Pardon my urban slang title but the phrase aptly describes the behavior of credit card companies today. They have lost billions due to shoddy practices and inept management. And their brilliant approach to fixing matters – punish their best customers for the sins of their worst!
I’ve had a Chase Visa card for 12 years and never missed a payment. They’ve made thousands on my account. As a reward for my loyalty and faithfulness they are doubling my interest rate.
According to an article in USA Today, “Chase said it changes card terms due to market conditions or borrower risk.” But this is bogus because they’re raising rates on their most credit-worthy clients. The letter I received is more blunt: “The principle we considered in amending your account is maintaining profitability.” No spin or sugar-coating, just an in-your-face statement that they want more money.
No other financial transactions allow this kind of gouging. Can you imagine a car company sending you a letter saying, “We’re hemorrhaging money so we’ve decided to raise the price of the auto you bought six years ago. You now owe us another $12,000. Pay up or we will repossess your car.”
Or someone from Safeway showing up at your door demanding an additional $250 for the food you bought last month?
Congress blinked at credit card reform, then closed their eyes. Senate bill S.2753: Credit Card Reform Act of 2008 was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs where it died of neglect.
The Federal Reserve Board did change a few rules regarding credit practices last December, but they won’t take effect for another year. This thoughtful delay gives the credit card companies ample time to raise their rates with impunity.
My obvious recourse is to pay off the card and close the account. Obvious but impossible given my current employment status, or lack thereof. But it’s at the top of my To Do list when my cash flow improves.
I got myself into this predicament. Proverbs 22:7 warns that, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.” The King James is more accurate when it uses the word “slave” rather than “servant.”
I’m stuck like a pig at a luau and all I can do is oink.
OINK! OINK! OINK!