Bank Television Advertising

There's a bank commercial on the TV that is a little frightening. At least frightening in the financial sense. Depicted is a young man, likely fresh out of university as he's discussing his financial situation with an advisor at the bank.

The advisor mentions that he's been doing well as he's been paying down his student loans. However, the young man mentions that his father's birthday is coming up and that his father has always wanted to go on a road trip. He laments the fact that he has no money to take his father on said road trip.

The bank advisor then types away on her computer and proudly exclaims something along the lines of "moving some things around, and found a way to save you $1,500 a year!". Young man says something like, that's great, and then we see the young man and his father jamming away in the car. Presumably, on their road trip. Although, if they were coming out the bank, that would be funnier.

Anyway, the point is, the bank advisor didn't say "I found you $1,500 to spend right now." She said "You can save $1,500" which isn't the same thing.

The next thing that came to my mind, how did she save him $1,500 a year. If I had to guess, maybe she paid off his student loans with a line of credit. Generally, speaking the interest rate on a line of credit is lower than a student loan. If I had to guess.

The problem is that he still doesn't have the money to spend. Likely, he'd need to dip into his line of credit to fund this road trip for him and his dad.

So really, although he'd save the money by moving the money into his line of credit, he might be spending more now that he has a line of credit. Maybe he doesn't have as high of a limit (as a broke graduate paying off his student loans compared to a family with a property), but still.

I guess the banks are just preying on the financially desperate. I mean, $1,500 isn't chump change. It is if you're a saver. However, a recent radio report I heard reported that the average Canadian owes $21,000 in consumer debt. So yes. If they make it tempting enough, $1,500 may be all it takes to get you to the branch where they will hook you deeper with more debt.

Really, the bank advisor, if she was looking out for the young man's interests, should have said "You cannot afford to take your father for the road trip this year. However, I've moved money around and you'll be on track to save $1,500 this year. You'll be able to take your father on the trip next year."

Then the young man would be all "F- you! What kind of bulls- service is this?"

He'd then walk out and proceed to the next bank.


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