Home Depot Credit Card Charges Perpetual Interest

Bryan was proud to pay off his $8500 Home Depot store credit card balance. Then received a bill the next month with $130 in finance charges. Finance charges on a $0 balance? Wait, what? How does that happen?

Last month I paid of my Home Depot card balance of over $8500 (yeah zero balance!) Then yesterday I got a new statement from Home Depot with a balance due of $130 in finance charges. I have paid off several credit cards before and in every case if the balance reached zero before the end of the month that was the end of it.

I called Home Depot to find out what was going on and was told that new finance charges start piling up from the minute the statement is sent out. The customer service representative’s only suggestion to avoid this was for me to “estimate the finance charges since the bill was sent”. I know I am not a financial expert but my basic math skills tell me this balance would be impossible to pay off making the payment due because next month there will be interest on the $130 in interest, even if I pay it off. Then there would be interest on that balance, and so on, and so on….

The customer service representative I spoke with was unable or unwilling to give a better explanation and was quick to waive the interest when I complained. This seems to me to be an admission that this is a sketchy policy at best. Can anyone give an explanation of how this is possible/legal?

Any similar experiences or ideas, Consumerists?

(Photo: IHP)