I always thought it was a good thing to pay your bills, keep your credit card balances reasonable, and to try to pay off your credit card balances quickly. But what do I know? Suddenly that’s a bad thing. Suddenly if you do all the things you think make you a good credit customer/risk, they are things the big credit card companies/banks throw a pouty hissy fit about and want to punish you for. Suddenly if you keep a reasonable balance or don’t use your credit card often enough, pay on time, and are what our parents would have called “responsible” the big credit card companies decided they wanted to either tack on a “you aren’t using the credit card enough” fee(s), or raise your interest rates, and it doesn’t matter how good a customer you have been, how long you have been their customer, or how faithful you have been—Eff You, they say, whatcha going to do about it? they say—as if we do not have choices!
Isn’t the whole idea of being credit responsible to pay on time, pay the balance down or off, to keep debt from rising up to where you can never pay it off and are forever swimming in a sea of debt? To keep a good credit rating good by being responsible with how you use your cards? I guess not. Huhn. Silly me.
Folks, this is where the word GREED comes in. Let’s just put it out there. The credit card companies/banks have enjoyed a good ride and they want to continue to enjoy that ride.
So, I have cut up my Bank of America Visa card that I had for many many years, and I cut up my near-2 year old Chase Visa credit card that I’d been using for my book business trips and other book business. *snip snip*
I then contacted the credit union where GMR and I already do our main banking. I applied online for a Visa credit card through them. Someone immediately contacted me by e-mail to let me know she received the online form, and we exchanged pleasantries. Then, after my online form went through, a real live person actually called me on the phone to say she was working on the form! Then she called me back to tell me it was approved and to tell me how excellent our credit rating was and to thank GMR and me for our patronage over the years as customers of the credit union! Cool.
My interest rate is very reasonable, and the chances of it being raised, particularly for some weird doesn’t make a damned bit of sense reason other than GREED, is slim, since GMR has had the same credit card interest rate through this credit union for many years—and through all this CC & Banking Mess, nothing has changed with our credit union, which is not a Big Bank, but which is organized and has many members and branches where we can do our banking nicely, just as if it is a big bank, but without the Mess and the Bailouts and the GREED and the Games that GREED brings about.
I should have done have done this long ago. In return, I know I can call our Credit Union or e-mail them and ask questions and a real live person will answer quickly and with heart and soul and RealNess. In return they won’t be f**king with me. Jerking me around. Playing with me as if I were a little mouse and they the cat—throwing me up in the air and killing me slowly just for its own weird fat-cat pleasure: Just Because They Can. Well, guess what? They can’t do what I won’t let them do. Choices!
I don’t have to put up with it and I’m not. We do have choices. We, as consumers, can show our displeasure by not purchasing, by cutting up our credit cards and moving our money and credit cards to credit unions and/or small local banks (GMR and I also have a small account with a small local mountain bank). We can show our consumer strength in numbers, because that’s how you get their attention. But, no matter what anyone else is going to do, and that has to be a personal individual decision based on your own experience and life, I had my own personal satisfaction of cutting up those two credit cards and throwing them in the garbage. Ahhhh. It felt good.
There is a Move Your Money website, or movement, –and I’m not one for “movements” and things of that nature, but, apparently there is this push for people to support local banks and credit unions. Don’t know about all that, but I’m going to visit the site and see what’s the big hoorah dee do.
What about you? Any stories of Big Bank or Big Credit Card companies messing around with you while they scramble to get around all the new laws—laws meant to protect consumers but Big Credit Card Companies don’t see it that way?