Credit Card Companies Race to Take Us "to the Cleaners"

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by b.c., May 27, 2009.

  1. b.c.

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    Prior to, and in the wake of recent credit card legislation, credit card companies have been jumping up their charges to customers for using their cards. The legislation itself, while better than nothing, amounts to a wimpy piece of shit in that it places few limits on rate increases (there's a lot of fine print here), and only provides a certain amount of time they have to give ("grace period") their customers. What's more, the bill doesn't become effective until February 2010. (WTF??)

    I've checked the rates on my cards as of late and found the worst offender to be Chase, whose APR on one card is 26%, and on another (a Circuit City account) 22.5%. Also way up there is my Zales account at 25%. Best deal so far is American Express who kept the rates (so far) at about 15%.

    I'll keep them (AE), but currently looking for ways to pay off these other fuckers and send 'em to hell.

    If anyone wants to add their best deals and worst offenders here, please do. Here are two links to follow-up reports:

    Outside editorial: The good, the bad and ugly of credit card legislation - Juneau Empire

    Credit Card Companies Raise Interest Rates in Reaction to New Legislation | KSPR News | Local News
     
    #1 b.c., May 27, 2009
    Last edited: May 28, 2009
  2. sam_solo26

    sam_solo26 New Member

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    Raising rates sounds like a wonderful way to stimulate an ailing economy...:rolleyes:
     
  3. b.c.

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    Exactly. As I said, the legislation is better than nothing, but imo, didn't go far enough...my two cents worth,anyway.

    Here's another link that better explains it:

    Credit Cardholders? Bill of Rights Act of 2009 | TheMiddleClass.org
     
  4. BiItalianBro

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    Has anyone noticed that the replacement cards they are getting when their expiration date rolls around is only one year out? I have a PNC MasterCard that expires 6/09 (issued 6/06...and my replacement expires NEXT YEAR (???).

    My issue with this 'reform' is that they gave the banks and lenders a nine month window before the barn door closes....so let the epic screw-job begin :/
     
  5. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

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    Yeah, the core problems aren't being addressed. Or rather, the people who make the legislation are doing their best, and the politicians whose campaigns are fed by the banking and credit industries are putting a stop to it. My rates on two out of three cards have increased. Thank goodness my APRs aren't as high as B.C.'s, but it's still a bunch of bullshit anyway. All I can do in the meantime is hoping that my credit cards keep bidding against each other on balance transfer rates for extended periods. I'll pay 5% upfront if it means that I can knock out this debt in the 12 months of 0% time.

    I have to pay property taxes, book a flight home, and buy school books for next fall. I'm budgeting that at about $1,300. I'm sitting on about $1,900 of remaining credit card balance right now. (I started at $4,600 when I moved out here). Once this summer, I'm just chugging through this debt payment by payment.
     
  6. b.c.

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    Yes, in the months following until February of 2010 everyone will have to watch those rates closely, and probably still after the law takes effect. I might expect those high APR's if my credit rating was poor, but for one who has zero creditors in bad standing, 25% is fucking outrageous!

    Or maybe that's problem - that I pay on time and even ahead of time. As one article suggested, that makes me a bad customer. If you're a "bad" customer too, keep an eye on those rates!
     
  7. b.c.

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  8. Deno

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    I am very happy to say I paid off all my credit card debt (somewhere in the area of 8 grand on 4 different cards) and presently have zero balance on any of them. I even cut up 2 after calling and having them canceled over a year ago.
     
  9. Meniscus

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    Personally I think if you can't pay your credit card bills in full every month, you're spending too much.

    This is not to say that the credit card companies aren't ripping us off in a variety of ways. I just paid a $39 late fee on a $51 balance. The only reason I was late is because after I signed-up for online payments, they made me wait a week after signing-up before letting me make a payment.
     
  10. TXgirl77

    TXgirl77 New Member

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    When I heard that the changes would not be implimented for some time, I figured the credit card companies would rush to screw us any way they could while they still can. Sounds like that's exactly what they are doing.

    I accidentally underpaid my cc once (auto payments) and they hit me with a late fee and jumped my rate up to 23%!!!! I was so pissed off. This has gotten so many people in trouble where they can't pay their cards anymore. I've been there and thank God I was able to pay it off at a later date. Legal thievary.

    Don't they realize when they screw us over so bad it can make it impossible to pay the bill anymore? URGH! They end up hurting themselves in the long run.
     
  11. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    A week after this was all anounced I got yet ANOTHER letter in the mail from my credit card companies saying they were all raising my interest rates. I hate them all! They don't play fair or even close and this new whatever you call it has done nothing but give them 9 months to fuck w/us.
     
  12. TXgirl77

    TXgirl77 New Member

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    Right after the announcement, I found out they had reduced my credit limit. I went to use my card and it was declined. I should have had over 2k left on it. Now i have to watch to see if they will hit me with an overage charge and increase my rate. Fuckers!!!
     
  13. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    Fuckers is right! One of my cards I barely used cut my limit. Oh Oh and yes they still have 9 months to fuck with us!
     
  14. b.c.

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    Call them up and tell them what happened. Tell 'em you want the late fee credited back to your account! They should do it if it's a first time. If not, pay their asses off, cancel the account and tell 'em in writing why.

    Everyone please post the names of your worst offenders so we can all know who to avoid.
     
    #14 b.c., May 29, 2009
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
  15. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Back in 2003, I worked for a retail company that issues each of their workers one of their credit cards. They did this so they could monitor purchases that employees made and put it on a discount. A nice and noble idea, until I was laid off by the company. Instead of giving me time to pay the credit card, they simply issued the bill to a collection agency which in turn ruined my credit.

    Immediately following, attempts to getting any form of credit were virtually impossible. Even trying to get a cell phone with a decent plan was tough, because this mark would show up on my credit reports and they would try to charge me an insane amount of money for a deposit. I eventually got fed up with the dealing with the credit system and decided to live my life without it. And I must say, living without a single credit card in my pocket has helped me to become much more financially aware and responsible.

    Forward to 2009... I still don't miss having a credit card at all. Especially when I see some of the wild stories of customers being gouged by their credit companies. My life partner, out of his generosity, put me on one of his and got me my own card. And I rarely ever use it unless I'm in such a dire situation when I have to. In fact, many times I just leave it at home. Because I don't want the temptation to spend money I don't have. And I'm a computer, video gaming and electronic gear whore... I can ALWAYS find a reason to buy something that beeps! :biggrin:

    Credit Card Companies will always do what they can to gouge every dime out of people. The only way we can hurt them is to simply not use them. Or at least cut down on them. Perhaps if enough people decide to simply cut the cards and tell these corporations to take their crazy fees and stuff it, they will finally wake up. I mean, one of my best friends now has a card with a rate that is close to 30% a month! That's friggin' insane!! What's worse, is that these companies charge these rates to customers when they know that they can't pay it back. And we wonder why some people simply default and never pay back the debt? I mean, if it became a choice of having a CC with no food or a CC at the limit with your necessary bills paid, what do you expect the struggling person to do?
     
    #15 B_VinylBoy, May 29, 2009
    Last edited: May 29, 2009
  16. D_Martin van Burden

    D_Martin van Burden Account Disabled

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    I know it's a bit off topic, but I wanted to shift some attention to banks. I have a story that happened today to share with you all.

    Okay, so it's pretty clear that credit card companies are the collective Devil right now, but banks aren't that far behind. I pay most of my bills online through my bank, Chase. They have been pretty good to me so far, and bill payments have not had a hitch. Until today. I pay my rent and car payment at the beginning of the month. I logged in to make the bill payment for the car. Most of my bills can be paid electronically the next day; a couple require two days. My car lease is paid to Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati. Today, I noticed that my car note requires <u>five</u> days. Since my payment is due on the fourth, and bill pay doesn't work on the weekends, I was afraid of a late charge!

    I checked my unused bill coupon booklet. If I'm late, it's a $25 fee. (Thankfully, "late" payments start on the ninth of the month.)

    I'm cutting it close, though. Fifth Third won't get my payment until the 8th thanks to the run of the calendar. I could overnight it for another $15, but I need every bit of money I can hold onto since I'm not working right now.

    I just think it's crap that Chase couldn't tell me about the delay in bill pay with this particular client. Chase says that the deliveries depend on the "relationship" with the payee. So, somehow banks procrastinating in accepting my payments means I might have a problem down the road... hmph.
     
  17. lucky8

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    Stay away from the 'big bank' credit cards, and use cards issued by smaller, local banks. After the stress tests, many of the big banks such as BofA were told they needed to raise more money. I would suspect that tightening of credit policies and raising the cost of capital would be one of the tools they'd use to accomplish this, for now at least
     
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