Prospective Usury

My credit card bill came today with one of those little notices advising me of a change in terms. This time the change is the APR. It’s going to be 29.9%.

Twenty-nine point nine percent annual interest. On someone who has enough house equity to be no serious risk.

Presumably this is punishment for my paying my bill on time every month?

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8 Responses to Prospective Usury

  1. fiat lux says:

    Credit card companies do that routinely these days, for all sorts of reasons.

    One tactic is to change the date your payment is due, hide the date change notice somewhere at the bottom of a three-page statement, and then increase your rate because you “missed” your payment.

    Sometimes calling and talking your way through the Customer Service phone tree can get the rate dropped back down, though.

  2. Adam says:

    Name names! Who did this to you?

  3. Ann Bartow says:

    See if you can find a credit union that will treat you like a human being. I did,and what a difference! When I accidentally overdrew by checking account, they both e-mailed and called me to let me know that they had covered the overdraft from my savings account. They didn’t charge me any fees for this, either. I have to pay an annual fee for my credit card but so far no gaming whatsoever.

  4. Sue Ann Campbell says:

    Back in the history of the United States there were laws against charging excessive fees for money lending. I think those laws shoudl be resurrected.

  5. Paul Gowder says:

    It’s punishment for being in a country where the Republicans are running things. With bankruptcy “reform,” the non-competitive credit card industry has no real reason to not jack up rates at will, since consumers with credit card balances have no remaining escape route. I wonder if anyone’s doing a good statistical study of credit card interest rates (perhaps by surveying an appropriate sample of the credit card holding population) since the bankruptcy bill came into effect. (Heck, If nobody gets around to doing it in the next couple years, I’ll do it myself when I have time.)

  6. Donald A. Coffin says:

    I recently–like yesterday–got something similar from my credit card company, an ATT Universal Card (actually, I think, Chase)–30.16%. And it might be a “penalty” for always paying the thing in full.

  7. wcw says:

    Name them here, fire them immediately, and tell everyone you know. This is precisely the sort of thing which underlies the finding that the financially unsophisticated get screwed. The louder you are about what’s going on, the less likely it works on the guy who wouldn’t otherwise have been paying attention.

    Plus, it feels really good to fire a credit card issuer.

  8. Solvent says:

    Same thing happened to me with my ATT Visa, it went up to 31%. I called Customer Service, and got some vague “you’re credit score changed, or someone with a simliar name’s has”. But I also pay in full every month.

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