For many years I had excellent credit. Not so much as even one late payment ever. I did not go over my credit limits, Paid my Mortgage on time, paid my cars off etc, etc. When the housing market crashed in 2008, most of us did NOT understand what was going on.in 2010 I was laid off and also had a medical disability that was financially devastating. However we still paid all our bills on time with our savings and my husbands job as a teacher. We also have 2 children with special needs.
My credit cards were being subjected to APR changes/hikes. Such as 7.99% being changed to 21.9%( which was NOT a Introductory offer). It started with Chase who first sent me checks twice a month to entice me to use them. Yes, as a grown up I understood the process of using the checks. After it was used, they took it to 19.99 % AND slashed my credit limits to what I owed. It made it look as if I was maxing out my credit cards. No..the 7.99% was not an introductory or promotional APR. Chase was set up to make my minimum payment automatically. If I paid more the next month it took my automatic payment amount and deducted the amount I was paying. The system according to Chase made it look as if I had an overpayment. In actuality it looked as if i wasn't paying at least the minimum on my account, and they charged late fees. I spoke with them so many times that I actually had to file a complaint with the FTC.
When I asked why they where changing my APR and my credit limits told me that I was using my credit line too often, and paying only the minimum on my account concerned them. WHAT? Then I was told that so many people had defaulted on their credit cards that they had to pass along their loss to paying customers in order to remain in business. After that all my creditors began to systematically up my APR with the choice to OPT out by closing my accounts. This began to effect my credit score. Thats when it also allowed other creditors to up my APR by stating I was maxing out my credit limits( Debt/ratio), FICO score change, revolving credit lines to high and close to my credit balance, account not used( they closed it for that)..you name it they used it as a way to increase the amount of money they received while my balance continued to remain unchanged. The creditor who shut down out credit card because we had not used it was our mortgage lender too.
Then when I asked my bank for a loan modification they said since I was current on my mortgage I did not qualify for any programs. Why bother to have excellent credit if you can't use it? After our savings was depleted to pay our bills, things began to sink quickly. We stopped paying our mortgage and credit cards. Guess what?? We finally qualified for a hardship modification. We had to lose our savings, our credit score, our lives in order to get our loan modified. The modification did lower the amount but it just tacked on to the end of our loan. Our $198K changed to $225K, and the APR was changed from 5.78 to 2% for the 1st 5 years. Then after that it goes to 3% and so on and so on. Now we are really upside down on our mortgage. But I read some lenders are stating that predatory lending is not valid. HA!
The moral of the story was..after working my butt off for 30 years, we had to file a chapter 7 BK. We lost everything. Now they are trying to send us another credit card with predatory lending terms..I want to vomit. Just be careful people. They are still trying to scam us. STILL!