Today I closed two of my credit card accounts. What a great feeling! The one was paid off anyways and the other pulled the old lowering the credit line trick. My credit line wasn’t that high to begin with, so it won’t be a major loss. I have slowly been paying off cards and will close all but ones I deem critical. Of course, one of those would be my Lowe’s card.
I would rather spend two hours in Lowe’s than go clothes shopping. But I digress, back to the credit card company that lowered my credit line. The form letter gave me a couple of reasons, none of which had to do with my relationship with them. I have never been late on a payment, and I have always paid more than the minimum.
When I contacted the company to close the account, I was asked the obligatory question “why.” I responded that I felt the company was being unfair, that I had always paid on time, and that I had always paid more than the minimum payment. The response was that the “government” is encouraging credit card companies to lower limits (among other tactics) so that the “poor consumer” won’t overextend himself or herself. Kind of like closing the barn door after the horse is out.
What a crock – the difference in limits was only $400, not exactly an amount that would allow me to overextend myself. Then to top it off, I got an email today which warned me that I was approaching my credit limit – yeh -duh – that would be because you lowered it to just above my balance.
I did take the opportunity though to order my credit history since I was entitled to do so pursuant to the letter reducing my credit line. Although I get the three free reports each year in March, I wanted to make sure something hadn’t unexpectedly popped up. I received that today, and I was happy to see that everything was fine.
But closure when it comes to credit cards is wonderful feeling. I can’t wait until the new credit card rules go into force in July 2010. I still haven’t bought into the notion that credit card companies should be free of usury constraints. Perhaps now that we will have a president who believes in helping those other than the George Bush “haves and have mores”, he will take on the credit card industry and its exorbitant interest rates, arbitrary practices, and, in general, ripping off of its cardholders.