Stacey-Ann's Blog

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Check your credit card fine-print

Recently my husband opened a mailing from one of his credit card companies letting him know that his interest rate was being raised from 10% to approximately 30%.  Of course he was furious and instantly called the company.  He was informed that there was nothing that could be done about the change.  The woman even commented that since he didn't carry a balance she didn't know why it mattered to him.  For him, it was the principle.  My husband has had this card for 14 years. He pays his bills on time and does not carry a balance.  However, he uses his card for EVERYTHING so this bank makes good money from his merchant fees.  When he told the customer service agent that he would not accept this interest rate change she informed him that she would record that and that his card would automatically close when it expired.  No attempts were made to work out a compromise.

It's amazing to thing that a company that has received billions of dollars in tax payer bailouts could make these unilateral decisions without care for how it impacts consumers.

Everyday on the news I hear stories of people who have their minimum payments triple over-night.  One couple had their payment go from $300 to $990 another from $90 to $300.  

It is important to ensure that you understand the agreement that you have with your credit card companies.  Too many of us don't read or understand the fine print and then get caught when these changes are implemented.  

Many companies are making these sudden changes now because congress has enacted rules about these practices that take effect early 2010, so the companies are trying to get these done prior to these planned regulations.  Now is the time to be especially vigilant about reading the correspondence we receive from our credit card companies and don't be afraid to fight these changes.  

 

 

 

 

If you or someone you know would like information about buying, selling, or renting a home in Prince George's, Montgomery,  Charles, Calvert, Anne Arundel, Howard, and/or Baltimore Counties please contact Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh of Century 21 New Millennium.

 

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Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh

Century 21 New Millennium

www.LiveinPGCounty.com

staceyannbaugh@gmail.com

240-481-3565 (C)

202-546-0055 (O)

 

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Comment balloon 5 commentsDr. Stacey-Ann Baugh • November 15 2009 09:17AM

Comments

Yes I had a few of the companys I have had for years try this right up until I told them to cancell the card. Then they sang a different tune. Be firm.

Posted by Chip Jefferson (Gibbs Realty and Auction Company) almost 9 years ago

Hi Stacey.  You know, we just FOUGHT with a major credit card company who increased our finance charges... (we carry a balance on this one). I was DETERMINED to speak to the right person about changing it to a lowered rate.  I stated my years of loyalty and hinted to them that we could easily just file bankruptcy and they would not get a dime!  Those must have been magical words, for not only did they reduce the rates, they gave us a credit from the past 4 months!!!!

I applaud you fighting - it's what it has come down to!

Posted by Diane Rice, SFR, SRES, CNC ( Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL) almost 9 years ago

Hi Stacey.  You know, we just FOUGHT with a major credit card company who increased our finance charges... (we carry a balance on this one). I was DETERMINED to speak to the right person about changing it to a lowered rate.  I stated my years of loyalty and hinted to them that we could easily just file bankruptcy and they would not get a dime!  Those must have been magical words, for not only did they reduce the rates, they gave us a credit from the past 4 months!!!!

I applaud you fighting - it's what it has come down to!

Posted by Diane Rice, SFR, SRES, CNC ( Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL) almost 9 years ago

FYI - If you are thinking of getting rid of your credit cards, DO NOT cancel them or close the account.  This will adversely affect your FICO score.  Just cut them up and don't use them.

Posted by Melinda (Mel) Peterson, Curator of Happy Endings (Real Estate Cafe LLC) almost 9 years ago

I used to have a credit card from every bank, but as banks failed or merged with other banks, seems like all my cards now are with Chase, so when they informed me that they were raising my rate, I just cancelled them all. Never liked Chase anyway, and the impace on my credit score doesn't concern me right now, and probably won't for another five years or so, at which point things will be back to normal. Maybe. LOL

Posted by Jim Frimmer, Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist (HomeSmart Realty West) almost 9 years ago

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