Monday, August 9, 2010

Movie Review: Maxed Out

Featuring Dave Ramsey, a bunch of average Americans, and Robin Leach, Maxed Out is a great documentary about the debt mentality in our society. I wouldn't say that I learned a whole lot that I didn't know, but it's definitely a good reminder of why I don't want to be in debt and how most people get trapped in it. It includes people who take their situation lightly all the way to those who committed suicide because of their debt. They also talk how in the past you had to "earn credit," but now anyone can get a card...they talk about the surge in college students getting credit cards as an example of this trend. It definitely puts blame on the credit card companies and the government instead of the consumers. Which is valid to a degree, but I also think people do need to take responsibility for their actions. It's interesting that the film came out in 2006...sort of ahead of it's time considering how the debt crisis exploded in America. I think this issue is more and more on people's minds, which is one of the few upsides to the economic crisis.

Here are some "fun" facts from the film:
*In the US, citizens receive a total of four billion credit card offers a year. Banks alone have offered three trillion dollars in credit.
*The average American household has more than $9,000 in credit card debt and spends more than $1,300 per year in interest payments.
*In 1972 a couple who both worked full time, 40 hours per week was denied a credit card. Now, a college Freshman can get a dozen cards easily.
*Your FICO score has nothing to do with your income and 90% of the reports have errors on them. Also, Suze Orman has a deal with FICO's parent company...which might explain why she puts so much importance on that score.
*In 2006 more Americans went bankrupt than got divorced, graduated from college, or got cancer.


  1. I saw that film a few years ago -- ironically, before the market crash! It was pretty good, but I agree that there wasn't enough consumer accountability; way too much blame on the credit card companies!

    As for the stat that more people went bankrupt in 2006 than divorced, cancer or college, well I think the only fair comparison is divorce! Despite the prevalence of cancer in media, you actually shouldn't get it.. most people are safe (unless they're engaging in cancer-happy behaviors like smoking or tanning etc) and I don't know what the stats are for college but I still think most people don't go, or at least not to legitimate schools (online universities don't -- and shouldn't -- count). Most marriages end in divorce though, so if more people are going bankrupt, that's HUGE.

  2. Sounds like a good movie. I've never seen it before but I'll sure keep an eye out for it.

  3. Thank you for mentioning this movie. I had never heard of it, but will definately keep an eye out for it - sounds interesting.

  4. For anyone who has Netflix, is on the instant streaming list. I watched it via my Wii for free. :) There are a few others I want to check out and I'll review them here when I get to them.