Sean has a warning for Consumerist readers with Bank of America credit cards. At the beginning of December, he tells us that he called the bank about a billing issue, which earned him an account review and a drastic reduction in his credit limit.
Consumer delinquencies hit a record high in the first quarter of the year. Debt-to-disposable income ratios are down only slightly from the beginning of the recession. Who will save the U.S. economy if consumers can’t return to our habits of buying crap we can’t afford and don’t need?
Repossessing cars is so old-fashioned. All that driving, locating people’s houses, towing the cars away… with the mess credit markets are currently in, who has time for that? Car lenders don’t.
Our eyes shoot fire when stores make their poor employees harass us about opening a store card, so we’re feeling a perverse sense of joy at the news that store cards are turning into a nightmare for retailers.
For years personal finance experts have been telling consumers to watch out — that there was “no such thing” as a “fixed rate” credit card — the bank can raise your interest rate whenever it wants as long as it gives you a little notice. You don’t have to miss a payment. You don’t have to do anything “wrong.” Now some consumers are learning the hard way.
We think the idea of “Credit Crunch,” a print-it-yourself board game in this week’s issue of The Economist, is great. We’re not convinced it’s exactly cost-effective to print the board, cards, and money with your own equipment, though—as someone suggests in their comments section, maybe a web-savvy reader should create an online version.
Former Treasury Secretary John W. Snow has told the New York Times that he, along with the entire Bush Administration, simply “forgot” that people had to be able to “afford their house.”
Friday will be the last day of production as Chrysler shuts down for 30 days — citing lack of available consumer credit.
USAToday says that panic by the credit card industry is squeezing customers who ordinarily would be able to pay their bills — pushing them toward financial ruin and foreclosure.
The credit crunch is affecting all of us differently. Right now its affecting Nick as he sits in a hotel 3,000 miles from home.
Today the Federal Reserve announced the creation of a new special purpose entity that will buy consumer and business debt. Under the new plan, the Treasury will provide $20 billion dollars in of credit protection (from the Troubled Asset Relief Program) — and will absorb most of the losses, should they occur.
QVC, the home shopping network, has announced that they will be laying off 910 workers over the next 14 months. A reader who would like to remain anonymous, described the layoff process in an email to Consumerist.
American Express won U.S. Federal Reserve approval to become a bank holding company — giving it access to the bailout party as credit card defaults climb. Bloomberg News says that the Fed waived the usual 30 day waiting period because (in the words of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke) we’re experiencing “unusual and exigent circumstances affecting the financial markets.” Today, American Express has requested $3.5 billion in taxpayer-funded capital from the federal government, says the WSJ.
You, dear consumer, have abruptly stopped purchasing automobiles. GM’s sales are down 45%. Ford has sunk by 30% and Toyota, yes, that Toyota is down 23%.