90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Next Credit Crisis?
(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

Easy consumer credit is nothing new, but Americans are turning to their credit cards as never before — and racking up debt at unprecedented rates.

Never before, we’re told, have so many Americans owed so much at such high interest rates. And with mortgage troubles deepening, and the economy struggling, some fear personal debt could be the next shoe to drop.

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee voted to move forward with a bill that would rein in the American credit card industry, but consumer advocates say Washington isn’t going far enough to tame an unruly credit-card industry. What can consumers, lenders, and the government do to avert a crisis?

This hour, On Point: You’re pre-approved! Credit cards, consumers, and a nation in debt.

You can join the conversation. Are you in debt on your credit cards yourself? If so, have you been splurging, or are you using your credit cards just to survive?

Guests:

Joining us from Cambridge, Mass., is Elizabeth Warren. She’s the Leo Gottlieb professor of law at Harvard Law School, and an expert on credit card debt and bankruptcy. She’s written several books, most recently “All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan” which she co-authored with her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi.

Joining us from Portland, Oregon, is J.D. Roth. He’s the man behind the well-known personal finance blog “Get Rich Slowly.” The blog started out as a chronicle of how he himself overcame $35,000 of personal debt, including about $20,000 in credit card debt.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 22, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. The Russian economy will rebound and the ruble will stabilize, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. (AP)

A weak ruble and a turbulent economy. We look at Putin’s Russia and what its economic free fall means.

Dec 22, 2014
A sample of some of the costumes on display at the fall 2014 "Dance & Fashion" exhibition at New York City's Museum at FIT. (AP)

Couture fashion exhibits are drawing record crowds at museums. We’ll look at the beauty and the art behind the glitz.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

 
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Rage, shortlinks and things you people seem to be into, we guess. Also, Putin.

More »
Comment
 
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment