If you happen to have credit with Bank of America beware of this "too good to be true" offer:
"Transfer your balance on existing credit cards to one of ours and we will give you a Zero Percentage rate for 12 months."
I called BofA because I had a few credit cards with them, and I did not know if these were still active or not.
Most of my business and personal charges have made on other cards and I have been keeping a modest balance in the past few "hard" winter months.
When the friendly chap at B of A (Chris) told me that not only did I have sterling credit record (I do, or rather I DID) but that I could transfer my $10,000 balance from another card and get zero percent on it, I thought I would take advantage of this admittedly "teaser rate".
In order to take "full advantage" I would have to get my wife to sign onto this card as well. Asking the questions to find out WHY, but not getting the answer to that little voice that said "this is too good to be true, what's the catch?", we went ahead with what turned out to be an application for more credit.
We found out the hard way what the "catch" was... AND THAT IS WHY WE ARE WARNING YOU!!!
The net result was that after evaluating our current circumstances, not only did B of A not do the transfer, they reduced our credit limit on ALL of our credit cards!
Bait-and-switch... or rather BAIT-AND-BURN!!!
If you have not lived through this scenario, let me tell you what happens next. The banks are like lemmings! Even if you have NEVER missed a payment, and have paid your credit cards down to zero from time to time (mine has been within the last six months), and have had a perfect FICO score (tarnished now), the banks and credit card companies will follow the first bank's lead and reduce your line of credit on everything!
So this works out perfectly for BofA. If by some miracle you have dodged the bullet from the economic melt down, they get you to transfer some great risk over to their books; if on the other hand, you have not been as lucky, they get to ruin your credit and your spouses too.
As a result, your interest rates may spring up, your current balance on formerly "safe" levels is now over the limits so the banks get to ding you on that too.
It may even affect your mortgage and HLOC rates too. "BofA's melt down" brought right to your door for doing nothing other than trying to save a few hundred dollars on finance charges.
I am sure this is not what Pres. Obama had in mind, but it is the most likely scenario from the world of banking... bait-and-burn!
Today I RECEIVED FIVE (5) FORM LETTERS reducing our line on credit cards from as much as $35,000 to $1,500. I am sure this will have a tsunami effect on the rest of our credit. I would have been better off had I just cut up the credit cards when I found them (just the way I do with those pseudo-checks they sent me every week.)
Dear B of A: The sun will shine again. The economy will spring back. We, the American consumer, will be healthy and wealthy again. But we will NEVER FORGET what Bank of America did to us today. I know I am not alone. B of A is going down! and YOU DID IT TO YOURSELF just like AIG, GM, and the rest.
Dear reader: If you own BofA stock, now is the time to bail out. It won't be getting any better.
Keep your cash in a can.