According to the The American Heritage® Dictionary
of the English Language, Fourth Edition (© 2000), accessible
has several meanings:
1. Easily approached or entered.
2. Easily obtained: accessible money.
3. Easy to talk to or get along with.
4. Easily swayed or influenced: accessible to flattery.
A credit card can be very useful. It makes money accessible
(definition no. 2), but this accessibility conceals a dark
secret: if you don’t pay back the credit advances—loans—your
life might change for the worse. Someone I know learned the
My friend (let’s call him Jack) had four credit cards.
He used each card for a different purpose. The sight of his
Platinum card made dollar signs dance in the eyes of drink
servers at his favorite club. The Gold Card bought him burgers
and fries after a night of clubbing. His gas card filled up
his car (saving him two cents a gallon). His all-purpose card
bought everything else.
Jack’s credit limit for each card was $1,000. At one
point his balance on each card was $900. He would use one credit
card to pay the minimum amount due for another card. Soon,
all of his cards were maxed out, and the credit card companies
kept calling and mailing him past due notices. Jack could not
afford to go out, pay for meals, or pay his rent. He was forced
to drop out of college, go back home, and live with his parents
for a couple years.
Last month I asked him how life was going. “I’m
okay,” Jack said. Of course, I had to ask him how many
credit cards he had.
I have one, ” he said, and added after a slight pause, “I
keep it locked in a safe under a pile of newspapers. I’ve
learned that the more accessible my credit cards are, the more
trouble it brings me.”