My feathers are a little ruffled right now.
I called Credit Card #2 at the end of May and they were pleased to lower my interest rate from 16.49% to 13.99% by giving me a different “preferred” card.
That was great news! I knew I was going to be paying off the card soon but getting the rate lowered by calling them finally worked.
My statement last month proudly showed the 13.99%.
And here’s what gets me a little upset, my statement from this month – 14.29%.
What? I don’t get it? Is my interest rate inching up after one month at 13.99% because I am paying my card??
I don’t understand. If I don’t pay – they raise my rate. If I do pay on time and more than the minimum – my rate is raised. It makes me wonder what I needed to do to keep the 13.99% rate? Only pay the minimum?
As soon as I muster up the courage they are getting a telephone call. I just can’t believe they did that!
You know, 6 months ago I called to have my interest rate lowered, and they did it. I checked my rate the other day, it was back up to where it was before! I think this is all about Mr. Bernanke and the FOMC’s raising rates through the spring and summer. I am glad that they probably aren’t going to raise it again soon, but do you think it’s too early to call and ask my rate to be lowered again?
Yes, the 13.99% rate seems to be a variable rate and is subject to change every time Fed rate (and therefore prime rate) is increased.
There are very few “fixed” rates out there anymore. Even the ones that are “fixed” most likely have a clause that indicates they can raise the rate at anything. I would suggest that the next time you request (and receive” a rate drop over the phone, that you request that they send you the terms and conditions of your new rate in writing.
I’ll be curious to hear what their response is.
I plan on calling them tomorrow. They probably will say it was because the prime rate raised, though. It’s just annoying because I called and they sent me a new card with the “new” rate and it only lasted a month.
Mapgirl – if you have a balance on your card, I’d be inclined to keep trying to get it lowered if you were successful at doing it once.
Like Lisa said most credit cards use variable APRs and there is a loophole that allows them to change your APR at anytime and they do not have to notify you.
The first thing you should do is consolidate your debt and pay off as much as you can. Consolidate it to one card and get a “fixed” APR.
Also you should check out http://www.prosper.com – This site is a person to person lending service where people bid on lending you money based on a credit score among other things. This might help some of you out and you can ask for as little as $1,000 up to $25,000 I believe.
I just started lending as my credit is about as clean as a whistle. After awhile once you get yoru credit cleared up, you will be able to get 0% credit cards or a fixed APR on a credit card around 8%. Some credit cards have fixed APRs at 2.9% for the life of the card.
Always call you Credit Card company and ask to speak with a manager about an issue with your interest rate. Let the manager know you need to lower your interest rate and have it fixed, and if you need your credit consolidated asked what they can do for you on that front. If you owe a credit card company money and you let them know you will be transfering that debt to another credit card, they will most of the time work with you. Just be nice and patient and explain your needs and don’t be afraid to say you will be transfering the debt, but you would like to stay with this company, but you need a reason to stay.
Even though I don’t have a problem with my credit, every now and then I even miss a payment because I forget or I’m out of town etc. I normally call them up and ask them to credit back any late fees and if I had a 0% on the card to make sure it is still not affected. From time to time I speak directly with a manager on duty and I have the situation cleared up. I’ve even had 0% extended for 12 months because I let it lapse on a card I had not used.
Credit card companies need you as customers, so make sure you know this and use it to your advantage.
Good luck everyone =)
Oh, that’s not the only trick they’ll pull. One of my credit cards had a $7,000 limit – a card I’ve had for years. (I’ve NEVER been late on any of my CC payments, and always pay more than the minimum.) My balance was approx. $4,100, and a couple of months ago, without warning, they lowered my credit limit to $4,166.00 (yes, that odd, exact amount!), which was about $50 above my balance. What if I had used the card the month before they lowered the limit?! Well, I’m sure it would’ve been “over the limit” fees, through no fault of my own.
I called them to ask why, and of course they won’t give you any specifics on the phone, but when the letter came, it said something to the effect of making the change “after evaluating my over-all debt situation”.
I tried to explain to the company that my husband and I are trying to refinance our house in a few months, and we needed to keep that card balance at 50% below the credit limit to help with our credit score, and now with the card showing maxed out with the new credit limit, it would hurt our score. Of course, it doesn’t matter to them…so since then we’ve managed to get the card paid down to almost the 50% level of the new limit…and I plan to get rid of that card ASAP!!!
I actually wanted to ask about that very thing. My sister told me that a credit card did that to her (lowered her balance). This concerned me because I have the same credit card – with a higher limit (I hope it is the same) and a higher balance.
Does anyone have more information about this? I’m almost afraid to call and check to see if my balance is the same. I don’t want to trigger any unwarranted attention to my account.