Even Wells Fargo CEO Powerless To Reduce Your Punitive APR

The APR on Kevin’s Wells Fargo credit card got jacked up from 9.6% to almost 23%. He owes $16,000. At 9.6, he could afford to make double the monthly payments, but now he’s paying $300+ a month in finance charges alone. He’s begged up and down the hierarchy, from the CEO to any exec or VP he could reach, to please reduce his APR so he can carry this debt. Nope. The numbers have spoken. The odds are calculated. Your risk has been assessed, and the verdict has been issued: you lose.

Kevin writes:

To whomever reads this,

My name is Kevin, and after racking up a large amount of debt on my credit card, my employer went out of business. At the time, and for even a year after, I could easily make twice the minimum payment, and was assured that my 9.6% APR would always be extended.

Fast-forward to today, after fighting for months about it, my APR is now almost 23% on a $16,000 balance. I emailed the CEO John Stumpf of Wells Fargo, and talked to every Senior Executive and Vice President I could to get it lowered. I was told that there is nothing that could be done. I have never missed a payment, been late, or paid anything less than almost double the minimum due. I was sent a letter in the mail stating that if I did not pay, then I would be taken to court. With my credit going from the low 800s to the sub-parking garage 300s because of the “refi” Bank of America is processing (for 14 months… and counting), I have no ability to apply for a new lower interest card to help get out of this mess.

I have paid over $4,500 in the last four months, draining my savings a lot to pay the card down. Roughly $2,000 of that went to finance charges. I have managed to pay off all but one other credit card, which is deferred interest for another year with $1000 balance, and cut my spending severley in the last eight months. But paying $300+ in interest a month is killing me. I have tried negotiating with Wells for a settlement amount, and they said they want $12,000 to settle (which isn’t really much less than I owe).

I am sure you hear this story a million times, but I just want some good advice on how to get rid of this balance. I am willing to sacrifice, I have been doing it for quite a while now.

Please, please let me know if I have any way out of this stress?

Thank you


That’s a tough pickle. Without knowing more about your income and expenses, it’s tough to say anything more helpful than increase income and reduce expenses. Maybe if you can get that refi expedited that will loosen up some cash or reduce your monthly mortgage payments, which can go towards the card. Do you also have a car you’re making payments on? Can you sell that? You might also want to give the free credit counselors at CredAbility.org a ping. They can give you actionable next steps to improve your situation.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.