How To Fight Credit Card Company Interest Rate Increases

How To Fight Credit Card Company Interest Rate Increases 1With Congress passing legislation to reign in some of the worst credit card abuses, credit card companies have been scrambling to get their terms and conditions, also known as the card contract, changed to terms more favorable to them before the new rules take affect. By changing your credit card agreement before the new credit card law takes affect, these card issuers can avoid having to play fairly as dictated by the new rules. However, this can mean bad things for customers and credit card account holders. Apparently, the banks aren’t concerned about losing business, because they are modifying terms on credit accounts left and right regardless of the person’s credit score or credit history. What can the average credit card customer do to fight back? Unfortunately, not too much, but there are some things that you can do to keep the credit card companies from cheating you out of your hard earned money.

Credit Card Interest Rate Increases

Under the old law, whenever a bank wanted to increase the interest rate it charged customers, it just sent out a letter saying that they were changing raising the interest rate. Consumers had no rights to do anything about it. The only option was to pay off the full balance immediately to avoid the higher interest rate, or transfer the balance to another credit card. In fact, when credit card companies needed to improve their balance sheets they would routinely do just this. If customers paid off their balances, then the company’s outstanding credit balance decreased. If customers didn’t pay off their balances, then their interest income from those balances increased. It was a no lose situation.

The new credit card law requires banks to give customers another option. Under this option, you can notify the credit card company that you reject the new interest rate which prevents your interest rate from increasing. In exchange, the account can no longer be used for new charges, but you may continue paying off your credit card balance under the old terms of the agreement. That means that you can still make the monthly payment, whether the minimum payment or otherwise, at the normal, sane, interest rate that you agreed to when you opened and used the credit card account. Obviously, this is not advantageous to the bank, so they are raising interest rates now, as fast as they can so that they won’t have to live by the provision once the law changes.

To fight back against credit card interest rate increases, the only thing you can do is pay off or transfer your balance before the new rate takes affect. If this isn’t practical, then continue making payments and pay off the card as quickly as possible. If you don’t carry a balance, the new rate won’t affect you until you do. The best vengeance is to never carry a balance on that card, ever. Credit card companies don’t make as much money off of customers that don’t pay interest, so keep using the card and pay it off in full every month. You’ll be fighting back against the credit card issuer and costing them profits. To really make them pay, be sure to take full advantage of their credit card rewards program to cost them even more money and make the card companies pay you!

If the way the company is treating you makes you so mad you want to close the account, don’t! At least not right away. Closing the account means you lose all of your reward points or miles. Instead, make sure you redeem every single credit card miles point you have earned before closing the account. Also, be sure you understand the effect closing an account can have on your credit score.

Finally, the most important thing is to REMEMBER. Banks are counting on their customers being mindless consumer sheep who don’t take the time to properly manage personal finances. They figure if they screw you over now, you will have forgotten all about it in six months. Don’t let them win! Remember exactly who did what and either close their accounts, or use them in a manner that makes them unprofitable for the company. If enough customers fight back, maybe next time, the banks won’t be so eager to try and cheat their customers.

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