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Fisticuffs over store credit cards

Jeremy Simon

Add this item to the list of dangers involved with store credit cards: In Wauwatosa, Wis., fists began flying after a promotion in a local Kmart resulted in approvals for anyone seeking a store credit card, reports television station WISN.

While card applicants were given $10 as part of an in-store promotion, a computer malfunction ended up providing shoppers with quite a bit more “free money” — from $850 to $4,000 in instant credit to anyone who applied, according to employees.

When word got out, the apparent effect was to cause shoppers to lose their damn minds. The ensuing chaos included some ladies’ hair and earnings getting pulled out and a Kmart employee crashing through a glass display case. Almost a dozen police cars showed up to get the situation under control. Two arrests were reported.

Granted, people who are willing to throw punches over credit cards may not be the most rational to start with, but let’s remember that a credit card is most certainly not “free money,” despite what some of the Kmart brawlers may have thought. What is purchased on plastic must be paid back, or your credit score will suffer. Once your credit score falls, it becomes tougher and more expensive to borrow money in the future.

Next time a cashier asks if you’d like to apply for a store credit card, you can cite your commitment to nonviolence as a reason to decline.

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