8 thoughts on “Credit cards are going down

  1. dinah says:

    i’m not from the states, but in canada. just yesterday i got a letter in the mail saying my visa card had been put in ‘special status’ because of inactivity. & to re-activate all i have to do is fill out the bottom portion and send it into them. it was very surreal because i see it as just the beginning of what is to come.

  2. Christine says:

    One of our credit card companies recently merged with another company, and the new one decided to up the credit card APR to 30%. Ouch! Good thing we’re within two months of paying it off for good.

  3. Harper says:

    My credit union just sent me a letter indicating they were closing my VISA card with vague references to a credit report. Huh? And trying to get a more complete picture from the bank has been frustrating. I wish they had been more honest — saying we’ve tightened our standards rather than making it sound like I’ve done something different in my credit use. I was about to give up on my fact-finding but your post has changed my mind. I’ll get back on the phone and try again to get the scoop and try to talk them out of this action.

    At least they aren’t expecting me to pay off the balance immediately. Oh yeah, I’m one of those millions with too much credit card debt [out of work for a year in 2004] and in denial about my continuing spending habits so haven’t paid on the debt as much as I could have.

  4. Chile says:

    The more difficult credit card companies make it for people to pay their bills, the more likely they are to make money in fees and penalties. We got nailed two years ago when the bill was due on December 25. Yes, on Christmas day. Due to the holiday, it arrived on the 26th and they charged us interest and penalty.

    This was not some random error made in their bill date-generating software. It’d be very easy to program that to move Sunday and holiday due dates to the next business day. However, having those as due dates makes it more likely people will be late and have to pay interest and penalty. Not everyone is willing to call and argue to have it waived (like we did). And we were warned they would only waive it once.

    Now, on a lighter note, I’ve tagged you for a meme. Here.

  5. Lan says:

    The tactic I’ve noticed is receiving a letter saying “you haven’t used this account in forever, so we’re going to cancel it unless you charge something pronto.” I can’t decide if I should be thankful that they gave me an opportunity to charge a measly purchase rather than eliminating that credit unannounced, or amazed and horrified at the manipulation to get me to use credit…

    @ Chile,

    Just to hammer home that it definitely wasn’t some random error… the exact same thing happened on Mr. Lan’s *business* credit card just last month. A business account!

    They moaned about only waiving a fee like this once, too, but in my past experience, if you complain enough and can make a reasonable case that they’re in the wrong, they’ll waive fees more than once.

  6. Nikol says:

    We have a couple of different citi cards (one through sears we never use & one for each of us), and they all had just had HUGE interest jumps. The one with a really good rate jumped 3x (= 3x the finance charge every month!), and the one that was just average/good a couple months ago jumped to almost 30%! We have autopay, so we’re never late, and we have good credit ratings, but I guess citi’s passing on its mistakes to its customers. With the fed so low, it’s pretty obvious what’s going on. The only way not to suffer the increase was to “opt out,” which means you keep your current rate & can still use your card until the expiration date, but then it closes automatically. That’s actually kind of awesome, because it’s forcing me to wean myself off of them on a timetable before they expire. And maybe two years from now, they’ll have recovered a bit and will have a new card offer I can live with (so I can preserve the credit line & with it, my rating).

    These rates are worse than when I got my first credit card, back in the 80s. (Of course, in the 80s, my passbook savings account gave 6.5% interest.) On the other hand, maybe this will do some good and curb consumer debt. I’m not too optimistic about that, but here’s hoping.

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