Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Good Morning for a Rant...

My first experience with the so-called "credit crisis": I received a letter yesterday saying that a credit card I've had since college had closed my account due to "inactivity." What?! Last year, I paid off the rather high balance and put the card away for emergencies. It was part of my attempt to get my finances together and use my credit cards responsibly. This is how I'm rewarded? Had I known this was a possibility, if they'd, oh say, sent a letter warning me this could happen, instead of just a letter saying the account was closed, I'd have made a small occasional purchase to keep the line of credit open. Instead, my credit score will take the hit. What a crock! I called to tell them so, and the representative's response was "Because this is mentioned in the terms of your credit agreement, there's nothing that can be done." Oh, the fine print in a document I haven't seen in 10 years. How could I have not noticed that?? What gets me is that they were way more into me when I was drowning in debt. When I was almost maxed out, they were more than happy to give me more credit, more rope to hang myself with. I was a "good" customer. One that would make them money, whether I survived or not. Now, ironically, I'm a "bad" customer, one who doesn't spend more than she makes and keeps her cards paid off. As far as I can tell from my online searches, this is perfectly legal under the current system. I really think that needs to change. It feels like all the laws protect the banks but less so the consumers. There's no neat conclusion here. I'm pissed! I don't know who to write angry letters to first. But first things first, I suppose: I'm off to buy a pack of gum on my other two no-balance credit cards...

1 comment:

  1. Ugh I could go on and on and on about how evil credit card companies are, but I will try to limit myself. One of my friends is totally getting screwed because she put some school expenses on her card towards the end of law school, then the company decreased her limit because they said her debt/credit ratio was too high. Then, because of decreasing the limit the ratio was even worse and they decreased it AGAIN. ugh.

    My most frustrating thing is that the credit card I've had since I was 18 went from 5.6% to 14.99% for NO REASON. I called and argued and they agreed that I had never ever been late or missed a payment, but too damn bad they were raising everyone's rates.

    My current strategy is to know their game and USE IT AGAINST THEM. I have three credit cards and I routinely call to increase my limit. I use all three regularly for all of my regular expenses (almost never use my debit card because you get less protection), and pay them off every month. That way, the cards are always being used, I'm racking up rewards, and they're getting nothing. Stupid credit card companies.