Have you ever wondered how credit cards started? Credit cards originated in the early 1920s in the United States when individual firms like oil companies and hotel chains began issuing them to customers. In 1946 Flatbush National Bank of Brooklyn in New York invented the “Charge-It” program between bank customers and local merchants. According to google, Ralph Sneider is the inventor of the modern day credit card with his Diner’s Club in 1950. When there is credit, there is debt. As credit cards began to be more popular, banks started abusing their power; using such practices as mass mailing active credit cards to those who had not requested them. In return users started abusing the cards as well and finding themselves carrying debt. By the mid-’70s, the U.S. Congress began regulating the credit card industry, however not all regulations were consumer friendly. In 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court in Smiley vs. Citibank lifted restrictions on the amount of late penalty fees a credit card company could charge. Deregulation has allowed very high interest rates to be charged.
We all know it is easy to get carried away with our little plastic friend as it helps us forget about the hard earned cash and replaces it with just a number printed on a piece of paper. Sometimes we have to use our cards in times of emergency, other times we use it when we really want something and figure we will pay it back over time.
Very few people have or can earn enough money to pay cash for life’s most important purchases. Credit has become a very integrated and important part of our society and financial system. It seems that the only way to get ahead is to have good credit otherwise it is nearly impossible to get a loan to start a business, to purchase a house or even a car.
The business of debt restructuring and debt consolidation has exploded in the past few decades, aiding people that in one way or another found themselves in a position they never wanted to be in. An experienced Canadian debt restructuring expert knows the options to deal with debt inside and out, especially the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act which is the cornerstone of any comprehensive debt restructuring plan, and use their knowledge and experience to renegotiate new settlement arrangements with the creditors on behalf of their client.
“We help very honourable people regain control of their finances, we work to represent their interests through the debt restructuring program and teach them through our 18 month rehabilitation program to rebuild credit, regain financial stability and help them identify how they can better manage their money.” Says Paul Murphy of 4 Pillars, one of the Canadian leaders in debt restructuring, 97% of people entering the 4 Pillars repayment plan successfully complete the program which we believe is the highest in the industry. “It’s not just about getting people out of debt, it is teaching them about it, how to avoid it, and getting them to the right place by the end of the 18 months so they are ready to move on, enjoy financial freedom and meet their long term financial goals.”
Taking a further look into the 4 Pillars business model certainly makes it easy to understand why they have expanded throughout Canada with 50 financial service franchise partners. They take their understanding of money management and teach their franchisees the best way to become financially successful with their business. They do not pressure a franchisee to start with renting a large office space, or employing a large staff to start with high overhead and costs. Instead they teach a simple, financially sound approach; their franchisees can start as a home based business, and are urged to only rent shared office space on a part-time basis. Once it makes economic sense they will coach the franchise partner to consider taking on a full time office. The same principle goes for their staffing needs – focusing primarily on organic growth. 4 Pillars continues their coaching to franchise partners so they are not only experts in financial literacy, but experts in their own small business with all components of finances. Their coaching is working; a 4 Pillars Partner was awarded the 2012 Men of Honour Award in Edmonton for his work in financial literacy.
Murphy states, “Our rehabilitation and education program is the most important part of helping someone out of debt and to never fall into debt again. Our training and coaching for our franchise partners is important for them to run a prosperous, financially lucrative business while being recognized as the leader of financial literacy within their respective communities. These are the strengths that 4 Pillars takes extreme pride in, and will continue to build on the successes we have demonstrated through proven results.”