portraying borrowers as victims. BMI has also documented journalists, specifically on ABC, going after credit card companies.