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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

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John Taylor

George,

Didn't you read between the lines of Bill Seebecks' comments from yesterday? The banks are taking the TARP money and using it to throw a party as if they just got a juicy new account. THEY'RE INSOLVENT!! Until they have to open their books for a "stress test" they have turned their attention to credit cards as a whole new charade to make money, more money than before. And to get deep into collections with rates you might as well call usury to prise the last dollar from ther public (read more bonuses), before the big takeover. I say blow 'em up. Banking is broken. Scrap them all and start a new system without all that baggage. Same for insurance, only that shoe hasn't quite fallen yet. There, I feel better .... almost.

Jason S

Probably a good idea not to keep a balance these days... maybe even save something.

Stan

I canceled my 1998 zero balance Capital One card today. I refuse to bailout Capital One by paying 17+% interest along with the $3.5B 'loan'.

George

Stan:

Glad that canceling your card works for you. I haven't decided to cancel -- yet. Canceling seems to play right into their plan to get rid of the unprofitable customers who pay on time, and keep more of the slow-paying and interest-revenue generating customers.

I plan to call and complain and see if they will respond with a lower rate. Will keep you posted what happens.

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

Best Credit Cards in Australia

I disagree on those banks from increasing their customer's interest rate. The rate should remain the same from the time the consumer took their credit card. Implementation of the increase should be apply only on those new customers

HANNA

so what can we do about the B of A unethical business practice ( interest rate increase ???? please anyone advice ??
it amazing how you can me mugged, and you cant do anything about it , and you can complaint to anyone , and you cant reverse the damage

George

Hanna:

Thanks for the comment. You raise a good questions. Here's my list of actions (in no particular order) consumers can do in response to a interest rate increase:

1. Stop using credit cards

2. Complain politely to the credit card isuer's customer service department and they may lower your interest rate

3. Close your account and switch to a lower interest rate card from a different bank or card issuer

4. Write to your elected officials and demand that Congress take some action to insert interest rate maximums

5. If your credit card is from a bank, switch your accounts (e.g., checking, savings, CDs, etc.) to another bank.

What suggestions do others have?

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

SLT

Thank you for putting up this post. In the last few days I received a similarly atrocious rate hike notice on my major credit card account. I also do not keep a revolving balance but was disturbed by the tactics and the retroactive effective date--for all of the reasons you cite above. I have chosen a middle course for the time being, in that I will officially reject their rate hike (as they provide means to do) and then no longer use the card. The language they use seems to indicate that this does not in fact cancel the card, which leaves the credit availabile to me if I suddenly need it in an emergency. It also gives them the opportunity to lower the rate again later, after they receive my irate letter. Finally, this tactic punishes them slightly by making the company continue to put whatever minor financial investment it takes to keep the account open.

Dorothy Goldenbusky

I just received a notice from Bank Of America that they are changing my 7.9% interest rate card to a variable rate -starting at 13.9%. I paid off my card in January of this year and generally only keep $100.00 purchases a month on it-which I pay off monthly. The bank's reasoning is I changed my payment history. What does that mean?

T. Krueger

In the past few weeks I have received three notices about rate hikes. One bank did give me the option to opt out of the changes, but capitol one and discover both gave me one option-cancel the card. So on top of helping me increase my debt, they are now helping me to have a lower credit score. I know that we racked up the debt ourselves, but it sure would be nice if they just left the knife in and didn't choose to twist it or push it in any further! Thanks for the post.

Donna

I received a notice from DISCOVER 2 weeks ago that they were raising my interest rate----doubling it!! I do not carry a balance and have never been late with a payment. I sent them a message online and I got this canned response which outraged me- they never addressed the fact that my record was spotless. So I sent back another message saying I wanted to close my card because I was so angry but it would hinder my credit score so I will keep it open and just never use it and continue to send them messages about my anger. THEY RESPONDED BACK SAYING THEY WILL NO LONGER RESPOND TO MY MESSAGES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH THE RATE INCREASE!!!!!! Can you believe these people????

Peggy

I called Chase Bank and ask them about the increase in my credit card and I myself agree, yes I did purchase items on the card, but when you are in a severe car wreack, such as myself and loose your source of income because I am permanently disabled (and the other drivers that were drag racing and topped a hill and I was on the other side.....hit me head-on at a rate of 81 mph and no insurance on either cars, but I had insurance) and had to use credit cards until after 3 years of fighting for my disability finally get it, has had mine increased to 24% and another to 30%. What in the world can I do???????
It's a rip-off!!!
Any suggestions of who to call or write about this?

BLK

I don't know of any solution. I have supossely good credit, yet my cards have all raised the rates so I may have trouble meeting the increased minimum payment. I have always paid more then the minumum but they are making it impossible to do that anymoe.
I think we are finished. Regular Americans in the middle class are finished. Between the political leeches draining our blood for taxes so they can lead lives of big houses, travel, hiring prostitutes, etc. and the bloughted bank people who are changing the terms of credit from when they lured us in to these cards we are doomed...............

Brooke

I have just realized that my Washington Mutual credit card was bought by Chase and when I noticed this my bill was pass due of course there were late fees so I decied to look furher into the bill to find out my interest went from 9.99 to 29.99 I called the bank to complain and the guy says hopefully in a year or so we can lower those Okay this makes no sense to me I have (now) two credit cards with them the other is at 12.99 and I also have a checking and savings you would think they would want to keep me happy so I tell the guy put in my file that if something doesnt change soon I will close all credit cards and other accounts do you think he cared so I guess I am in with everyone else about getting raped.

MSM

The banks own our Congress. That is why they are jacking credit interest rates in advance of any "reform". That is, reform that may go into effect 13+ months from now (and is not retroactive).
The only way to end this madness is for us consumers to stop doing business with the banks. I've moved my financial business to my local credit union. I get a much better rate on both loans and deposit accounts. They offered me a Visa credit card at 5 1/2% APR, and a money market account at twice the going bank rate. Why didn't I do this sooner?

ma

I also saw a credit rate increase from AT&T Universal, a Citi Corp owned bank. I was 2 days late on my payment due to a normal human mistake on my part. I've been a customer for 13 years w/no late payments and they increased my rate from 2.99% to 25% for the next 12 months. I have called at least 3 times and spoken to so-called "managers" and they will not lower my interest rate. Are you freakin kidding me??? Why are we the consumers "bailing-out" the banks and get screwed in the process? Did I mention my FICO score is over 750? What the HELL??? There is no help for the common folks anymore. My blood is boiling and I am determined to pay this balance in the next 2months and NEVER use credit cards again.

George

Everyone: thanks for your comments. If your credit card is at one of the big 12 banks, you might consider closing it and opening a credit card account at one of the smaller banks, where you can get more personal service. The big banks are all about maximizing their profits at the expense of consumers, regardless of your credit score.

Peggy, BLK, and MA: if a polite phone call to your credit card issuer doesn't work, you might try to contact your Congressional Representative or Senators. They might intervene for you. Here in Massachusetts, my Congressperson (Stephen Lynch) spends a lot of time on ID-theft issues for seniors.

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

Steve

It's not so much the rate hike as it is applied retro actively to existing balances. I agreed to pay these vultures at a given rate. If they want to increase the rate, fine. Just don’t bend me over with a retro interest rate. Wrong, just wrong. I could see a class action law suit arising out of this.

George

Steve: excellent point about the interest rate hike applied retroactively to existing balances. What the banks have done some cal legalized loan-sharking. Maybe we will see some class action lawsuits.

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

Bill in New York

I also have been mugged recently...Cap One and Providian/Wamu/JPMorgan/Chase...I won't bore you with rates, as you all know what they did. Cap One is at $600, I will call them to try to negotiate the rate, but from reading the posts, it seems useless, so I'll pay those vultures right off.
The Chase card is $6700...that may be an issue. I've been paying much more than minimum for over a year, and I bet that may be part of the interest hike. I guess my objective is, dump as much cash on the card to drop the balance until paid off and not use it. Thanks for all the info from you people

George

Bill in New York:

Thanks for the comment. Sorry to hear you got "mugged" too. Yeah, it sucks. I suggest that you try a polite phone call to your credit card issuers, FIRST. You know the old saying, "you can attract more flies with honey than with vinegar."

I don't suggest to people that they cut up all of their credit cards and shift entirely to cash. In my situation, I slimmed down to 2 cards and use them for business travel -- and to maintain a credit history, should I need credit in the future. That keeps my credit score at about 790+. The same strategy may apply to you.

Good luck. Let us know what happens.

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

Randy

Randy in Mpls, MN

I contacted Capital One after receiving my statement showing an increase from 3.9% to 13.9%!

The customer service individual seemed very... umm concerned, she went on to say since the economy was so bad they had no choice to raise interest rates. She did mention I had accured 20K points... as though this had anything to do with my 10% increase!

I guess this means if they need the money (which is debateable) they can simply increase their rates... huumm.. maybe I wish it was just that easy for me to ask for a raise to afford their 10% increase.

I personally can not continue to provide my business that has this "whatever" attitude. *Please forgive my bitterness.

George

Randy:

Thanks for sharing your experience with Capital One. Your feelings of bitterness are understandable. A lot of people are angry with the banks and their executives. Many of the larger banks received bailout/TARP monies which were designed to encourage lending. The banks have done the opposite and acted in their own arrogant self interest.

If more regulation of the banks is a consequence, so be it. IMO, banks that are too big to fail are too big. I believe that during the coming years, we all will learn that the portion of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) that allowed commercial and investment banks to consolidate will prove to be a bad idea. Bigger isn't always better, and there's the issue of risk.

Also, I'd love to see the 24% usury cap reinstated. Right now, it is legalized loan-sharking, with the help of a compliant U.S. Congress. Consumers are getting a bad deal.

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

Liz

Here is another sad example of what the banks can do with the customers.
I have credit card with Bank of America. I set up the automatic payment so I wouldn't miss any payments. Couple months ago they raised my interest without notification. Because of the automatic payment I was not aware that my monthly payment was higher. The only letter received was the notification that I am in default and because of that my interest now is 26.99%. Called them right away. They were willing to get me back to 9.99% interest if I pay the difference, late fees etc. The requested amount was submitted the same day on Bank of America web site. Couple days later when I check the website the account was blocked. Called again and was informed that my payment was returned unpaid and that another fee was applied because of returned payment. When question why the payment was returned I was told that my bank account from which I was paying is closed. I was stunned because the money was going from my personal checking account every single month for over a year and my account is not closed. After hour on the phone demanding information on this suppose closed account I was informed that the submitted money for this payment were from the bank that is in different State from where I moved out 5 years ago. Here is the interesting thing. The online payment was assigned to only one bank where I currently have the checking and saving account and from which every month my payments were successfully made! Also making this express payment I only entered the amount of money that I wanted to be paid! That was all I needed to do! Nothing else. To me just seems that they needed to do something so they would have an excuse of not reinstating my account and have a reason to penalize me and forced me to pay 26.99% interest.
I really don't see any other explanation.

George

Liz:
Wow! Sounds to me like BofA searched for a reason to increase your interest rate. My suggestions:

1) contact your U.S. Congress person and ask for their help,
2) report this to the BBB,
3) Post this online at other consumer sites,
4) Move your accounts and $$ to a smaller bank that offers more personalized service
5) Write to your 2 U.S. Senators and demand more accountability and more consumer-friendly services by banks. What BofA is doing to you is, IMO, the opposite of what the TARP and bailout monies were provided to banks for

If I think of more suggestions, I'll post them here.

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

Judy

Capital One raised my interest rate also, without notification. They said they sent a letter, I told them I do all my banking and paymens online, even get my statements online. There was no information on the Change of Terms on any statement. I did report them to the BBB and FTC and now I write my representative and senators to let them know what these cc are doing. It is dispicable and dishonest. The real funny thing is, last year they lowered my interest rate "because I was such a good customer" and I have a good credit score also. It would be nice if we could do a class action lawsuit or something. I feel they are cheating.

M

I have also been stung by CapitalOne by raising my interest rate- they claim to have mailed me the option to opt out. I have sent them two certifieid letters requesting them to address thier breach of our agreement, (which was that I pay on time and don't exceed my max and in turn they lend me money at a fixed rate). I have only recieved form letters in return. I have written my senator, to which I received a letter that just gave me an overview of the work they are currently doing and have done with the banking industry- nothing that could help me directly. I have written my representative- no responce as of two months. I don't have fund to hire lawyer. I don't have funds to hire a lawyer. I have read the terms of agreement regarding the card to look for a way to prove breach of contract. The terms are global and your original offer letter you recieve from the credit card company is considered part of the term/contract. Well who saves all that paperwork. You wouldn't - who would anticipate your credit card company could do this kind of thing.

I would like to join a class action suit if it has any chance.

I figue this interest rate hike will cost me $7000 in interest if I pay this off by paying the monthly payment I am making at the current time. I checking into small claims but you have to sue for loss of money - not loss of future money. I checked into the arbitration suggested on the written terms, but it looks expensive and I don't know if it is set up to address this type of issue.

I would love to hear from someone who has dealt with this successfully.

M

Jeff

I also received a sudden rate increase from 9.90% to 17.90% from my April 2009 to May 2009 statement. The rate increase was sudden without notice. I have rejected the rate and complained but Capital One has continued to charge me the 17.90% on a pre-existing balance. We need legislation t o prevent this "bait and switch" tactic by these credit card companies that increase rates retroactively.

Gina

Does anyone else see the correlation between the variable mortgage interest and credit card industry? Credit card interest rates will now push people over the edge. The banks are creating the same environment that existed with variable rate mortgages. With the incredible interest rate increases on credit cards, we will see the economy sink even further. People who were just holding on, will now be forced into bankruptcy as a result of the increase. In a time where our Country is in the worst state it has been since the Crash, the banking industry, rescued by the taxpayer, is now biting the hands that fed and soothed it!

ray

CHASE IS REAMING EVERY CUSTOMER AS HARD AS THEY CAN BEFORE JANUARY BELIEVING THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT MAKE THE NEW INTEREST CAPS RETRO-ACTIVE!!

My wife & I HAD~~ one Chase card, 1 ea WaMu cards, & 1 ea ESPN cards (also owned by WaMu). Chase bank took all those billions of dollars of stimulus money we gave them & bought out WaMu. From that point on~~ they have continued raising out interest rates from as low as 7.9% to the point where the absolute lowest card we have now is 24.24%!
We both have nearly perfect credit scores, are never late on payments & never pay the minimum due.

I JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH THEM & WAS TOLD "TOUGH LUCK PAL"~~ PAY THEM OFF OR CLOSE THEM OUT. HUMM~~ MAYBE I HAVE A BETTER IDEA! MAYBE I'LL JUST GO THROUGH ONE OF THOSE "COUNSELING" COMPANIES & LET THEM FIGHT OVER THE $100 A MONTH WE WOULD HAVE TO SEND EVERY MONTH RATHER THAN THE THOUSANDS WE DO SEND EVERY MONTH! DOESN'T HELP "STIMULATE" OUR CREDIT SCORES BUT THEN AGAIN~~ CHASE BANK IS NOT OUT TO "STIMULATE" ANYTHING BUT THE BONUSES & SALARIES OF THEIR CEO's!

I FIND IT APPALLING THEY HAVE BECOME SO DETERMINED TO DESTROY WHAT'S LEFT OF OUR ECONOMY DURING THESE TIMES.

I FIND IT APPALLING THAT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS STILL ALLOWING SUCH USURY & GREED FROM A COMPANY WHO GLADLY TOOK 100'S OF BILLIONS OF OUR TAX DOLLARS TO "STIMULATE" THE ECONOMY.

ALL THEY ARE DOING IS DRIVING MILLIONS OF FAMILIES INTO THE BANKRUPTCY COURTS OR TO ONE OF THOSE OTHER SHYSTER "WE CAN WIPE OUT YOUR CREDIT DEBT" COMPANIES (YEA~~ FOR 33% OF EVERY DOLLAR THEY SAVE YOU!)

I AM GOING TO SPREAD THIS TO AS MANY BLOGS AS I POSSIBLY CAN HOPING TO INTEREST ANY PARTIES WHO MAY WISH TO ENTER INTO A CLASS ACTION SUIT AGAINST CHASE BANK & THEIR COMPLETELY OUT OF HAND GREED DRIVEN PRACTICES.

MY LATEST INCREASE IS ON A CARD THEY JUST INCREASED A COUPLE MONTHS AGO! WENT FROM 7.9% TO 24.24% TO THIS CURRENT 29.24%~~ JUST BELOW THE FEDERAL USURY GUIDELINES. MAYBE THEY GOT MAD BECAUSE I MADE 2 PAYMENTS THIS MONTH? HECK~~ I COULD DEFAULT & THEY COULD ONLY GO UP ANOTHER 0.75%!!

MY WIFE IS AN ATTORNEY & I WOULD LOVE NOTHING MORE THAN TO ACCUMULATE A FEW MILLION LITIGANTS TO COMPOSE SUCH A SUIT.

ANY HELP FOR SOMEONE WITH MORE KNOWLEDGE THAN MYSELF ON SETTING UP A WEBSITE WHERE PEOPLE CAN FILE THEIR COMPLAINTS WOULD BE APPRECIATED.

THEY ACTUALLY HAD THE AUDACITY TO USE THE TERM "IN GOOD FAITH" WHILE PRINTING OUT THESE "PLEASE BEND OVER PAMPHLETS!

Sandra

I'd like to add AT&T (owned by Citi) to the pile of predatory lenders.

A few days ago I received a letter telling me they were raising my rate "so they could continue to provide credit to their customers" from 16.9% to 29.99% - which is the same as the default rate! Like so many others have said, I don't understand it. It has been years since I have been late with a payment to them or anyone else. I have worked hard to have a flawless credit report and a FICO score of 806.

I had a little over $1,200 on the card which I paid on monthly just so they would keep reporting to the credit bureaus. I know they were already charging me too much interest but I didn't want to mess with my credit. Needless to say I paid off the balance and will not be using the card anymore. According to the letter, I could have opted out and paid off the balance at my current rate but I figured, why should I reward them by giving them the interest money. I haven't canceled the card because I have a new one coming that is supposed to be in the mail. I'm going to cut it up and mail it back with the letter and write in large red letters across the front, "I OPT OUT".

I agree that this is happening in response to the new credit card act but I've not seen anything that smacks of greed like Citi Corp. It is time to send a message to the big banks that we are exercising our right to opt-out of them. I'm going to change banks, change credit cards and cut all ties with them. There is a site where you can search for a community bank that belongs to the "Independent Community Bankers of America", http://www.icba.org/consumer/BankLocator.cfm?sn.ItemNumber=51757 . I have done this and found a bank in my town, went to their website and they actually had their rates and fees posted on their website, with a very easy to find link on the front page that said, of all things, "Rates and Fees"! I'm not sure why I've been drawn to the big banks in the past. I guess they gave me a feeling of security but your funds are protected in the small banks as well as the big ones.

We really need to swamp our representatives with mail telling them how the banks are anticipating the new law by raising rates to the max before it goes into effect. Hopefully they will do something about it.

Denmise

This is an outrage and we just sit around letting the banks do whatever they have always done. I will hire one of those companies to take over my credit cards rather than let the banks get away with this. I want my bail out money back rom them ASAP. Next time let them fail, and take Obama with you.

Denmise

Ray, count me in I deal with Chase as well. I think we need a class action suit against the banking industry period!!

Renee B

Ray = I would love a website that has petitioners availability to sign up for interest in a possible litigation suit against Chase and Capital One. If future site comes avail please let me know, I would like to send them back a bend over lawsuit notification myself.

Lisa

Happened to me today- never late and with them for 9 years. 29.99% is insane with my credit rating and I can't even get a new card with a limit of over $1000.00. Insane!!!!

Karen

It happened to me today. I was late with ONE payment because my credit card bill got mixed in with my fiancee's bills. I'm at 30%. His cc company tried to pull the same thing on him a couple of weeks ago. I'm ready to start a riot. I can't believe they can do this!!

George

Denmise, Renee, Lisa, and Karen:

Thanks for sharing your experiences. Yes, this is very frustrating. Several class action attorneys read this blog. So, if a class action arises I will write about it in this blog. Meanwhile, I suggest that you:

a) call the customer service number at your credit card issuer and politely ask them to lower the rate given your excellent history,

b) if they refuse, switch to a different credit card issuer and close your old account.

c) if your credit card is at the same bank with your checking and savings accounts, consider switching all of your accounts to another bank or credit union with better terms. Credit unions often have far better terms. Don't underestimate your power as a consumer to shop around and bank elsewhere.

d) contact your Congressional representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. Maybe he/she can intervene on your behalf.

Let us know what happens!

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

Vikki

Question - Doesn't closing your credit cards bring down your credit score? This is the only reason why I haven't closed my cards...just paying them off and not really using them.

I just had a 6% increase on my second card, which has a balance from my vacation I had in May (I was overseas). It's almost paid off as I like to save money at the same time...I will be paying it off next week and no longer use it.

George

Vikki:

Yes. From everything I've read during the years, lack of a credit history will bring down your credit score. It's important to check the terms of your credit card before halting use. There may be a termination trigger clause in it. If you don't use the card within so many days, your bank or credit card issuer may auto-cancel your card. So, check the fine print online or with your bill.

Also, there are other options. Most Americans have 6 or more credit cards. A couple banks are considering and testing big annual fees, like $99 per year. (Read this: http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/11/annual-credit-card-fees.html ). If these big annual fees become commonplace, then it makes sense for consumers to:

a) reduce the number of credit cards to 2 or 3,
b) shop around for low- or no-annual fee credit cards,
c) go back to using travelers checks when traveling, or
d) all of the above

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

George

Readers:

This blog post contains a more complete answer to Vikki's question:
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/11/close-credit-card.html

George
Editor
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lisa

capital one just notified us that we were late 2 times this year, and for one year our interest rate will increase from 3.5% to 29%.

Now, those late payments? one freakin day. ONE DAY. and now they will make thousands off of us. we have a 10k balance, and are looking to pay off immediately through any and all means we might have. we just transfered 5k to another card with a low interest rate, but we have 5k left on that card to be given a 29% as of dec 1. it was nice of them to give us 7 days to may payment arrangements.

i am livid that the companies that we gave BILLIONS to are taking advantage of the situation and the fact that they have an AMAZING AMOUNT OF LOBBYISTS and reps/senators that have special interests in these banks. nothing will ever be done. and our president is encouraging this. that is what sickens me the most.

George

Lisa and readers:

That's awful. I hope that you can find a lower interest rate credit card and move your money to it. I suggest that you write to your elected officials in Congress.

If you haven't read this yet, this blog post contains a more complete answer to Vikki's question:
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/11/close-credit-card.html

Good luck and let us know what happens.

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

Lucas McCann

I don't know what to say, I have read all that you have said and I am going through the same thing. I just bought a house back in April, I have some credit card debt but I am making more than the minimum payment and I have 6 cards that told me they are raising the interest rates. From Chase, to Bank of America, to Citibank. The only battle I think will do is claim bankruptcy. But I don't want to lose my house. They want to get over on us the tax payers, when we already bailed them out. Ha, we should get over on them and everyone claim bankruptcy and none of the banks will see a dime of our money! This is an outrage! There should be a web site for this!

Jeanne Muir

Chase has screwed so many people including myself pushing my interest rate from 5.24 to 12.75. I guess it's better than most blogs I've read but take heart here's what I feel will be happening. Once Feb. 2010 rolls around there will be a credit card interest war among themselves BECAUSE consumers will be so furious they will be looking for better interest rates. Credit card companies will be looking at more defaults and they can't take anything from the consumer. All they can do is sue the consumer and maybe place a lein against the consumer if they own anything. They can not come in and take your house or car or personal items. Now the smart companies will be looking for the mass exidious of consumers who have the high credit scores to bring into their company. Watch if the credit companies start offering much lower rates by February 2010 or shortly thereafter. The best you can do now is pay down the highest balance first paying a little more than the minimum on the other cards until it's paid off then do the same thing with the next highest and so forth. It may take some a few years but it keeps your score intact(best possible under the circumstances) while waiting for the rates to come back down.

Clyde

I am furious at Chase. I had a Providian card, which was sold to WaMu, then sold to Chase. I went from 9.99 to 14.99 to 29.99. This is a card I have had for 15 years. In that time I have not always had a balance, but when I did, I have never been late or missed a payment and have always paid more then the minimum monthly balance. I was even one of their faithful banking customers (was as in no more after this). I would welcome a law suit.

George

Jeanne, Lucas, Clyde and readers:

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I will never have a credit card with Chase. I encourage you to share your feelings with your elected members in Congress. Here's a link to do so:

http://www.house.gov/

Also, several people have told me that credit cards with lower rates are available at credit unions. A couple useful links:

http://www.ncua.gov/DataServices/FindCU.aspx
http://blogs.wsj.com/wallet/2009/01/05/how-to-find-a-credit-union/

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

Holliday

I called my credit card company world bank and they told me that the government is forcing them to increase my rates. What a joke.

Retro

Excellent post. It makes me realize the energy of words and pictures. I learn a lot, thank you! Wish you make a further progress in the future.

Rose

I was laid off in Jan 2009. I was unable to find work and had notified companies I owe money to. I told them I would do my best to pay what I owe and I always called them when I knew I would be late (through no fault of my own). However, Capital one raised my interest rate to a staggering 29.4% because I was late one time!! How can they do this?? These kind of companies are what make good hard working people file bankruptsy. They leave them no choice since they can NEVER pay on the actual balance, only interest! I have not filed yet but if there was a way to file just on these guys you can bet I would! Everyone I know HATES this company, they have screwed everyone! If there was a way to at least pay them off I would run to it in a minute! It has been 20 months and I am still unemployed! Capitol one STILL refuses to work with me on my account no matter how much I beg, cry and call.....these are the worst people EVER and I hope this company goes belly up!!

jam

Awesome tips. I’ll be passing this post on for sure

Vicenta

Last year, before the new laws passed, four of my five credit cards shot up because of interest rate hikes. I do have a high balances, but I've always paid on time, more than the minimum, and my APRs were generally ranging from 9% to 14%, depending on the bank. So suddenly, they shot up to 19.99%, 21.99% and one of them went to 29.99%! That make my minimums go up and I could no longer pay my bills at all. Now I'm on a debt repayment plan for those same four cards. My opinion of the whole thing? While I take full responsibility for my past irresponsibility, I also am convinced that banks have become evil. I will do whatever I can in the years to come, especially after my debt is paid off, to NEVER give any bank any more of my business than is absolutely necessary, if at all.

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