The Perils of Plastic in a Downturn

Entrepreneurs can cite any number of reasons for borrowing against credit cards. With the economy cooling, however, high-interest debt can be a lethal liability

Starting her fourth year in business, Sheryl Woodhouse-Keese is planning to hire employees this spring and outgrow the space in her home devoted to designing and producing handmade invitations, cards, and other paper goods. But she's not so successful that she has the cash to pay the $4,000 it will cost to attend a trade show in Philadelphia. That expense is going on her credit card. With the proceeds from the sales she makes at the show, she intends to hire some help and pay off -- or at least pay down -- the credit-card bill.

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