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April 22nd, 2009
11:18 AM ET

What's your credit card nightmare?

[cnn-photo-caption image=
Have your rates been jacked up out of the blue? Are you getting the runaround from your credit card company? This week Congress is working on legislation to end some abusive credit card company practices. On Thursday President Obama meets with credit card executives. What stories would you share with them? Post them here. Kyra will show some of them on CNN NewsRoom.

Filed under: Kyra Phillips
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. daniel barrett

    I'm ready to file for bankrupsy after having excelent credit my whole life. But i can't deal with the tactics of the credit card companies anymore. I payed my bills on line and made a typed error on one of my cards of 11 cents. .11 cents. They charged me next month a fee of 90 dollars and raised my intrest to 25%. I called and thought i had fixed it but still had to pay the fee , just that it would go to my balance. Then next month my intrest was still 25%, so on the phone again , and supposably fixed it. Again they went to 25% . Im done. I've had it. All of my cards have the same kind of things going on . I have had enough. If they lowerd intrest to 5% and the min. payment to 1% of the balance they wouldn't force people into bankrupcy and maintain all their customers till better times .

    April 22, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  2. joe

    my credit card nightmare came when i discovered that the US monetary system operates with an imbeded costs, and debt. that is, since it is printed and controlled by the international banking system and also is subjected to devaluation of purchasing power due to so called "free market" inefficiencies. So the money we use is nothing more than a debt instrument.... and if the credit card companies are allowed to create more of it out of NOWHERE, I realized that there is no "legal consideration" in the industry since it takes about a millisecond to create the numbers in a transaction account, and takes a flesh and blood individual about 1000 times as much to labor for the money of exchange which they are then forced to hand over to profiteering middlemen we all know so dear as the credit card companies.

    April 22, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  3. Brent Bowen

    I'm a junior in College.. and I have been a credit card customer for nearly two years.

    I use my card mostly to pay bills and to help build my credit. I like the convenience of having it just in case I get in a bind and need to pay for something unexpectedly.

    However, I NEVER keep a balance on my card, and pay it off almost immediately. My credit history is clean (FICA score of 700), and I've never been late on any of my accounts. However, the credit card company recently decided to DOUBLE my default rate.

    This really makes me angry.. because not only am I a good customer, I'm a GREAT customer. Granted, the likelihood of being charged the default rate is pretty slim given my payment habits... but it's still ridiculous!

    April 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  4. Joe

    I had a credit card for many years. I was never late on a payment, most of the time I payed off the entire amount monthly, my credit is good-execellent. I received a letter from the card company saying my rate was going to change from 5.99% to 15.9% in May unless I choose to close my account.

    I closed my account !!

    April 22, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  5. Jon Fields (NYC)

    I'm a freelancer, and I have a business credit card with ((company name deleted)), 760 credit. Never paid late, usually pay in full. They tried to raise my interest rate from a fixed 5.9% to 15.9%, and they tried to be very slick about it, with a fine printed insert buried between other bundled papers with my statement. (I usually throw it all away without looking at it.)

    I ended up electing to "opt out" of their rate change, but now my card will expire in a year, at which point I will loose the $20K limit that I need for my business. When I complained on the phone, the representative actually tried to talk me out of "opting out" of the change in card terms by saying "you haven't carried a balance in recent history so this doesn't affect you". You can imagine how infuriating it was to have a company I've been with for over 20 years try to pull the wool over my eyes like that.

    April 22, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  6. C Newlin

    I have had a credit card for 7 years now. Never once late with a payment, never once over the limit, never once missed a payment or defaulted on my end of the contract.

    Last week, they raised my APR from 7.5% to 23.5% on all existing and future balances. I did have the option to refuse the increase, as long as I never made another charge on the card again. The only other option would be to cancel the account. That's a ding to my credit rating that I can't have right now, as we are building a home and looking for financing.

    My other cards have raised rates also, but not like this one.

    The card's reason for the increase?
    "Times are tough all over Lady".

    April 22, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  7. Chad

    This is all a joke. Theres people that cant afford there house payments
    and the banks think everyone going to pay there credit card bills,
    but yet its okay for the banks to still do whatever they want and we bailed them out. Does anyone realize the real trouble in this nation is credit card debt. If this doesn't get looked at and Obama's administration doesn't realize that us the people need the help, then all I could say is that are country is going to be in worse troulbe than we are now.

    April 22, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  8. Elvanthia Douvlos

    I feel you Daniel. It is amazing how credit card companies get away with this. I have one card that was bough out by a service company and was not informed, then when I was finally informed because I saw that my payments where not going to the right place, I went from a 17.99 APR to 31.84. They were totally ridiculous, I even wrote to the BBB, but all they did was lie and dismiss me.

    I myself contemplated bankruptcy, but I live as a law abididng american citizen and will be here for the rest of my life, unlike otherss who come here from other countries, use our welfare, medicare, unemployment and social security system, max out there credit cards, become over 50,000 in debt, file for bankruptcy, then get it, so they can take care of their houses and land they have in their native country, and all I do is struggle to make ends meet. God Bless America, unfortunately, we help everyone else on the face of this earth except those who work, fight, live and die for this country.

    April 22, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  9. Jim - St. Louis

    39 y/o – IT Industry
    Downsized in Nov. 08
    Job found, 25% less pay, in Mar 09
    Quite a few things ended up going on the credit card
    Total Credit Card Balance – $48,000 (not all from unemployment, but other things happened – broken down car, roof on house, etc)
    401K Balance Descimated by market (for all intents and purposes, its gone)

    Never going to get out from under the CC Debt, much less retire in less than 30 years.

    And I was one of the people that bought a sensible ($55K) house when I was approved for $170K.

    I am still amazed how fast things got so bad, and how screwed I am now.


    April 22, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  10. M

    Just taking a moment to say that my husband and I refused to be held captive by these credit card companies. We closed every acct. got a better interest rate and are paying off our debts.

    April 22, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  11. Roop Gill

    It is time Americans should know Credit Cards do no one good. They are leech of our society. I am a retailer and we pay 3% of our sales in Credit Card interchange fees. I see future retailers going to "CASH ONLY" Business.

    April 22, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  12. Richard K

    After being a ((company A)) credit card holder, with a clean record (no late or default payments), I was shocked to see my APR shoot to 30%, from 9% when ((company B)) took over. I contacted ((company B)) and was surprised when they told me it was routine with all new ((company A)) customers, and that they would not change it until a 6 month review period was over, where at that point they would re-evaluate all consumers. I paid off my balance that day & closed that account. 30% in this economy is unacceptable. From my perspective the banks are being greedy, only compounding to the current economic status by taking advantage of already squeezed consumers.

    April 22, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  13. Elizabeth

    ((Company name deleted)) increased my interest rate from a 6.9% to a 18% their letter to me stated was due to the economy we are increasing your rate. I called them and objected. I have been paying my card on time and never late and they understood and said everyone is getting this letter and apologized and gave me a choice to close my account and keep my 6.9% rate but that hurts my credit report. So I did not want to be stuck with this18% rate knowing I will never pay off my card so I just closed my card and kept the 6.9% I am upset knowing my credit history may be hurt. I didn't have much choice.

    April 22, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  14. Steven

    I have a "fixed rate" of 9.9% on my credit card. I haven't had a late payment on any account in over a decade. I have never defaulted on a debt. I have a 6 figure income. The card company recently sent me a notice that they intend to increase my rate to 26.9%. This is beyond insane. As one of the half of America that actually pays federal income tax I am being hit twice, once on taxes for the bail out and again with these increase in interest rate charges.
    I won't accept this increase in rates so I will close my accounts.

    Kyra – I would have like to hear you ask about the Congressman why they repealed the Usury Laws and why don't they bring these laws back. These banks are worse than the mafia.

    April 22, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  15. jeff dunn

    When informed of an arbitrary interest rate rise by one of my credit cards, I opted out of the rise and closed my account in order to keep my old rate on the outstanding balance. Having been recently laid off from my job, I simply didn'tfeel a couple points higher interest was affordable nor fair (having never been late on a payment prior). Having a minimum payment due this month on the 10th of April, I sent my
    payment on April 6th with the card company claiming they didn't receive it until April 11, one day late. They then proceeded to charge me a $39 late fee, which then put me over the limit by $4.52, which then led to another $39 over-the-Iimitcharge. But the worst thing of all, they then raised my interest rate from 11.24%
    to an incredible 26.24%!! That grotesque rate increase after I had recently opted out of the couple of percentage points arbitrarily being imposed before because it was so unfair!I immediately contacted the credit card company/bank twice and not only wascompletely denied any relief on any of the charges/changes, but was guaranteed
    a call back by a supervisor, which never came.

    April 22, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  16. Alan Blair

    I find it ironic that all these banks are getting bailouts and then they raise their interest rates. I have two cards, one at 7.99% and one at 9.99%. One is going to 21.99% and the other is going to 24.99% I have excellent credit and pay my bill on time. Their surely not doing their share to help the econemy. What a rip off.

    April 22, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  17. Mike M.

    Personally I’m sick to death of this “I pay my bill on time, why are they raising my rates?” argument. A credit card is a convenience and the interest on that card is a penalty for not paying charges off in full. It is precisely those people that always maintain a large balance who should have their rates increased and their credit reduced. We have got to stop this climate of entitlement in this country where people believe it’s their rite to spend more than they make. What do you think got us in this mess in the first place?

    April 22, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  18. Steven

    Let me add one more credit card story from the bankruptcy bill written by the banks, paid for by the banks and signed off on by Congress and President Bush.

    I converted a home equity line of credit into a fixed rate. They generated a new loan. I sent a payment into my old account and they had already closed the loan out but instead of applying it to the new loan they sent it back to me weeks later. When I realized what they did I called in, they said forward the payment back. The result of this was that other creditors started rasing my rates based on my "late payment" on my home equity line. Again this situation was written into the bankruptcy law by the banks so they could coerce more money out of you.

    April 22, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  19. Jon Fields (NYC)

    Is it a surprise that the first two states to have abolished anti-usury laws back in the 80's are the two places where most credit card companies have set up shop?

    (South Dakota and Delaware)

    April 22, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  20. J. Mayfield

    Regarding the treatment of credit card holders why didn't the government put stipulations on the credit card companies not allowing them to raise interest rates and decreasing credit limits before giving them stimulus payments?

    I at present always pay my balances on time and have not yet been subjected to these unfair practices. But this seems to be another screwup by the feds. J. Mayfield

    April 22, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  21. Carrel Barlow

    Dah.......Computer games...buying baby carriages on line...or chat rooms. No wonder people are being laidoff if thats the norm in our work places. Your at work...what a novel thought...your there to work and if you need a memo to tell you that you shouldn't be playing on should stay home and play nintendo and leave the job for someone who really wants and needs that job!

    April 22, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  22. SP

    My credit card companies have all been jerking me around, changing my due dates on me without telling me, raising interest rates and lowering my credit limits. The worst part is that they do so without informing me, surely hoping that I will be late with my payment or overcharge my card.

    Kyra – There are many of us out there that have taken a stand on this, paid off the cards and live a frugal life. The economy is so uncertain these days... here's an idea... change your lifestyle so the economy doesn't affect you... spend less than you make... pay off your debts. There are many of us out there blogging about how we changed our lifestyles. Frugal is the new fad, see for yourself at You should do a story about how frugal lifestyle bloggers are helping people change their ways.

    April 22, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  23. Ron Smith

    The credit card troubles faced by everyone with outstanding balances can be greatly ameliorated with a simple stroke of the congressional pen. Simply, enact a federal usury law limiting credit card companies, and anyone else, to charging no more than 10% interest. This would be a shot in the arm for our struggling economy, putting more money into everyone's pocket; a fair and needed relief for all.

    April 22, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  24. RL

    I have an excellent credit rating, never late payments on any bill ever in my life. I recently paid off my largest credit card balance completely ({a company}, which kept raising rates - up to 16% for no reason). {Another company} informed me they were raising me from 6.74 tol 10.99. I opted out and closed the account. (They "mistakenly" raised my rate anyway, and I had to call to get them to reverse the increase - waiting for next statement to see if they did). THEN, {a third company}, my last remaining credit card, raised rates from to 16%. If I opt out and close that one, too, then I have no credit cards. That's fine, except when you need to order something online, rent a car, etc.
    As far as I am concerned, this is highway robbery. Why is there not a federal usury law? How can these banks, which taxpayers have kept from going under, turn around and gouge us yet again?
    The answer apparently is, because they have Congress in their pocket. What a corrupt horrible situation we have. And evidently the Republicans are standing with the credit card companies to prevent any reform. I like Obama; I voted for him and I like him and support him. But I think he (and Congress) are letting the banks screw the American people. Big time.

    April 22, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  25. Shannon

    All my banks and lending institutions are crazily raising fees and APR’s on loans and credit cards.
    My comment. American taxpayers are paying the salaries of CEO’s and employees of the banks and lending institutions that got bailed out by the taxpayers. American taxpayers are also paying the salaries of lobbyists then hired by said institutions to pressure congress to allow said institutions to raise interest rates and fees to absurd levels on the cards and loans held by the very same American taxpayers who are paying their salaries. The American taxpayers are also paying the salaries of the elected and appointed members of their government who will decide whether to let said institutions further burden and/or bankrupt the American taxpayers with their rate/fee increases.
    My opinion: They are all biting the hand that feeds them. Instead of being thankful to the American taxpayers, greed blinds everyone mentioned above to the fact that after they have emptied the pockets of the American taxpayers, there will be no one to pay their salaries.

    April 22, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  26. Michelle Costello

    Credit Crisis with {company} Card

    Here is the situation. I'm at 10.99%. I was originally at 13.99% and was approved for 10.99% after my one year anniversary which was October 1, 2008. {company} sent me correspondence via my account online regarding important changes to your account beginning May 1, 2009. It pretty much states that the changes of a default rate of 29.99% will happen starting May 1, 2009 if there is any late or missed payments. Well of course I didn't agree to it because I have never been late and never missed a payment since I been with {company} and I've been with them for two years. I sent them a letter saying that I disagreed with the terms because I didn't think it should effect me. I felt I was voicing my opinion. Well {company} closed my account. When I found out that my account was closed online I called {company} and yes they closed my account on Wednesday, February 18, 2009. I called on Wednesday, February 25th and they explained to me that any terms you disagree with (new or old) they will close your account.

    Well I saved a copy of the agreement to my computer and it does say that when you disagree to the terms that your account will be closed. That paragraph was after the paragraph stating the address of where to send the letter. Now I'm woman and mature enough to say this..that was my fault of not reading two paragraphs after the paragraph address. When all said and done. I'm at fault because of {company} stating this in the agreement. I told them that they need to rearrange that paragraph and put that above the paragraph that states if you disagree to these terms. They need to do something about that. Now this is the second part of the situation where now I have a case and will take legal action against {company}.

    Now {company} sent me a new card and a letter stating that my new APR is 12.24%. Why did I get a new card? What was wrong with my old one? I'm thinking well if they reopened my account why didn't it go back to 10.99%. So of course I mailed and faxed another letter to them saying that my account needs to be changed back to 10.99%. I even faxed and mailed a copy of the approval letter that {company} sent me regarding the 10.99%. I checked my account online today to give them enough time to apply it to my account well they closed my account again. I was already disappointed and frustrated with them the first time around now they really have me on 100. I called {company} today and spoke with a supervisor. She told me that in order for me to get the 10.99% my account will have to be closed. In order for me to reopen the account it will be at 12.24%. I said that doesn't make sense. Well she mentioned something about repricing.

    Anytime {company} closed your account and reopened goes to a lower rate from your original to reopen..i.e..I was originally at 13.99% and it was reopened to 12.24% (repricing).

    The customer relations manager stated that although I've received correspondence about me being approved for 10.99% {company} never applied it to my account.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  27. Independent

    My credit card nightmare is that we as Americans will give a giant multi-billion credit card to President Obama and the Congress to spend our money on government programs with no plan for how it will be paid back.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  28. Morris

    I have not missed or been late with a credit card payment in forever, and my credit score is well over 700. Nevertheless, {company} Visa wanted to lower my credit limit to the small balance currently on the card; both {company 2} and {company 3} want to raise my interest rate substantially, with the only option being to cancel the account. If I cancel the account of course, my credit rating will take a hit because my use credit as a percentage of available credit would go up. Frankly I don't understand the business strategy here - credit card companies seeking to drive away creditworthy customers, perhaps alienating them for life. I managed to drive back the {company} increase by talking with a CSR and threatening to close my other accounts, I haven't had similar success with the other companies. What can I do?

    April 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  29. mina p

    we are just legalizing what banks are doing.
    my {bank} credit cards were bought by {company} and they have increased the APR from 14 to 29.93%
    Dose it matter if they give 45 days to what ever notice, it is still 29.93%
    and I have never been late in payment.
    Is there going to be a cap on APR ??
    What is happening is no help to people like me
    Capitalism wins
    Banks win
    And we pay them for their .................
    President Obama, are we back to business as usual

    April 23, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  30. Joe

    We have been hit by corruption at the highest level ( credit card companies and our legeslative branch). Credit card companies most likely raise their rates so that the CEO's can continue to fly around in their private jets, have conventions at plush resorts etc. We bail them out and they (credit card companies) stick it to us more. These CEO's are addictied to private jets and owning 7 or more million dollar homes.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  31. Gwen

    I'm 63 years old. Twice in my life I've gotten in far too deep with credit card debt. The last time–six years ago–I owed these vultures about $25,000. That amount was also roughly my annual income. I lied to the companies and told them I was considering bankruptcy, but that I would settle for 60 cents on the dollar by raiding my 401K. They took the offers. Now I have one card with a $500 limit which I'm cancelling today. Yes, it trashed my credit rating, but it was worth it to break free of the "volunteer slavery" these pirates suckered me into.

    The consumer credit card industry doesn't need regulation, it needs to be destoryed. Outlawed. Banned forever.

    April 23, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  32. emmy mason

    i don't have any credit cards or any nightmares 🙂

    April 23, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  33. Dean

    A Democrat female from CA introduced a bill to reduce the maximum credit card rates and to make the credit card companies be more fair to consumers. CHRIS DODD blocked this bill.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  34. John

    I have a {company}credit card that has doubled in interest, not due to late payments or overdraft but it seems just because they can! I have never had a late payment or any other excuse for {company} to increase my interest rate let alone double my interest rate! My opinion is credit card companies are finding every little loop whole to make extra money at the consumer’s expense. America’s infrastructure is set up where a person needs at least one major credit card to shop online, rent a car, etc. (to live socially normal) There is nothing in place to protect the consumers from this insatiable behavior from the credit card companies. My biggest question: why isn’t there a credit card company willing to do the right thing instead of the sly thing?

    April 23, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  35. Christopher Langan

    Why cant the Government mandate a cap of 10% on any bank that issues credit cards that has received any of Our tax payer (government TARP or other funds), After all interest rates are at a all time low. Since last year my credit card companies, have increased my rate's in excess of 29%, & have lowered my credit limit as I pay down my balance, when asked they refuse to lower my rates, Most people are using their credit cards to survive through these hard times. This would help most people directly stimulating the economy

    April 23, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  36. dianedj


    April 23, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  37. Mary B

    I need to ask a question. Can these credit cards take my home?

    April 23, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  38. Elsie Samuelsen

    I understand the government is planning in implement controls over the credit card issuers that will go into effect next question? WHY NOT NOW? I too have pqaid my bills on time, etc but still had my rates inceased as far as payment and decreased on limits. one card I had not used in a year was cancelled

    April 23, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  39. Bill Diamond

    I am Bill of Long Beach, CA I made a purchase on 3/20/09 with my {credit} Card for the amount of 2189.00 on that day my credit limit was 9400.00 I was called from the bank verifying that it was in deed I who was making the purchase I said yes it was I. After a week or so I received a letter from {bank} stating that credit was being reduced to 3000.00. I called and asked why and was told that they felted I had enough credit and they had the right to reduce my account. Today I received a statement saying I am over my limit and if I don't pay the difference by my next statement they will charge me over limit fees.

    My question to you is how can they after I have made the purchase change my limit and then tell me I have twenty days to pay down the balance or be charged a late fee when I had know idea they were reducing my limit. When I call to speak to them about it all I get is if you don't pay it down you will get charged a over limit fee...

    April 23, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  40. Carol Hines

    My disabled husband had major surgery in the end of June. I brouught him home July 4..That week I lost my job. We had great credit. I kept up with paymants until Oct.. I had to let our RV go back to {company} in Dec.. All other bills still current. Because of the loan, {company} closed our credit cards. We had {their} cards since 1978.
    {company} raisd our credit cards to 22% plus prime..
    One flaw and all the banks went into panic.

    April 23, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  41. Eileen

    It's clearly a disgrace, how these credit card companies and banks have been able to rip off the citizens of this country. I 've always paid my bills on time, one time I missed paying by an hour, and was penalized terribly. Higher rates, late fees were piled on me unfairly, and cancelled my card. They have toooo much power, they can increase fees, tack on late charges,cancel your cards, destroy your credit, and steal your pride. I have noticed on a credit report I had recieved, these companies had MANY inquiries on my file. I did this for several months to see that this was something that was done regularly bases by these THIEVES. When I began to put two and two together-they were attempting to see if I missed a payment on some other bills, or credit card so they could add additional fees, and raise my interest rate.They don't care about the consumer, its all about their GREED. How UNAMERICAN is that????????????//

    April 23, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  42. serene

    I run a small business. One day I get an automated phone call saying that my card limit had been reduced from 25,000 to 7,300. It put me within 900 of maxing the card. I paid the bill 2x a month and I used it to pay recurring business charges while holding on to cash for the business. I have no adverse credit and I have an 800 credit score. it's insane!

    It's interesting how the credit card companies lacked discipline when they were making money. Now they are against a wall and they are just cutting everyone and everything. Well, prevention is still better than cure.

    April 23, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  43. Mike

    Every time I made a substantial payment on my {credit card}, to bring the balance down to 30%, {company} lowered my limit, to keep me at over 70%. Each time, my credit score suffered the consequence, by 40points or MORE. How is what these companies do, any different than a LoanShark? It isn't. I suggest if you have a large balance and these companies have been hurting your credit anyway, why pay them one more dime!!! STOP PAYING THEM till they change their behaviors. Remember, even if you pay them, on time, each month, they can and will still find ways to hurt your credit score, so your score means very little, so, keep your cash, and tell these companies to get lost. It's time to stop this madness of thinking they have all the rights. WE have the cash they want, and it's time we started acting like WE are in control, and not them.

    April 23, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  44. Greg

    I've always paid off my credit card bills each month and avoided paying any finance charges. I've been late a few times due to forgetfulness, or trying to time my payment as close to the late date as possible. In many cases, the credit card company waived the late fees after a brief phone call.

    So, what happens if the govt pressures the credit card companies to reduce late fees, finance charges, etc.?? They will find other ways to make money (which is why they're in business, right??). And, my guess is that I will wind up having to pay for the privilege of using a credit card. Either that, or the vendors will pay, and of course, they'll pass that on to me via their prices.

    So, help me understand why I will probably have to pay more because of all those people who have been irresponsible in their use of credit?

    April 23, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  45. patty

    too late my cards are already being raised these laws should be retro active also crack down on credit reporting agencies I have been arguing with {credit reporting company} sent them copies proving my point and they still are reporting in error

    April 23, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  46. Cindi-Omaha, NE

    My rates didn't get jacked thru the roof yet, but {company} reduced my credit line for the 2nd time this year yesterday, even though I made a $17,000 payment to them last year -yes you read that right, $17,000! I have never been late paying any bills in my 53 years! They are destroying my flawless credit score for no apparent reason!

    April 23, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  47. Acyn In Los Angeles

    I paid my credit cards down a year before the crisis by 50-90% in some cases and the companys turned right around cut credit limits to the current balences then they charged their finance fees and had the nerve to then charge overlimit fees. This all occured in a one day period. Now i know why they did it. They turned right around and gambled that money on the mortgage market while charging me all these fees. Some of the credit cards around the crisis also did some horrible things. One of them sent me a new card and then disconnected the number to activate the card and told me since I never called to activate that my card was discontinued. How could i call a disconnected number. Other ones do this thing now where they dictate what is my "cash advance limit" even though in my experience it was always 100% of my purchase limit. But the one thing they all have in common is they all feel they can send some fine print broushure to your house and that gives them the right to dictate all new terms and change a binding agreement. In the case that you decide to close the account which i have in such cases, they still charge financial fees on your account as if they are still providing you a financial instrument but all they are providing is bills to cut up plastic.
    The worst offenders were {company} and {company}. {Company} was horrible too. {Company} is the one that feels they can define this cash advance limit they just invented today..

    April 23, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  48. Carrie A

    Hey guys, just a reminder - we can't really post specific company names w/o a whole lot of legal rigamarole. (Hence {company}) But do keep your comments coming, because they're great!

    April 23, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  49. Christopher

    With 4 credit cards, i had a credit line of around $50,000. I got this from years of too much spending, and not enough payments. I was the credit card companies favorite kind of customer – and they "rewarded" me with larger credit lines. All of a sudden 1 of my credit card companies lowered my available credit from $12,500 to $2000..... and my balance was over $1800!

    This means that not only were they restricting my credit line-which took years to build up- but they were setting me up to go over my limit, costing me those inflated fees.

    What is interesting is that I believe this "American" credit card co. did this because I had completely stopped using the card so I could get it payed off. Apparently this was there way to thank me for years of paying their high interest rates, and making their wallets fatter.

    BTW, my other cards have actually INCREASED my credit lines.
    After the card mentioned before is paid in full, I will be closing this account, and will "Express" my anger by no longer doing business with them.

    -Frustrated in San Diego

    April 23, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  50. Rich Stevenson

    {Bank} are a bunch of crooks! My FICO score was over 800 as of February of this year, I never missed a payment on this credit card (or any), and always paid more than the minimum. My interest rate on this card is variable and was 5.19% as of my last statement.

    I received one of those notices informing me my interest rate would increase to 15.9% due to "extraordinary changes in the economic environment". I guess they hoped I would toss the notice thinking it was junk mail. Too bad for them. I called and canceled the card before the deadline and will continue to pay off the balance under the current terms. I hate to think of all the folks out there that got the same notice and tossed it in the trash!

    April 23, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  51. Eva

    I'm 74 years old recently went thru a divorce, had to take equity out of my house to pay my x-husband, at that time the house was worth $558
    thousand, took out $300 thousand used $275 thousand had $25 thousand left on the books as available credit but on my last statement {company} had jurked that back and now I have no available credit. That's not fair. Evenghough my house is now under water and I have called everyone of my credit card vendors and asked for a lower rate I'm told IT'S NON- NEGOTABLE. Now what? My house will be going into foreclosure soon

    April 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  52. Paula Williams

    Well, we're another family that have the credit card's messing with our budget. They've decreased our credit available and raised our rates. {company} allowed us to opt out of the rate increase, but the card cannot be used ...

    Another complaint: I phoned in a payment when I realized it wouldn't arrive in time, evern though the deadline was still a week away. They charge me $15! They didn't make the transfer until the exact due date so they also made interest on the balance.

    Many people are afraid that if they opt out of the rate increases, the credit card companies will require them to pay the full balance. I'm not sure if that is correct or not? I opted out of {company's} increase and will just continue to pay the same on the outstanding balance.

    April 23, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  53. Mike


    April 23, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  54. Patricia Fleming

    I have had my card with {company} for over 5 yrs. I have never missed a payment and always pay more than the minimum.
    They were constantly raising my credit limit (without my solicitation).
    My FICO score is currently 740.

    Recently, I got notice from {company} that my interest rate was going from 9.9% to a variable rate that I could not ascertain what it would be because is was so confusing to comprehend.

    I called and they agreed to "lock in my current rate" as long as I did not use my card anymore. The minute that I use it again, my rate will increase to whatever they conclude it should be at that time. I was informed that as of that day it would be 15.?%.

    I find this very disturbing and very unfair.

    If new legislation is passed to address this issue (among several others), will it be retroactive to address my current concern?

    Thank you in advance for your attention

    April 23, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  55. Paul Cook

    {Company} solicited my business about 2 years ago on a no interest rate for 18 months. I paid the account on time and adequately (doubled the minimum in most cases). The interest rate is now 17%, I recently received notice that my interest rate is going to 30%. IThey have alot of gull, doing this after receiving Stimulus money. I have received what I feel is a threateneing letter, that if I didn't do what they ask they will tell everybody." What kind of business tactic is this? I feel the citizens of America have no choice but to either not pay, or file bankruptcy.
    Then where will they be???? They might as well be fair, thus keeping people paying as they have been
    Paul Cook
    Little Rock, Arkansas

    April 23, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  56. BobR

    All the banks have been going on a binge of raising rates and fees because they all KNOW the new Fed regulations are coming and they want to get the changes and rate increases in before they have to follow the rules.

    What no one has mentioned here is that one of the WORST scams being run by the banks is that currently the new increased interest rates apply to ALL your unpaid purchases, retroactively back to the day you opened the account.

    If you bought a new refrigerator a year ago with the understanding that the interest rate would be 6.9%, the bank is currently free to jack up the interest rate to 29.9% not only on new purchases, but to apply that new rate back to everything, including that refrigerator from a year ago. Would you have chosen to have bought it at that rate?

    The new Fed regulations, which aren't scheduled to go into effect until next year (2010) anyway, will make that against the rules, thus the banks are jacking up as many peoples' rates as they can before the rules go into effect.

    There's an effort underway to get the Fed to move the implementation forward, but I've seen NO indication that any of the regulations will be applied retroactively, meaning that if the banks jack up your rates now before the rules go into effect you'll be stuck paying nearly 30% on all the old purchases.

    The worst part of it is that it's the SAME companies who have been receiving OUR tax dollars as "bailouts" who are ALSO screwing us over, (their customers), to increase their profits.

    We don't need ineffectual "regulations" like extending notices to 45 days- that's a "dog and pony show" like making old ladies take their shoes off when they go though airport security. Makes the locals think "the government" is doing something, while not actually doing anyone any real good at all.

    We need a Federal CAP on credit card interest of no higher than 10%, and we need it applied RETROACTIVELY to ALL accounts.

    THAT will do us ALL some real good.

    April 23, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  57. Patricia from NY

    I have a FICO score of 740 and have never missed a payment and always pay over my minimum. I have had my card with this Bank for over 5 years and they were constantly increasing my credit limit (unsolicitated).
    Recently I received a notice that my rate was increasing from 9.9% to some variable rate that I could not ascertain from this notice. On calling the Bank, I was told that I could "lock in my current rate" as long as I did not use my card again. My current rate would be 15.9% but could change at any time. I opted to lock in my rate. Why are these banks acting this way to responsible creditors that have"followed all the rules"and even used their tax money to "bail out" this bank? Does this bank have no idea how much pain they are causing their loyal customers?
    If the legislation being cosidered is passed, will it be retroactive?

    Thank you for giving us a platform to be heard.

    April 23, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  58. Jeanie Cunningham

    I've had a {company} credit card since 1982. Always paid the balance in full for the most part. {They} originally sent their bills from Concord, CA, but now sends them from Texas. Add 5 days for mailing to Ca. from Tx, to the "Statement date". There are now no longer postmarks on the statement envelopes, so we have no idea when the statements are actually sent. I have for the last 4 billing cycles received my statements anywhere from the 15th to the 18th. The due dates are the 5th, usually, leaving me less than 2 weeks, (count in the Sundays where mail is not delivered) to get my payments in on time by mail. (I'm still leery of banking online, sorry!)

    Then, last year in April, {company} decided to move its credit card ops to GEORGIA–a state whose interest rates are allowed up to 60%, so that {company} could continue to gouge its customers further by increasing their usury rates to criminal levels. (California by contrast only allows up to 10% usury rates on consumer loans which is why no credit card companies like to operate here). But the real issue is, they never notified me of their move to Georgia which adds another 5 days to the mailing process, as opposed to the 3 days I was used to when mailing from L.A. to Concord. So last year, unbeknownst to me, my payments arrived 2 days late on 3 different occasions, even though the balances were paid in full, and they raised my interest rate to 30% and charged me late fees. This is my reward for being such a dedicated customer for over 27 years? "Well ma'am, since you pay your balances in full, this doesn't really affect you." To which I replied, "what incentive is there for me to use your card and your fuel when you treat my account and me as if I've been an irresponsible customer using your card...30% is CRIMINAL usury!" And the nasty lady on the other end of the phone said, "Ma'am, we have to protect ourselves"....WHAT?!?! "Protect ourselves?" Against WHOM? Against the very people who helped make {company} the profit monster that it is?


    I'm very skeptical that anything will happen in our favor, knowing that Joe Biden voted FOR the new Bankruptcy bill, and his state, DELAWARE, leads the pack in USURY RATES!! I think it's time for the Government to CAP all usury rates, level the playing field, and make it so that the few states allowing excessive usury, (Delaware, South Dakota, Arizona, Georgia etc.) are NOT allowed to bankrupt the rest of the country! It's time for the Supreme Court to review their court decision of 1978, (in favor of states issuing credit being allowed to force the recipients of their credit in other states to live by any rules they choose to impose, at any given time, without notice, without any restrictions). By any other standards, the current practices of credit card companies are egregious blackmail, extortion, and downright TREASONOUS when most Americans are struggling to survive! How DARE THEY torture our psyche, extort new fees, and destroy our lives with their greed. And how DARE our CONGRESS and GOVERNMENT ALLOW THEM TO CONTINUE TO DESTROY not only the FINANCIAL fabric of our country, but the MORAL fabric as well.

    WHAT HAPPENED TO US? When did it become so acceptable for our corporations to be so criminal?

    April 23, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  59. Maureen

    My goal is to pay the full amount owed each month on my credit card, especially since my rate was raised to 16+% despite a long, dependable history of payment. However, the company has now changed its on-line payment page in a way that makes it almost impossible to figure out the amount actually owed–the amount upon which interest will be charged. The site lists a "current balance" which does not include recent on-line payments but does include amounts not yet billed, information you can only find if you use Quicken or Microsoft Money. How many of us, not having the time or energy or know-how to look carefully at the set-up, are just paying the "current balance?" I must assume that the purpose of the set-up is to trick customers into paying "in advance," thus giving the company the benefit of using a considerable amount of the public's money before it is actually owed. No doubt such tactics will escape being examined in the context of credit card reform. Although I applaud reform efforts, I think it will ultimately be up to the public to "reform" credit card companies by changing cards or using bank debit cards for credit purchases. Once I cash in my flight miles, I will disassociate from the credit card company I've used for decades due to its manipulative web site.

    April 23, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  60. mina p

    we are just legalizing what banks are doing.
    my >>>>>> credit cards were bought by .......and they have increased the APR from 14 to 29.93%
    Dose it matter if they give 45 days to what ever notice, it is still 29.93%
    and I have never been late in payment.
    Is there going to be a cap on APR ??
    What is happening is no help to people like me
    Capitalism wins
    Banks win
    And we pay them for their ……………..
    President Obama, are we back to business as usual

    April 23, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  61. Dan

    My name is daniel and I have worked in the credit department at a couple of banks. I had the day off and was watching cnn and had to comment. The only complaint that I agree with most of you posting, is that of the raising of interest on your card. Even if your not late on card a. But you are late on card b. Card a can still raise your apr, everything is based on risk but I fell that if you are late on another card that is your business. Now everything else is up to you. you will receive a late fee for being a day late. That is systematically applied to the account we do not go bill to bill and slap the fees on, it is up to the customer to bring it to the companies attention, as long as you have the dialogue you can get almost anything done.
    Dialogue is key if you need assistance with your accounts, it needs to be brought to our attention. I can say most banks have hardship programs. However we do not know your situation. If u have been with the bank for 8 years and never been late. And you are now falling past due. You need to call ask for the assistance. If you never shown a need for the program, it most likely never would have been offerd.
    Also with that said, if you need assistance call the company, they will be able to lower your apr to almost nothing until the card is paid off. Reason I say this is because I see a lot of customers dealing with 3rd party debt settlement companies. These companies do nothing but ruin your credit. They will allow your account to fall further and further past due til the bank writes your account off as a bad debt. And then they will offer a settlement to the outside agency that takes over the account. for one if you want to settle on the account call and make a offer, you do not need to pay a 3rd party to do what you can do. Second once your account is 60 days past due or later its a hard hit to your credit. So allowing the account to be written off ruins your credit. With the hardship programs your account is closed which is a hit. but you will be maintaining your account up to date which will be building your credit.
    There is two more situations I would like to go over. First there was a college student that post earlier. He mentioned that he has been building his credit by paying his accounts off in full every month, never was late and his interest still went up. Reason why this happens is that the bank borrowers there money as well. So when you pay the account off in full each month. You avoid finance charges so the bank only profits on interchange and so they raise your interest. As long as you continue to pay off in full each month you will not receive finance charges. Also one of the topics on cnn is that if you pay your balance off the previous month you should not pay finance charges. You have to remember finance charges are calculated on a daily basis so if your statement is generated on the 5th and you pay in full on the 10th, you will still have 5 days of finance charges.
    Last is about the bail out, for one all banks did not want the bail out and for two it was to stimulate the economy by making loans or helping out existing loans. The bail out was not to lower the credit card rates. I see a lot of people saying that and not knowing what they are talking about. It is not free money like people are saying, the banks have to pay that money back at 8% interest. So you can do the math 8% on just one billion is a lot of money so it is definitely not feee.
    So with all of this said, if you need help just call your bank, have the dialogue yourself. We will be happy to help. You do not need to pay anyone to do what you can on your own. I wrote all of this on my black berry storm so sorry for the grammer, thank you and goodluck

    April 23, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  62. Mamie

    Here's an idea! PAY YOUR BILL.

    The nightmare is people buying things they cant afford in the first place and having the audacity to blame the credit card company for their purchases. Read the disclosure. When you sign the form, you are giving the bank the right to raise the rate as they please. If you don't like it, pay cash.

    April 23, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  63. Joan

    I too am outraged, the interest rates are shooting through the roof. I have been paying more than the minimum, like adding an extra 300 per month on 4 cards combined. Now that extra is starting to look like the minimum. I am ready to consolidate get out and never go back. It is just ridiculous. Since they are robbing me for using their money...what can I do since they are using my money (stimulus).

    April 23, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  64. melissa a, socorro nm

    Whatever you do, don't close your accounts!!!

    When you close a credit card account, the credit bureaus interpret this as "you can't handle having a credit card" and they will put you in the negative on your credit report. It will take 10 years for this to fall off your record.

    Just don't charge anything else to the card, keep it open, keep the history going on the card and use it only once a year and pay it off.

    April 23, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  65. s.goodman

    Last week I received a letter from {company} raising my credit card rate from 4.99 to 17.49 %. I was not late and am paying $500 a month on a 4500 account. The minimum is $87. I have never been late!! We own our home and cars. I did an opt out and they told me I couldnt use it anymore. NO Problem there. I cant believe the government and Obama are letting these guys screw us at both ends. They took a bailout. When I called {company} they told us they had to raise the rates as they arnt making any money. And then in the mail of course we got checks asking us if we wanted to transfer from another card at 3.99. Cmon what gives!!!!

    April 23, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  66. EvelynMcH

    One month, my husband accidentally underpaid one of my credit card bills by 93 cents. Starting from exactly 5 days after the closing date, my telephone rang at 8 AM, 8:15 AM, 8:30 AM and every 15 minutes until 10 AM. It resumed ringing every 15 minutes starting at 6 PM until 10 PM, with computerized calls telling the person who answered the phone that it needed to speak to me (mispronouncing my name, to boot). I would answer, wait on hold, finally get a human being obviously in India who would begin the conversation with "Oh, I see you underpaid your bill...[pause] 93 cents. When can we expect payment?". Each time, I would explain we paid bills electronically, and had already corrected the error, and sent an additional payment of $5. This went on for TWO WEEKS – it got to the point where I just took my telephone off the hook because I could not stop the calls and they interrupted my sleep, my children's sleep, my meals, and my life in general. Over 93 cents. Finally, after two weeks, they finally recorded the payment and the calls stopped. I know that we have to give the card companies a way to contact us in the event of fraud, and to contact us if there are errors – but this was harassment, and it was clear and intentional. I can't believe that they get away with this, but no amount of complaints to them or to my state agency got it to stop.

    April 23, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  67. william

    i bet if every card holder stopped paying until rates came back in line yhe card companys would have to change the way they do bussiness

    April 23, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  68. Jeanne Schwenke

    The banks are NOT improving their bottom lines by increasing interest rates of their currently good debtors. In fact, they are going to add to their bad debtors list because of it. With increased expense comes less available monies. I say if you have a debtor that is paying their account as needed, count your blessings and let them be! Those debtors should be praised and earn later rewards from their creditors. ~Jeanne Schwenke~

    April 23, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  69. Ann Sullivan

    Last year I had to go to California due to a medical emergency in my daughters family. Needless to say I was late getting my {credit card} bill paid on time. So I paid the fee and then notice the following month a 5o cent fee on my bill. I called and I was told even tho I paid the fee that two months following theier is an addtional fee. Since I felt this was unfair I told the representative great now I just won't use your credit card. I did that for about a year and would you believe the unfair fees showed up as a credit on my card when they saw I wasn't going to be sucked into their game.
    Ann Sullivan
    PS I always pay the full amount of my credit card on time monthly.

    April 23, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  70. Mark Cohen from Cincinnati Ohio

    What a NIGHTMARE !!

    I am an entrepreneur, managing 5 small business units that were self made. All successful and actually had a record year last year (YE2008). Every entity had more income than ever before! They run from $250,000 – $1,000,000 in gross revenue.

    The banks just don't see it that way, which is unfortunate. My credit, income and debt ratios have stayed exactly the same or become better since the credit companies originally approved all these credit lines in the last 5 years.

    {Company} has repeatedly over the last 6 months reduced each one of my credit lines (I have 6 accounts with them) $10,000 – $20,000. The reasons they give me as to WHY is:

    1) that the ratios of the debt to limit ratio is too high.
    2) that my income is insufficient



    I continued to ask for a supervisor, then a supervisor's supervisor, but you cannot reach the underwriters who are making these decisions.

    As far as {bank}, I recently received a letter that my interest rate was going to change in 30 days from 14% to 24%. That is simply highway robbery! No reason given ... just a notice by mail.

    I do have to say, Chase and Advanta have been very accommodating through these times. They are good for small business!

    Thank you CNN.

    April 23, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  71. mina p

    I agree with William
    Lets all stop payment

    April 23, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  72. Mary B

    I agree with William too. If they can't help us why should we help them.
    I am a tax payer too.

    April 23, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  73. BobR

    Something else I haven't heard anyone in the media (or anywhere) comment on:

    Last week in an interview about the changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba, United States Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz said that the Castro regime took 30% of all remittances sent home to family by Cuban-Americans, which amounted to usury.

    I wonder how concerned Ms. Wasserman Shultz is that U.S banks are taking 30% interest payments from "American-Americans" every month..?

    April 24, 2009 at 6:23 am |
  74. dianedj


    April 25, 2009 at 4:18 am |
  75. Diane H Gordon

    In March of 2009 I had 2 credit cards one with rate of 4.99 and one with fixed rate of 8.99. I got a letter from {company} saying they were going to up my interest and I had to opt out to keep the balance at 4.99 and pay off my balance at this rate . I had to close the account. Now the only one I have left with a fix rate of 8.99 has raised my interest to 25.24 up my monthly payment and I cannot get anyone to call me back as of yet. I am very upset my credit score is 780 and I pay my bills, and on top of it all I lost my 9 year job in January and was still paying what I owe to my creditors. Now what is a person to do ? I will not pay this I will never get them pay off at a rate like this, I would have never agree to interest rates like this and I didn't and I should not have to pay them under these conditions. Help ! Thank you Diane

    May 18, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  76. Brandy

    My nightmare is still not resolved and I'm getting no help from Citibank at all! Did you know that if you use a credit card check and the vendor does wrong that you have no protection? I used a credit card check to pay my taxes in April 2008 and the IRS tried to cash the check but it bounced due to a lack of cash advance credit line. I then paid the taxes electronically via internet with a different credit card. 6 months later the IRS cashed the credit card check and Citibank won't let me dispute the charge. They say I'm on my own and they can't help me. The IRS says they DIDN'T cash my check in September and that Citibank made a posting error. Citibank has lost the check and won't do anything to help me so I'm going to end up paying my taxes twice!

    July 22, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  77. Ronni

    My Mother died August 27, 2006. My Brothers and I had to settle her estate issues. My oldest Brother was the executor of the estate and asked me to help him. My Mother only had one credit card through her credit union and we went there in person. My Brother and I spoke to the Vice President of the bank and he immediatly wanted to know how we were going to pay for her credit card. ( $4012.00 ) The three of us were jointly on her savings account at the credit union, but not on her visa account with her. I negotiated with the Vice President that we would pay her credit card off, if they would take off the fees and interest and he agreed to that verbally. I gave him my address to send all statements to because my Brother asked me to settle this for him.The next Bank/Visa statement I received had my name on the Visa account instead of my Mother's. I showed my Husband and he was furious about the name switch and told me to call the Bank that day and fix it. I called and spoke to the Vice president again and was very angry and expressed that this could not be legal at all. He appolgized and seemed like he did'nt know how that happened. He promised it would be corrected that day and asked when I was going to pay it off. I mentioned to him that nothing was taken off the balance and it seemed that even more fees were put on. I also let him know that this was not my credit card and he should be thankful we were willing to pay it off. He said that the next statement would show a deduction. The next statement did show that the Bank took my name off and put my Mother's name back on, but did not show any deductions. I waited another Month and still nothing, so I called a Friend who was a Assisstant States Attorny and told him the story. He was shocked that the Bank switched our names on the Card. I told him by this time 3 months later I received a letter from thier Attorny. I did not pay this debt due to the shady way they handled the situation. I recently checked my credit with all three credit buroughs and to my surprise and anger found this same credit card tarnishing my credit.
    My question is, how do banks get away with such disregard for the law. I want to know what I can do about this because I had know idea it was on my credit. I've had know reason to check it , but now my Husband and I want to refinance. If anyone has advice please pass it on.
    Thank You

    August 17, 2009 at 12:00 am |