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

October 16th, 2008 at 08:05 pm

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.

9 Responses to “Chase buys WaMu: 1st Order of Biz to Raise APRs???”

  1. Brenda Says:

    29.99% ? Wah !

  2. Personal Finance Student Says:

    Oh, I am so sorry! Try and see it as extra motivation to pay them off; you can have the last laugh! Good luck with the snowballing!

  3. disneysteve Says:

    I would call them and ask them to reduce the rate back to where it was. If they initially say no, tell them you just got an offer from a competing bank with a far better rate on balance transfers, like 2.9%, and if they can't lower your rate back to where it was or even better you will just transfer it to another company. The worst that can happen is they will still say no, but there is always a chance they'll come down. And don't just talk to the rep who answers the phone. Ask for a supervisor.

  4. scfr Says:

    When I first saw the title I thought, "Don't I wish?" because I have a WaMu money market account. My APY was just CUT 0.91%.
    So ... they're charging you more on your CC and paying me less on my savings.
    I agree with asking them if they will lower the rate. Good luck.

  5. Ima saver Says:

    That is just terrible.

  6. thriftorama Says:

    The last thing they want to be is clear and upfront.

  7. dmontngrey Says:

    Chase's email correspondence is frustrating at best! After banging my head against the wall too many times, I realized how much easier it is to get answers and problems resolved using the phone! Yes, the person who wont call anyone ever for any reason, will actually call Chase with an issue!

  8. campfrugal Says:

    I have a WAMU that I never used, but I did transfer a balance to that card 6 or so months ago to get the 0% rate until I could pay it off. I wonder what is going to happen now that Chase took it over. I haven't seen my statement yet. I also bank at Chase and have a Chase CC that when used would also give a certain percentage to St. Judes. They have now stopped giving St. Judes a percentage due to the economy. I should probably go to the Credit Union and get a loan to pay off both of those cards, close them and be done with it.

  9. don Says:

    I have 2 WAMU cards and had my interest rates jacked up 10%. I have good credit and they say i need to make timely payments and stay within my credit limit to get a lower rate..... HELLO THAT'S ME!!!!! and then they said sorry sir there's nothing we can do. Nice for us all to bail out the financial giants and then get it shoved up our asses. HELLO BANKRUPTCY.....now it's time for my bailout!!!!

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