Good job, America. You are being most excellent at paying your credit card bills and paying them on time. LowCards reports that credit card default and late payment levels fell once again in April to their lowest since 2008. The reasons why are pretty obvious:
Banks and card issuers warned against the credit card reforms that went into effect a few months back, but so far it’s been a good thing for consumers, according to new delinquency numbers.
When you borrow from a bank where you also keep your day-to-day cash, you might be opening yourself up to problems down the line. Most banks have a right of setoff, which means they can tap other accounts you hold with them to repay themselves money you owe. For a woman in Atlanta, this meant Wells Fargo legally drained her checking account without warning, leaving her and her husband with no cash and $385 in overdraft fees, due to some ongoing confusion over a student loan.
Chase just notified Greg that they’re more than doubling his minimum payment requirement. Because he and his wife are carrying such a large balance due to a promotional balance transfer offer a few years ago, this pushes their monthly payment to nearly $1,000.
Late last Thursday night, two guys rang reader Sean’s doorbell and asked if he’d like to get anything out of his 2007 Jeep Compass before they repossessed it. Since then, Sean has tried to get current on his payments, but Chrysler’s web site snafus have kept him from getting the cash to Chrysler, which won’t let him get his car back unless he forks over hundreds of dollars in fees. Oy. Sean’s story, inside..
Although it has yet to pass into law, the Tennessee Senate Commerce Committee has approved a bill that requires creditors to count the postmark date of a payment as the payment date, not the day they say they receive it.
A new quarter just started this week at Marian Catholic High School in Chicago, and on the first day back, 300 students were pulled out of class and lined up outside the school, then told to contact their parents and pay their outstanding tuition or they’d have to leave. The Chicago Tribune writes that “by lunchtime, about 100 students were sent home-some confused, some embarrassed and a few angry.” The school says parents owe around $450,000 in outstanding tuition payments, far higher than usual, and that they’re trying to avoid layoffs and other budget cutbacks. Will the poor economy lead to higher attendance at public schools? “If you want a good education, you have to dish it out,” one parent told the paper.
David didn’t have the money to pay his account (for some mystery service—we don’t know what), so he decided to see if they’d accept a drawing instead. Turns out they won’t. The email exchange that follows is hilarious, and much more entertaining for both parties than the old put-the-wrong-check-in-the-envelope trick.
Joseph is having problems paying his Capital One card, mainly because Capital One keeps making it hard for him to pay it, and then reports his payments past due after they’ve cleared the bank. Now he wants to know what he can do to remedy the situation.
Last year Citigroup pledged to abandon the customer-screwing policy of universal default, where an unrelated late payment or credit score change can trigger an interest rate increase on your Citibank card. They even used a marketing phrase to promote their promise: “a deal is a deal.” According to the New York Times, Citigroup is “quietly reconsidering its pledge” and may decide to reinstate universal default as early as this week.
Two readers have forwarded us a second email sent out by Citibank today, but it’s not another vaguely worded PR blast from the CEO. Instead, this one announces that Citibank is adopting the zero-tolerance approach to late payments favored by the credit card industry—miss a payment due date and you’ll lose any interest rate discount(s) you currently enjoy.