credit card interest rate doubled

miscindyMarch 2, 2009

Capital One doubled our interest rate! We've NOT paid late--we've been making lots of extra payments lately 3-4 times the minimum payment. The letter said it was "due to economic conditions" basically because others are defaulting on their credit cards, those of us that pay on time have to make up the difference! GRrrr! Now we're trying to find a way to get it paid off before April 17-when the rate increases. Unfortunately, our small tax refund is held up due to an error in a ss#! Another Grrr!

I guess it will be a good thing to get the card paid off quickly, but stressful to try to manage! We actually have 1 more credit card with a balance and low rate (5.9%)--if that rate goes up, we'll be in trouble! (I know it's bad to carry balances on credit cards! DH used the cards to purchase parts to renovate 2 classic cars. The cars are done and have value, so his reasoning was he could try to sell the cars to pay off the debt in the case of a job loss or other major catastrophe.)

Any other cc companies increasing rates on good customers?

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Bank of America, Washington Mutual/Chase... all.
Sell the cars and pay the cards!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 12:30PM
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Any time that Capitol One changed the terms on us we received a notice that we could opt out. This would kill the card but still allow us to pay off the card on the old terms. No rush to pay off but you can't use it anymore.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 4:40PM
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Call them. Tell them to lower the interest charges or you will cancel the card. Can you get the lower interest rate on your other Ccard if you do a balance transfer? If so, do it. If you threaten to cancel your card, they will usually make a deal. If you cancel the card and/or do a balance transfer, they make nothing.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 4:50PM
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We can opt out and cancel the card. However, it hurts your credit score a bit to do so. Even if we pay it off right away and cancel it, cancelling the card reduces our amount of available credit, leaving only 1 card with a full balance.

Our other card is a Lowe's Visa (not a Lowe's store card, confusing I know) which is affiliated to Capital One so we are not able to transfer the balances between the 2 cards. The Lowe's Visa is our lowest rate card, which is why we were working on paying down the higher card 1st.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 5:28PM
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We had citibank just do that with dh sears cards (2) and my home depot. Worth the phone calls - dh called sears and they actually LOWERED the interest rates to below the original rate (don't know how he did it). I called on my home depot - they only kept the original interest rate intact. Still better than going up.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 6:46PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Is the hit to the credit score going to be worth paying double the interest? In other words, are you in the midst of anything major where the hit to the credit score will impact it. If you are trying to refinance right now or anticipate doing so in the future or perhaps buying a car, then you should worry about the score.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 8:33PM
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They are all doing it. These monsters have had their way for far too long and we have played into their greedy hands. I got a 3.99% on Discover card and paid off Chase. Left the card active just so they can see how they like the interest they will get at my new 0 balance. I plan to charge some small thing every month and pay it right off so they can't close the account.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 8:59PM
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We have had this happen too. We pay all our credit cards off at the month. (we have an Amex for business expenses and a Citibank Visa for personal expenses and a Home Depot Card). We have a credit score of 800+. Citibank raised the rate to 29% - yes, 29%!! When I questioned this they said that we could request the old rate, but when the card expired they would not replace it. We have only 9 months left till expiration of that card, so not sure what to do. We have a ridiculous $60,000 credit limit on this card and they won't drop that either. Amex hasn't raised their rates yet, but they won't lower the credit limit they have given us either. Home Depot has topped Citibank for its new interest rate - a whopping 35%. Seems like they are just waiting for us to make a late payment or not pay off at the end of the month. This sucks!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 8:05AM
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Careful scarlett - I read a couple of weeks ago that Chase is gonna start charging an annual fee of $120.00. The article didn't say if that's across the board or not. Same article said all interest rates are going up to cover cost of non-payers.

I will probably cancel my Chase card when they send out notice of fee and rate increase.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 8:06AM
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None of credit cards has been subject to a jump in the interest rate.


Probably your best bet would be to let that card expire and then provide a written explanation to the credit bureaus to offset the expected drop in your credit score.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 2:39PM
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My DH has Chase and he rec'd a similar card. He doesn't have a balance but he was annoyed as he has great credit. I told him to call also, but the fact is he will just not use it.. which is a good thing anyways.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 8:16PM
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We too received a letter from Capital one saying that next year our interest rate will go up to 22%...I think it's at 12% now. We have had ZERO balance on it for about 6 months now and the limit is only $1000 so we are going to close it ourselves.

My concern is my Citibank card. We just paid it off ($5000 credit limit) and I'm concerned they will close it because of their problems. We rarely use credit cards BUT like the idea of $5000 extra in case of an emergency or something. I feel like they will see a paid off card and wipe us out and close the account. Can they do that?? We were never late and never had more than $1000 balance.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 6:04PM
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I don't understand why the need to close a card that has no balance. Doesn't matter if the interest rate went up, you're not paying any interest. If you use the card, do so with the intent to pay the balance soon as the bill arrives, stick to that intent, and again the interest rate is of no consequence.

Run a small charge on the Citiback card once per month or so and pay it when the bill comes, just to keep the account active.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 7:29PM
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The reason why I want to close it is basically the point of it. Capital One let me choose my own interest rate a year ago when I applied for the card...and now they want it to almost double? Nah...don't want it!!
They just lost my business.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 6:43AM
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Don't just quietly let the card lie unused, folks, please - call 'em and let 'em know what you're doing ...

... and the reason(s).

If they don't hear from you and a hundred other disgruntled cuss-tomers ... there's almost no possibility that they may choose to make any change to, from your point of view, improve their service.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 9:46AM
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I called HomeDepot credit services and let the person there know that since there is no option other than close the card that they sent letters to every cardholder with sexual harrassment and every American Consumer should file charges. I told him that I hope his company and every company involved in practices like these choke.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 10:07PM
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In my opinion raising rates as they are is only going to cause those of us that are able to pay to fall into the difficult to pay catagory. In essence there will be MORE defaults than are now.Makes no sense to me at all.I know I am so tired of my monthly payments rising yet my pay rate is the same. Bankruptcy look appealing somedays.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 7:11PM
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My Lowes/Capital One card remains at 4.99%. But I have a Citicard that I haven't used in prob. 3 years, and I made a payment by mistake last year, so they credited it back to me after 2 months. Anyhoo, Citi sent me a letter stating that they're lowering my credit limit from 9K to --- one hundred dollars! I imagine that would hurt my credit score:( Oh, well....

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 6:02PM
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Thank goodness, we are able to pay off our CC each month. I too have notice the interest rates going out of sight. Even our bank credit card is high. Check credit unions or smaller banks. We all need to let the companies we will not pay these fees.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 9:12PM
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Miscindy, do you belong to a credit union or some other organization where you can get a small loan? Normally, I would not advise borrowing money, but if you truly are close to paying off both cards, it would make more sense than paying an exorbitant interest rate. Other options are that DH gets a second job, or you sell things on Craig's List or eBay.

From now on, only charge what you can pay in full each month. Tell your DH if he wants more car parts or whatever to save the $$ so he can pay in cash. The economy is so different today, we all have to adjust our financial behavior.

PS It seems that DH got you in this mess. Shouldn't he be the one to figure out how to solve it?

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 11:00AM
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Raising the cc rates on customers who pay on time and have no late record surely fits the phrase:
"cutting off your nose to spite your face!"

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 5:37PM
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When you have four pockets ...

... and you know that there's no money in three of them ...

... into which pocket do you stick your hand when you need some?

... how often do you stick your hand into any one of the three pockets where you know that there's no money even when your hand gets all of the way to the bottom??

Memo ... to individuals, as to businesses (but most of the latter know it now) ...

... when you need money ...

... go where the money is!

Like the credit card companies do.

They may cancel the cards of folks who've been giving them a rough time, i.e., not paying.

But they don't mind your payment being late - look at the large fee that they charge ... for what ... waiting an extra day or two for the payment?

Suppose it's $100.00 payment ... at 10% annual rate, that's $10.00 per year, or about 3 cents per day. If your payment arrives 3 days late ... their cost is about a dime ... and they charge you a $20.00 late fee?

Think they're about to cancel your card?

Why would they??

They're making a very nice bucket of money off of you ... and others like you.

You go over your credit limit?

More of the same.

So why would they shut you down??

You're a profit centre for them!!

If so for them ... how about you??

If you blow an engine in your car tomorrow ... how will you pay for the repair?

Or ... if you get laid off ... what will you live on?

Have you ever had a pair of handcuffs snap around your wrists?

I haven't either ... and I don't want any: I have absolutely no hankering for such an experience! I love my financial freedom!!

If you don't have a financial cushion of some funds available in case of immediate drastic need, I claim that you have a pair of handcuffs lying on your dresser, right beside where you lay your wallet at night.

Just waiting for an emergency need of money ... or a layoff ... to have them jump up and snap around your wrists.

Financial freedom - that ain't!!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend ... and if you'd be sweating blood if you don't get a paycheque ... or two ...

... please - do yourself a favour.

Even though it may be a beautiful weekend, find a way to enjoy it while spending little or nothing.

Start that savings fund ... build yourself a financial cushion. Aim at a minimum of 3 months' income available in case of emergency. Six months' earnings, or 9 months' ... or up to a year's worth, is even better.

After 25 years or so as a personal financial advisor, I don't have it, myself, some of the time.

Some of the time I have money in the bank, money market fund, etc., immediately available ... but sometimes not. I have a credit card that I don't use much, that I can use to fix my car, fly me home in case the travel co. goes broke and the hotel says pay - again - or go to jail, etc.

And I have a Line of Credit at the bank, initiated several years ago at no fee, fully secured by stock or mutual fund certificates, in order to arrange a low interest rate ... and it lies there unused, most of the time (but there's no inactivity fee to pay).

If I use the card for emergency ... I pay off the full balance prior to the due date, using my Line of Credit if the amount in my bank account, money market, etc. are short.

Then ... pay off that loan (low interest - far lower than the rate charged on unpaid balances owing on the credit card) as soon as possible.

I want my money working for me ... not be forced to use other folks' money ... and pay rent on it while I'm using it ... especially if it's the kind where they charge very high rates!

I never want to have to darken the door of a payday loan company: their rates are ... *horrendous*!

(By the way ... have you read my thread about the differences between a paycheque and a pension cheque?)

ole joyful

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 3:05PM
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