We have a small business card with Advanta and have had it for many years. Always pay on time, never go over our credit limit, always pay more than the minimum payment by several hundred dollars. My husband and I have excellent credit and have taken the responsibility of having credit seriously. For almost 1 year out interest rate with Advanta was 9.9%. Then in September they raised it to 10.08%. I called them and was told it was adjusted because of the "ligor" rate and they could not change it. Then the month of October came and it was again raised to 11.31%. I accepted this due to what was happening in the economy and understanding that everyone has to make a sacrifice.
Imagine my surprise when I opened my November 2008 statement and the interest rate was 27.18%. Well, to put it mildly, I went nuts. The first person I spoke with was from India I am sure as I could barely understand her. She was able to translate to me that she could see we were "remarkable customers" and she could lower the rate to 13.8%. She also explained to me that they re-evaluate their customers frequently and it appeared to them we could default on this loan. Are they kidding me? This helps to raise the interest rate so high it can never be paid off?
Anyway, I fumed all weekend and made another call this past Monday, yesterday, and got a surly person who said we were sent papers to opt out and since we didn't opt out, we had to put up with the interest being raised. She warned us she said. I never received any such paper but whatever. I then asked to speak to a supervisor because for one month, the interest rate of which about $70.00 of my $300/month payment now was increased to $170.00 and I wanted it adjusted back down, at least to the new 13.8%. Well, she refused, saying she could only give me a credit back of $50.00 which she did.
I am fortunate in that I was able to roll the balance of about $7000 over to another card that appreciates my small business. In the meantime, I sent a letter explaining this to the governor of Arizona, Senator John McCain, the AZ Attorney General, all CNN email address I could find, the FDIC, the better business bureau and several watchdog organizations like this one. I may be only one small voice but I will not stand by and let this happen without letting everyone who will listen to me know about Advanta and their corrupt practices. I truly feel sorry for those that are being help captive by these people. They will be ruined if Advanta has their way. And we the taxpayers are being asked to help the banks out when they can't do the same.
Chino Valley, Arizona