Meet Judy, Sears’ ideal customer. When Judy’s husband died ten years ago, Sears, like her other creditors, assured her that she could continue using her account. Since then, Judy has used her Sears card to buy a washer, dryer, and refrigerator. Yet when Judy recently tried to buy a $142 saw, Sears insisted on immediately closing her account because it was in her late-husband’s name.
How A Forgotten Blockbuster Video Caused A 2 1/2 Year Battle With Discover Card And Collection Agencies
“Universal Default” is when your credit card company adjusts the terms of your loan because you “defaulted” with another company. In reader P.’s case the “default” was a Blockbuster video that his friend forgot to return. Discover Card took this opportunity to double P.’s interest rate. When he tried to fight it by closing his account, it launched him into a 2 1/2 year legal battle with Discover, a collection agency, and now the credit bureaus.
Reader Mike asks:
Didn’t you hate not having access to credit when you were 6? Today’s kids don’t have to suffer like you did. Meet Bennett Christiansen of Aurora, IL. He’s got a shiny new Bank of America credit card with a $600 limit.
A Consumer Reports study finds that medical professionals are pushing high-interest lines of credit and financing options on patients. Credit agencies are even partnering with hospitals to offer branded credit cards so patients can finance elective cosmetic surgeries like liposuction and hair removal.
Reader Haven accidentally underpaid a Bloomingdale’s credit card bill by $5, and so it was off to the collection agency…
Nationally syndicated personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary thinks you’re a sucker for using your credit cards, even if you pay off your bills in full each month.
Reader Tim says that Banana Republic sent him a Visa after he opted out of the program and that the card’s mailer was misleading (it looked like a replacement for his regular Banana Republic card, not a new “optional” Visa account) and didn’t disclose important details… like the card’s interest rate.
Consumer Reports tells us that Target’s strict “No receipt, No return” policy has an “unadvertised” loophole — you can return items of less than $20 for store credit. The catch? You can only do this twice a year.
LowCards.com points out that fees are a huge source of revenue for credit card companies these days—they’ve gone from $12.8 billion in 2003 to $18.1 billion in 2007, an increase of 41% in 4 years.
You’d think a credit monitoring service—even one as skeevy as freecreditreport.com—would take great pains to keep up the appearance of security and confidentiality. You’d be wrong. When Brian called to cancel their service he was asked to call out his social security number and his mother’s maiden name, even though it turned out they could easily access his account and cancel his service with only his phone number and birthday. Oh, and the first CSR hung up on him, but (sadly) that’s not really very newsworthy anymore.
S. wrote a check at Kmart earlier this month and it was denied. No reason was given—just “denied.”
If you have an open home equity line of credit you were counting on for renovations or other projects, you might want to read CNN Money’s article about how lenders are freezing them around the country. The main triggers for HELOC freezing are credit score changes and a rapid drop in home value in your area. The freeze may also be a computer-determined action, so if your HELOC suddenly goes away and you don’t think it was justified, it may be worth checking your FICO score and then contacting the lender to reopen the line or renegotiate it.
Consumers were finally allowed this week to testify in favor of a proposed Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights without being forced to sign waivers allowing their creditors to release private financial records to the public. The three cardholders who testified lambasted their credit card companies for penalizing them even though they abided by their cardholder agreements.
AT&T demanded a $750 deposit from Richard before selling him an iPhone, but couldn’t provide service because they improperly entered his address. Richard spent hours at the AT&T store trying to fix the mistake before deciding to cut his losses and recover the deposit. AT&T promised to refund his money in 7-10 days. That was two months ago. Why the hold-up? AT&T can’t issue the refund because they don’t have Richard’s proper address.
Bank of America, the nation’s largest bank and one of our largest student lenders, today announced that it would stop making private student loans and instead “do more lending under a federally guaranteed program,” says the Wall Street Journal.