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Options with the credit card company?

I have had a credit card through Household Bank for years. It is the only credit card I have - after losing my job I was sent to collection on my department store credit cards. I have been paying on this card because they won't close the account until it is paid off and charges crazy late fees, plus trying to keep one for emergencies. I never really look at the statements just pay the bill - usually about minimum plus finance. I just realized I have been paying a penalty APR of nearly 30% for a long time and I haven't had a late payment in a year or two. I have contacted them twice requesting they lower it. The first time I didn't realize it was penalty APR just high and requested they lower it - they said there wasn't another rate available. So I logged off and looked at the rates like a new customer and saw it was a penalty rate so questioned them again. They said they can charge it if a customer is ever late.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 11:06 PM on Oct. 14, 2010 in Money & Work

Answers (13)
  • If you haven't been late in two years then they have no legal right to charge you a pently rate. It sounds ilke they're saying because you were late at one time that they're able to charge you that rate indefinately. Which actually is wrong on all acounts. They can't chrage you a late fee or a pently fee unless you're currently breaking the policy. You need to call and talk to the manager.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 11:08 PM on Oct. 14, 2010

  • (OP) I told them I don't think they are treating me as a valued customer and that they need to rethink charging me a penalty APR after so much time has passed since I have had a late payment. I also have notes somewhere where I requested a lower APR within the past year or so and they said they couldn't lower it until I had 6 months of on time payments - at that time I was trying to get a handle on finances due to my husband losing his job and being unable to pay on time a couple months before that. I don't have the notes handy, but this just seems like a bunch of crap. My credit is already in the toilet and I'm tempted to just stop paying and tell them to send me to collection like everyone else. I've paid off my balance and then some with all these fees. The total credit limit is only $700 and I have been paying $40 a month for a while... I used several times for car repair so it's not far from limit, but STILL...

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 11:09 PM on Oct. 14, 2010

  • (OP) is this part of fair debt collection law? i'm upset that i just let it go - there's always too much to keep on top of. If they admit they are wrong, can I request that they go back and credit me for some of the high finance charges they have been inappropriately charging? i'm hoping someone here knows this really well... i can look it up but i feel like all i do is make phone calls and research every time i get a bill due to all the errors and slipping in charges and now i'm constantly at the doctor and don't have time to spend so many hours making sure i don't get screwed...

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 11:14 PM on Oct. 14, 2010

  • unfortunately they have the right to charge you whatever rate because you've been late in the past. And you can totally close the account if you have a balance on it, they will demand that the balance be paid in full right away but you can just continue making payments - if your credit is already in the toilet, honestly I would just stop paying, let it go to collections, and once they start calling, offer them a settlement of 1/3 of the balance. They'll usually take it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:17 PM on Oct. 14, 2010

  • (OP) Credit Card Act of 2009 states

    Customers who have been subject to a rate increase and then pay on time for six consecutive months must have their interests rates returned to the rate it was before the rate increase. Requires creditors to review payment history each six months and to determine if a rate decrease should apply.

    Sounds like they have to decrease the rate and better give me back my money... ??

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 11:19 PM on Oct. 14, 2010

  • Uh, NO. They likely have a clause somewhere in the fine print that states they have the option to charge you whatever they want if you've ever been late, etc. And they sure as hell won't be refunding you any fees. it's best to just pay off the card and close the account.

    Answer by MommaofH2 at 11:26 PM on Oct. 14, 2010

  • You can close the account with a balance on it. You still have to make the monthly payments, you just won't be able to charge anything else. I noticed you said you are also keeping it for emergencies. An emergency is the worst time to add more debt, so don't use emergencies as an excuse to keep this account open.
    The quote you put up says they will review your payment history every 6 months and determine if a rate decrease 'should' apply. They are going to determine that a rate decrease should NOT apply everytime and they are not going to refund you any fees. I think you need to work as hard as you can to pay them off, close this account and not mess with credit cards anymore.

    Answer by slw123 at 11:34 AM on Oct. 15, 2010

  • CLOse out your account go to a differant one and read all the fine print, and tell them why you left.

    Answer by peace013 at 2:02 PM on Oct. 15, 2010

  • If this is the only account you have and the others were closed after you went to collections, you probably have a low credit score. Usually a lower credit score equals a higher APR.

    Answer by HotMama330 at 3:20 PM on Oct. 15, 2010

  • (OP) This seems like a clear statement to me ??

    Customers who have been subject to a rate increase and then pay on time for six consecutive months must have their interests rates returned to the rate it was before the rate increase.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 3:55 PM on Oct. 15, 2010

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