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Credit Card Horror Stories from Around the Nation

May 13, 2009

Consumers Union has compiled these credit card stories from all 50 states (PDF).  CU also shows how S. 414, the Credit CARD Act currently being debated in the Senate, would prevent each situation from occurring.  Pictured to the right are Senator Dodd and others (including Travis Plunkett of the Consumer Federation of America) at a press conference yesterday discussing the bill, which is expected to pass today or tomorrow.

Here’s a sampling of CU’s horror stories:

  • My payment was made on the due date, and the due date fell on a Sunday.  [Chase] said I was late by a couple of hours, therefore my rate jumped from 4.99% to 28.99%.
    – Brad from Arizona
  • Advanta raised my interest rate to 34% (yes 34 percent!) overnight for no reason.  I was forced to take money out of my IRA to pay off the balance.
    – Bill from California
  • It is like [the credit card companies] purposely want to hold you to any small slip-up so they can squeeze your further.
    – Pauline from Colorado
  • Providian increased the APR on my credit card even though I had never been late.  They cited the activity on my credit report.  They activity came from banks requesting information so they could send me unsolicited pre-approved credit cards.
    – Dominique of Georgia
  • [The company] moved my due date up 6 days.  I didn’t notice until I saw the late fee on my statement… besides the $78 in late fees this will probably cost me the promotional 3.99% rate.
    – Thomas from Indiana

In other credit card news:

The New York Times ran this article today predicting that the Senate will pass S. 414.

The National Consumer Law Center compiled this PDF explaining how the a total ban on retroactive rate increases would protect 10 million families from rate hikes.  The House version of the legislation allows retroactive rates increases if a cardholder makes a payment more than 30 days late; the Senate version extends this to 60 days.

Photo:  New York Times

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