Financial Friday: Credit Card Act

>> Friday, February 19, 2010

Credit Card Act
by Alice Shaffer

I am going to share with you all how I made an unfortunate mistake back in October/early November with my credit card. I had somehow not paid it on time and was 3 days late. This is very important because this card has a 4.99% life of loan APR on it. I had did a balance transfer on it a while ago and have been paying my debt off with great success. I had spoken to the agent on the phone when I paid and they said my  APR would not be affected because my payment was two days late.  Well in fact it was drastically afffected.

I was to have gotten a letter within 45 days of that missed payment saying that my credit card company was giving me two options:

1. Keep the 4.99% APR and close the account and continue paying as normal
2. Go to the default APR of 27.9% for 12 months before they would reexamine it.

I never received the letter for some reason. I spoke last week the credit card company when my Mint alert came through saying there was an APR change.   I immediately went online and could see I was dinged with an almost $300 interest payment. I was freaking out to say the least.   I called the company and spoke with a supervisor.  She and I worked together over a course of the week figuring out what happened.   I got super super lucky. My interest rate was returned to 4.99% and I didn't have to close my account. To be honest, I would have closed it in a heartbeart to keep that interest rate.

They pulled the recordings from my phone call (Apparently they really do tape those) and discovered that Yes in fact when I asked about my credit APR I was told it wouldn't be affected. Nor did the representive mention I would get a letter in 45 days letting me know what my options would be.

In telling you this it leads to my post today: Card Act becoming official on Monday February 22, 2010.

I would like to share with you two links to articles that explain this Card Act to you in easy to understand terms.  The bottom line is though, folks make sure you pay cards in plenty of time.  They will not be giving you a grace period or your awesome credit APR back.   I was very lucky in the fact I got mine back. It was from October when things were still in the process of getting training materials and representives up to speed.

The first article is from WalletPop Blog  called What you still might not know about the card act

The second article is from CardRatings called:   Credit CARD Act Guide Part 2: Understanding Rate, Fee, and Clarity Changes



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