Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Change in terms!

We've reached another financial roadblock. Yesterday we received a letter from the bank saying that one of our credit card interest rates is going up to 19.24% (variable, of course). We've done nothing to warrant this change. We've made all payments on time, haven't gone over the credit limit, etc. This is the same credit card that we are trying to pay off by the end of November. Coincidentally, the interest rate change will go into effect on December 1.

So far, this doesn't sound like a problem since the card will be paid in full. We were hoping to receive or apply for a balance transfer rate on this credit card because it is currently our lowest interest rate. Now it will be our highest. Balance transfers to this card would not be beneficial at a higher interest rate, even if the balance transfer is 0% for six months. Our plan was to transfer a balance from a higher rate card and then let the balance at 0% interest sit while we aggressively paid off a higher rate card. That's not going to happen now.

I've seen numerous articles that say that some banks are now starting to charge fees if the user does not charge anything to the account or annual fees regardless of usage. The new credit card legislation (link is a pdf) goes into effect in February and I'm afraid the banks are trying to take advantage of the last few months before they are restricted. I'm really nervous that we're going to be getting rate increase notices on all four of our credit cards.

Now we have to decide - do we close the accounts for which we receive notice of increased interest rates? Keeping the accounts open and facing increased interest rates is going to hurt our finances. Closing the accounts and taking the hit on the our credit scores is also going to hurt but only if we try to apply for credit. I hate credit cards and regret the mistakes I've made with them.

1 comment:

Alilia said...

Stinking credit card companies. As soon as they start charging me fees, I'm going to cancel them.

Is there any way you can get a small loan from your bank or credit union to pay off your credit cards? I'm guessing you've already looked into that or decided you don't want to...