There have been some recent stories listed on Bankrate regarding Credit Card issuers (and the banks that fund them) reducing credit limits and increasing APRs on consumers due to the lack of liquidity and the increased risk involved in today’s consumer credit market. Some borrowers are even finding their accounts canceled by the credit card providers as well. Below are a couple of testimonials as found on several websites:
90 % REDUCTION
I received a Macy’s Visa back in 2005 that I didn’t even recall applying for. The credit limit was $5,000. Nevertheless, I didn’t use it until this year. I had planned a trip to Disney in Florida and wanted to use it then. I called to activate it and found out that my limit was reduced to $500. How drastic was that?!
– Patricia S.
THIS IS THE THANKS I GET?
My wife and I have faithfully paid our credit card payment every month for the last five years. Last week we received a notice from our bank that they were reducing our limit by half and that we would need to reduce our balance in 90 days or face over the limit charges. We’ve never been late on a payment and am ticked off that we may face losing our credit cards because others have been stupid with the way the utilized their credit cards. Because it will be difficult to make ends meet through the end of the year, we may need to utilize another credit card’s cash advance line or even use a title loan. This is the great service we should expect from our bank after five years of banking with them.
BRUISED CREDIT SCORE
I am 49 years old and have been employed since 1993, when I graduated from law school. My wife and I have lived in the same home since 2000. Neither my wife nor I have any late payments on any obligation we have had over the last 10 years or more. We do, however, have a good deal of credit card debt, very nearly all of it at 4.99 percent interest or less. Our annual household income is over $90,000 and our total monthly debt payments, including my student loans, our credit cards and our mortgage, is about $2,400. My wife’s credit score was about 720 and mine about 690.
A few months ago, Bank of America advised rather abruptly that it was cutting our cards’ credit lines by a total of about $30,000. This increased our credit utilization ratio rather dramatically, and it has begun affecting our credit scores. My wife’s score has dropped by more than 50 points and mine by an even greater amount. In turn, I believe other credit issuers will begin cutting our credit limits. We just received notice from American Express, for example, that my wife’s card limit through them will be cut by over $5,000. No doubt actions such as this will further depress our credit scores.
As a consequence of their actions, my wife and I are seriously considering severing our relationships with Bank of America and American Express. Although this sounds like the proverbial cutting off of one’s nose to spite one’s face, I don’t know what else to do to express my displeasure with these companies other than discontinuing their opportunities to profit from my patronage.
– Doug H.