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
Nov 24, 2014
In this photo taken Wednesday, July 30, 2014, Silicon Valley pioneer and Silent Circle co-founder Jon Callas holds up Blackphone with encryption apps displayed on it at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif.  (AP)

We’ll look at privacy, security, and the battle heating up between intelligence agencies and tech companies that are moving to encrypt your communication.

Nov 24, 2014
Homeless people stay with their belongings under the Pontchartrain Expressway overpass in New Orleans, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. The city’s health department put up notices Monday giving the estimated 150 homeless people 72 hours to leave the area. (AP)

Smashing the assumptions about what it’s really like to live in poverty in America.

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 21, 2014
Laura Ingalls Wilder, an American  writer and novelist, at age 27. Her "Little House" series is a beloved semi-autobiographical take on her childhood in the Western American plains. (South Dakota State Historical Society )

A big new look at the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the woman behind the Little House.

 
Nov 21, 2014
President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.  (AP)

The president throws down the gauntlet on immigration. Bloodshed and new tensions in Israel. Keystone fails. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Six: What Does A White House Press Correspondent Do?
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We turn to White House Press Correspondents all the time for news, but we’ve never really wondered how they gather their information. Fortunately, our guest host Jessica Yellin had time to sit down with The Explicast to explain.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: November 21, 2014
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We offer a panel of hand-drawn digital sheep, and wonder how to best lead the rest of you to programs that matter.

More »
2 Comments
 
The Explicast, Episode Five: What Is Net Neutrality?
Friday, Nov 14, 2014

The Explicast dives into tech policy territory with a quick look at the real meaning of a complicated bit of tech policy known as ‘Net Neutrality.’

More »
2 Comments