The problems started when the economy started to turn around October. I found myself suddenly "behind" according to the national bank of Omaha. I could not understand how since I was at sending them money each week as I got my paycheck and I had no other problems with any of my other creditors (most were showing me paid well ahead of time). I called them up confused, got a bunch of confusing explanations about me missing my due dates but things were not adding up on my end at all (according to my numbers I was paying way over the amount each month toward the amount due).
Frustrated and completely confused by the rep on their end, and having been told It was not their policy to let me speak to a manager, I offered to make a payment via their website to correct my account. I did so with a reps help then got a call back that the account/routing number did not work. The rep happily supplied me with the "correct" information that they said my bank had relayed back to them. I didn't question this and followed the rep instructions.
The next day I was contacted telling me that the check was bounced because that account was no valid. They tagged me with a 35 dollar return check fee ontop of the mound of late charges they had already built up on me somehow. I called and asked to speak with a supervisor I was told that was not policy but they would get my complaint down and one would call me back (I never got a call back and tryed a few more times to contact a manager).They wanted me to repeat the online check process again.
I told then "no, you have snuck enough fees out of me thanks" and went back to paying them through my bank online. I quickly sent them hundreds of dollars over the next few weeks. I pulled the account back up to status quo and began my regiment of paying them above and beyond what they asked for each month. Here I am in May reviewing over my weekly check and getting ready to distribute funds to creditors to stay a head.
I open my email and I have an urgent from First National of Omaha telling me I'm past due for the amount of the statement I recieved at the end of last month, in which I had already sent them a few days prior to getting the statement, I'm stunned and confused I open up my checking account to see what went wrong. I see they cashed a 50 dollar payment on the 29th of april but they apparently have gotten the one more recent 50 dollar payment that was sent out via my bank for a total of 100 this month (approx $16) dollars over the minimum. I called them up to let them know of the check I did not time correctly.
A rep quickly informed my the payment is $86 and not 50. Confused I explained that I had 50 more coming to add to the 50 they already recieved on the 29th. I was quickly told that that payment did not count toward my payment this month at all. Completely stunned I asked for a manager. Surprisingly I have quickly transferred to Jim Cripe (CL324B) who informed me in a that according to the user aggreement they do not apply and payments unless it fixs into their specific cycle. The due date is not a marker but their internal billing cycle is what they go by.
So as I went over my payments with him he told my yes toward and by last months due date I paid over the amount due by the due date, but the 50 dollar payment I sent after that the due date toward what I thought was toward next months payment counted for nothing. I still owed the minimun due on this cycle. I told him FNBoO was the only one that resorted to that and asked him why would someone do that. I was quickly and condescendly told I need to read all the fine print on the financial agreement.
I have never run into this problem with any creditor. Any payments I make after the previous due date (provided of course one is not Past due and their account is up to date) goes immediately toward the next payment due. This is the first time I have run accross this sneaky underhanded way to extort money from consumers. I does allow me to make sense of how the account became (behind the first time).
I was sending more than the amount due each month; but they were only counting payments recieved within a very narrow 14 day window instead of the continuous payments i was making thus once one fills a said a payment due on the said 15 of the month, then sends money weekly or by weekly they only count if recieved say on the 2- 15 of the next month. This allows them to accumulate late charges and slowly slide consumers past due then confuses and frustrates them with flim flam talk until a consumer can get past the initial portal to understand how their are extorting this money.
Consumers need to know about this I have been sending more than the minimum each month yet the company has found a way to keep the balance up by (underhandedly with small type) tacking on late charges and fees. According to my conversation with Jim Cripe (CL324B) they are only adhering to the user agreement and it is the consumers job to understand all fine print. I understand the value of user agreements and fine print, I have no doubt it is written in the user agreement at all. I do feel that this is unjustified and shady at best financial practice.
I shiver whenever I think of how many families and people they are doing this to weekly. I am persistent enough to figure out what they are doing (and it took me months to figure it out), but how many single parents and families are out there being buried by this practice? Consumers should be aware of this unscrupulous practice. This is nothing more than a means to increase balances on people that pay minimums or punish those that try to stay ahead.
"Cash advance" places have been hit hard to loaning out short term weekly loans to consumer and charging then up to 300% interest, but how is this any different? They are merely subsidizing their interest rate by narrow down the customers "payment window" into their terms. Why can't a consumer pay the amount due by the due date by their choosing? I am not say that if one sends in a flat $100 check for a minimum $80 payment should should have the $20 applied to next month.
I am merely stating any payments recieved after the due date of and account up to date should be applied to the next payment due. This is very much like saying, "ohhh you charged your $500 dollars on you card, you card has a 500 balance", you send in the $500 the day after you charged the card to pay it off. Only to get a "payment not recieved letter" when you payment due date arrives but a bill for $25 due because you did not pay within the 14 day window required.
It do not ethically make any sense. This is further validated as "underhanded" by the fact that this is the first time in over 15 years of credit history that I have EVER heard of such a thing. I have had no other credit card or delt with ANY credit agency that has used this tactic.