Slightly off topic, because there's no credit cards involved, but my mum (dead now) was on benefits for the last 20 yrs of her life.
She couldn't get credit from anyone anywhere, so she never got a chance to run up debts in that way - which was probably a good thing, because when she died, we found that she had debts of nearly 30 thousand pounds......... I've written it so that you wouldn't think I'd put an extra zero in!
How did she manage this? Well, it's totally beyond me.... she never had anything in the house that was worth loads, she didn't go out every night, not even once a week.... she didn't eat fancy foods (her fryer & frozen iceland sausages became the norm for her
But she was a spender... clothes that she never wore (and no-one else would have wanted to either) duvet sets that never got put on the bed, needlework sets that were in the packs in a box in her room.... My kids had to have all the expensive (but shoddy) gifts.... that they never used, or wanted in the first place.... then there was the animals.... chinchillas, chipmunks (why??)
Anyway, the debts were incurred by playing people off against each other... she had THREE provident agents & a total of 11 loans between them...catalogue guys, and loan shark bods.... so even without credit cards, people can get into trouble.
Personally, I had no sympathy with the lady - she smoked 60 a day & a lot of the loan money went on her day to day living as well as buying for buying's sake, but sometimes I really wish she had been more sensible.... it's been a hard lesson to teach my kids & I've managed 2 out of 3.... I just hope that over the next few years we all keep safe & emerge from these recession times relatively intact.