What makes someone an "irresponsible" user of credit?
We got an interesting email message here at Real Life Debt this afternoon: "I have had a bank one credit card for 18 years now. In that time I have never missed a payment, been over my limit or behind on any cards or financial obligations to anyone. Yet bank one raised my APR to the max because I took advantage of the credit line I earned". Now, I have a house and a mobile home that are paid in full, 3 vehicles, all paid for and as I said have never missed or gotten behind in any payment in the past."
The letter continues: "The service rep at bank one said I was irresponsible and a high credit risk. She also pointed out how the default statement clearly stated why my APR was raised. But no matter how closely I read it I could not find where it said they could raise it for no apparent reason, only reason why they would, none of which I fit. How many people are fooled into believing they are safe because they take responsiblity for their bills? After all these years I am quite disgusted to find that no matter how good you are or how loyal you are that none of it makes a difference. These people just don't care!"
In my experience with credit card firms, they do seem to have almost completely arbitrary rules for changing your credit limit and/or moving you from one percentage rate bucket to another.
My first question to you would be whether you've ever been a day or two late on a payment? A lot of the cards I've seen have this great introductory APR but if you're even one day late on a bill after two years of perfect payments, you'll be bumped up to a 4x APR for any outstanding debt.
My second question: why don't you just dump this card and get another one? If you have the financial history you indicate, you should find it no problem to get a better card with better credit terms anyway.
Finally, I don't think it's that Bank One doesn't care. I think it's that credit card companies are feeling the pinch of overextended credit and a high level of personal bankruptcies, so they have to exploit their existing customers as much as possible to squeeze as much blood out of that proverbial stone.
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