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Old 04-09-2009, 12:23 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,886 posts, read 64,895,343 times
Reputation: 22247

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jstevens44 View Post
I know the thread has taken a little bit of a turn from the original topic, but to comment on that topic...

I was in the same situation with my Chase cards. I had a balance I was trying to pay off on one card, no special deal, but my rate was fixed and incredibly low (6.25%). On the other card, I had a variable rate, but I had a balance transfer on that card at a low rate (5.99%).

I also have a Citi Card with a balance, but somehow I locked a balance transfer on that one with a 0% rate for the life of the loan. Don't ask me how it happened, I'm still not sure myself. So, I just let that one sit and pay the min each month. No interest every builds on it.

Anyway, I received notice from Chase that my rates were going up. I have such great rates on those cards, so I was pretty upset. I called and talked to Chase, they told me that there was nothing they could do. So, I asked to speak the supervisor. He initially told me there was nothing I could do except close the accounts, which would lock the balance, but it would also really screw up my credit rating because you've now eliminated your available credit, throwing the whole balance of credit to available credit off. After being very polite, but firm, I eventually talked him into leaving the rate completely alone on one card, the one with the fixed rate. On the other card, they raised my normal rate up to 21% or something, but left the balance transfer rate alone. Since I didn't use that card at all and it was just housing my balance transfer, that was fine with me.

So, if you're polite, but firm, extra nice, and persistent, you can get them to work with you. It also helps to discuss transferring all of your balances off to another card with a much better rate, which I did. Just look up other credit cards online and check out their balance transfer offers for opening an account with them. Use those offers in your discussion with the supervisors.
I'm not saying it will work every time, but it can be done. They are betting on people accepting the first, or second, answer that there is nothing they can do. They can do something.
Yes, that is what I finally negotiated - the same thing you did. They agreed: 1. not to lower my line of credit. This was important to me b/c you never want charges to be up to 50% of the credit line. It lowers your credit score the moment that magic 50% line is reached. 2. not to change my rate on the remaining balance until i paid it off and 3. any NEW charge would be at 21.74%.

Now, that was as good as it gets. But then I just got disgusted and paid it off, LOL. But yes, I was able to negotiate what was at least a better position, should I have decided to leave the balance on the card.

So I totally agree w/ your very good advice - keep asking questions! If you have been a good customer, someone should be able to do something to help at least w/ keeping the rate the same on any remaining balances.
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Eastern Shore, VA
28 posts, read 84,266 times
Reputation: 25
Whytewulf

I don't care to discuss all my financial problems here, but BofA has hit me hard at a time when I was just managing to pay my mortgage and my other bills. I'm on disability and have had emergency surgeries and regularly undergo unbelievably expensive medical treatments (that will continue to be necessary until the day I die). I was sqeaking by, but then they cut my credit lines, doubled my monthly payments and now doubled and tripled my rates on my cards. I have never been late or missed a payment. For awhile I was making a payment twice a month to bring the balances down as much as possible. I can't pay everyone with all the rate raises, so I am trying to sell my house, pay off most of the cr. cd debt and salvage something of my financial life. THAT'S WHY I HAVE TO SELL MY HOUSE or else it all goes down the drain. At least I still have some equity in my house. I will walk away with a little money and maybe my credit score slightly above the "Yuck" level! It used to be close to 800. So I was handling finances really well for someone on Soc. Sec. Disability.
There are lots of people who have gotten into this mess through calamities in life that can happen to anyone. And if you think you're immune, think again. You can have all the insurance in the world, investments etc and get wiped out by one big medical problem. And if you have to have expensive ongoing treatment, where the copay is more than 1/2 of your monthly income, well that's where it hits the fan big time. So just because you don't understand why BofA's latest tactics have affected me the way I mentioned, it's just because you don't know the whole story - and won't in this forum. If someone is saying that this round of banking roulette is hurting them, believe it.

Last edited by maddy1001; 04-09-2009 at 06:45 PM..
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:35 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,886 posts, read 64,895,343 times
Reputation: 22247
Quote:
Originally Posted by maddy1001 View Post
Whytewulf

I don't care to discuss all my financial problems here, but BofA has hit me hard at a time when I was just managing to pay my mortgage and my other bills. I'm on disability and have had emergency surgeries and regularly undergo unbelievably expensive medical treatments (that will continue to be necessary until the day I die). I was sqeaking by, but then they cut my credit lines, doubled my monthly payments and now doubled and tripled my rates on my cards. I have never been late or missed a payment. For awhile I was making a payment twice a month to bring the balances down as much as possible. I can't pay everyone with all the rate raises, so I am trying to sell my house, pay off most of the cr. cd debt and salvage something of my financial life. THAT'S WHY I HAVE TO SELL MY HOUSE or else it all goes down the drain. At least I still have some equity in my house. I will walk away with a little money and maybe my credit score slightly above the "Yuck" level! It used to be close to 800. So I was handling finances really well for someone on Soc. Sec. Disability.
There are lots of people who have gotten into this mess through calamities in life that can happen to anyone. And if you think you're immune, think again. You can have all the insurance in the world, investments etc and get wiped out by one big medical problem. And if you have to have expensive ongoing treatment, where the copay is more than 1/2 of your monthly income, well that's where it hits the fan big time. So just because you don't understand why BofA's latest tactics have affected me the way I mentioned, it's just because you don't know the whole story - and won't in this forum. If someone is saying that this round of banking roulette is hurting them, believe it.
I heard a discussion on CNN about how the credit card hikes (on both rates and doubling minimum payments) has affected MANY people badly b/c of the same situation! Medical bills!!! You are not alone, wh/ is no comfort, but it points out how this is a heinous tactic for these banks to break what we all thought was a business transaction based on both parties living up to their end of the deal.

The changes were subtle at first. BofA sent me a "change in terms" several years back and I couldn't figure out what had changed. NOTHING had changed, it appeared. Then I noticed something new: they had added more to the section that said they could change Variable Rates to Fixed Rates and they could change Fixed Rates to Variable Rates. Now, that seemed weird to me, cause in the past, if your card was fixed - it was FIXED!!! Then I read in the Wall Street Journal that banks were quietly changing terms (this was probably in 2004, maybe) - and the article explained that credit card companies in the past only made changes in cardholder terms when the cardholder had late payments, went over their credit line, etc. I thought - well, that is weird - why are they doing this?

Then I read another article that said it used to be standard operating procedure for credit card companies to only change your terms if you were late w/ a payment with THEM. But now, they were monitoring overall credit scores and a late payment to ANY creditor could trigger a rate hike w/ CITI, CAP ONE, etc. I don't think they mentioned BofA. That was probably in 2004 or 2005. Again, this did not concern me b/c my credit score is high, I don't miss payments on ANYTHING. I try to be early w/ payments. So I thought - that is awful (but it doesn't affect me).

Later, maybe 2007, I heard that credit card companies were going to be doubling people's payments, even when they had not missed a payment.

So all this stuff has been coming down the pike for a while. I had heard about all the changes but honestly, I didn't think they affected me.

Now, CNN's report the other nite revealed that many people on fixed incomes - or out of work - were being hit very hard, b/c credit card companies were doubling minimum payments, hiking up rates, and cutting credit limits - EVEN WHEN PEOPLE HAD NOT BEEN LATE ON PAYMENTS. I also know that the biggest reason for declaring bankruptcy in this country is medical expense. So I thought - THIS IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER.

Medical expenses can wipe out anyone, any age, at any time. Even with health insurance, there are deductibles. And pharma costs can be through the roof. Here is an excerpt from a 2007 article f/ US News:

Just a month into chemotherapy, McGiverin started receiving bills from her providers. That's when she discovered that her health plan covers only $10,000 annually for outpatient services, which include chemotherapy, radiation, and doctor visits. Although she's feeling fine now, she has nearly $98,000 in outstanding medical bills and no way to pay them on her $27,000 salary as a billing manager for a home health agency in Bridgeport, Ohio. "The only thing I can do is wait until treatment is done and then file for bankruptcy," she says.

Insured but Not Covered - US News and World Report

So I understand how you could be in such a terrible situation, trying to cope w/ medical costs. I am disgusted, tho, that your credit card companies would not work with you to reduce the payments and stop doubling them. At least they could do that. All the "experts" say that banks will do this if you explain to them you are having a financial hardship. I just wonder how many of these experts has tried to negotiate such an arrangement!

These are the situations that make me furious. You have done nothing wrong, yet the tactics the banks have used are punitive and draconian. In this era of "bailouts" and people getting passes who have NOT been paying their debt on time . . . and reneged on mortgages that they should never have signed for to begin with . . . those who have real NEED are getting no help at all!

I am sickened to hear what you are going through. I am so sorry.
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:28 PM
 
295 posts, read 954,173 times
Reputation: 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
I have two credit cards w/ BofA. I never miss a payment and always have paid more than the minimum and many times just pay off the whole balance in the month it is incurred.

One card has a fixed rate on it. I put $4000 in tuition costs on this card and been paying it off over three years. I have had this card 12 years.

The other card was originally w/ MBNA, and had a fixed interest rate of 7.99% and has been used to pay for college-related items, such as books, computer equipment, etc. I have had that card 10 years. When that bank was sold to BofA, the interest rate changed to a variable. It took me two years to get it back to a fixed rate, and not even a a great rate - 10.99%. But okay, I could live with it.

Now today, I get noticed that BofA is reneging on the fixed rates on both of these cards and if I am reading this correctly, has changed them both to a variable rate.

I am on the phone (holding) now, b/c if I read this correctly, they have raised the rates to what appears to be around 21.74 % on these cards!!!

Okay. The very kind man on the phone said this was nothing personal - BofA has raised the rates across the board. And yes, to 21.74%!!!!!

I can freeze it at 10.99% but can never use the cards again. I can pay off the balance at 10.99% on the one card and 12.99 on the other. If I ever use them again, the balance that is on the card at that time, plus any new charges will be at the variable rate, wh/ currently is 21.74%.

I HATE BANK OF AMERICA.

Those SOBs know very well that there was a law passed but it doesn't take effect until June 2010 that keeps banks from raising rates like this. THANK YOU CONGRESS FOR A PIECE OF WORTHLESS LEGISLATION.

This is what the bailout is doing for us. We are having our fees gouged so BofA can pay off the government debt.

I will pay off these cards. They will never be used again.

And as far as I am concerned, BofA can go straight to Hades. I have been a good customer. Never late! Always pay off my balance or pay more than the minimum. This is how we get treated as good customers.

If I find another card to transfer the balances, I will, but we all know those deals are gone. And of course, that will affect my credit score to open another credit card.

I HATE BANK OF AMERICA. They have laid off my friends and neighbors; they are raping their own customers.

We need to boycott BOA when this recession is over!

Let's find a bank that is treating their customers fair. Any suggestions?
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Huntersville
1,852 posts, read 4,558,172 times
Reputation: 525
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gosox05 View Post
We need to boycott BOA when this recession is over!

Let's find a bank that is treating their customers fair. Any suggestions?
Whats not fair? (kind of playing devils advocate here). They along with every other bank are raising their interest rates on new purchases and closing excess unsecured credit. IN earlier posts we went through this. I don't think there are huge amounts of options. But alas..
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:45 PM
 
295 posts, read 954,173 times
Reputation: 95
Default We need to boycott BOA when this recession is over!

I don't know how they can get away with what they are doing. I'm going to open a checking account with another bank and slowly make the transition. Anyone know of a bank that is treating their customers Fair?
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:51 PM
 
295 posts, read 954,173 times
Reputation: 95
They can do what they want and so can we. We do not need to do business with them. If we hit them here at home, they might think twice about screwing the people who pay their bills on time. They are making the good customers pay for all of the bad ones.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,193 posts, read 4,431,480 times
Reputation: 1072
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whytewulf View Post
Whats not fair? (kind of playing devils advocate here). They along with every other bank are raising their interest rates on new purchases and closing excess unsecured credit. IN earlier posts we went through this. I don't think there are huge amounts of options. But alas..
Check out the movie 'The International.' I think you might find it interesting. I'm curious to know your thoughts on it, since you're on the other side of the spectrum in regards to the banks.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:11 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
20,384 posts, read 25,474,452 times
Reputation: 7989
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gosox05 View Post
I don't know how they can get away with what they are doing. I'm going to open a checking account with another bank and slowly make the transition. Anyone know of a bank that is treating their customers Fair?
Read back on the thread. The cards come out of Delaware & South Dakota. That's how they get away with it. They are doing nothing against the law.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:19 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
7,041 posts, read 12,758,341 times
Reputation: 2315
Credit Unions are usually local...
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