23 February 2007

Credit Cards : Useful Tool or Severe Handicap?

Well, I saw this opportunity and I just had to write this blog post about my experience with credit cards. It was only one credit card, but what a lot of trouble it caused me. It was one of those 0% credit cards with 0% balance transfers. I transferred my high interest rate credit card balances to this one credit card. I thought it would be easier to have one payment and I could not beat that interest rate-ZERO!

Then I received my first statement in the mail. My minimum payment was $350 a month toward the balance! If I missed a payment or was late with a payment, I would be hit with a $35.00 late fee AND my credit card interest rate would rocket to 28.99%. Suddenly, I was not so happy. In fact, I got a little worried. I always pay my bills, but things happen.

Sure enough, three months later we had a 100-year flood in San Marcos and the city was shut down for three days. Guess what? My payment for that month was late by one day. I was hit with a $35 fee and that 28.99% interest rate as fast as you can say "gotcha."

I called the credit card company and explained about the 100 year flood and my payment being late by only one day. It was not long after Hurricane Katrina, so they were lenient. They said they would reverse the fee and lower my interest rate back to 0%. The next month I had to call them to remind them to reverse the 28.99% and the late fee. This went on for a few months. They would fix something, but leave the interest rate high, or tack on the late fee again. By the time I got it all straightened out, the 0% interest rate was over. I felt like I had been through a war! LOL

I would have to save that credit cards are great tools, but they may be severe handicaps as well--to your credit score, your credit history and your sanity.

1 comment:

CreditWise said...

You know, dealing with credit cards is always a war. A la guerre comme a la guerre! french say. these tools were invented for our convenience, but often they cause troubles rather than make our lives easier

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