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Archive for October, 2008

Chase buys WaMu: 1st Order of Biz to Raise APRs???

October 17th, 2008 at 03:05 am

I paid off a credit card this month -- my FIRST one since I started this blog -- and I was SO excited that I'd be able to start my snowball FINALLY!! But before I was able to post about that, as I was entering my credit card numbers into my spreadsheet, I noticed my WaMu balance had only gone down by $4.92 as opposed to the $20+ it has been going down each month (this is AFTER my minimum monthly payment of $51). Huh?? So I went online to look at my statement (I normally just check that the payment got there, then get back online a week or 10 days later to see when my next payment is due and what my new balance is) and I saw that my finance charge was $46, as opposed to the $30 it normally is. So, this is my email exchange with Customer Service (over a period of 4 or 5 days):

Me: Why is my finance charge so much higher this month than it's been in the past? Last month my finance charge was only $29.70 and this month it was $46.08!! I have not made any purchases on the card lately. Please advise.

Chase: Thank you for your recent e-mail regarding your account. Your account has a finance charge every month that it has a balance owing. Finance charges accrue on your account balance from the time your purchase or a cash advance posts, and continue to accrue until the balance is paid. Finance charges accrue on the average daily balance and post on the last day of the billing period.

Me: I realize how finance charges work. However, my finance charge this month is 50% HIGHER than it has been in the several months prior, so I need an explanation as to why. Thank you.

Chase: Thank you for your recent e-mail regarding your account. Typically, account changes, such as an interest rate (APR) increase, result from a perceived increase in risk based on factors such as credit bureau and internal credit scores. We perform regular credit risk assessments on all accounts and make decisions based on our credit guidelines. This decision is based upon specific credit criteria that has been established for our company and cannot be changed at this time. The guidelines we follow are consistent for all of our customers.

Me: So, somewhere in all this verbiage, are you trying to tell me that my APR increased?

Chase: Thank you for your recent e-mail regarding your account. Yes, we show that your APR was increased to 29.99% variable.

Would it have been so difficult to just tell me that the FIRST time I emailed? Ugh. This really chaps me ... I have not made a late payment on ANY of my cards this year ... I have not even USED any of my cards this year ... and I FINALLY get to the point where I can start my snowball, and THIS happens. It just figures.