Below is a direct quote, (with my account number excluded,) of an e-mailed conversation between Chase / WaMu and myself. Please note, that in the body of the email, Chase/WaMu acknowledges that I have never defaulted or paid late on my account! (In fact, I doubt that I have ever defaulted on Any financial account in my entire life. My FICO score is approx. 694, which is very "average" in America.)
It is also interesting to note, that None of my other credit-cards have such outrageous rates.
I am not accusing Chase/WaMu of doing anything illegal.
My point is this:
Many Americans are losing jobs and enduring pay-cuts due to economic climate. Chase/WaMu knows this fact. Yet, they are creating outrageous APR's, even for those credit-card accounts that are in good standing!
How should blue-collar and middle-class America respond?
I intend to close every Chase account that I have ever had, and I have already emptied my WaMu checking account.
Now, as proof of my opinions and beliefs, here is the communication between Chase/WaMu and I:
Dear JOHN E BREWER,
Thank you for your recent e-mail regarding your account.
The information below details the inquiries you have included in your email.
Account Open Date: 07/04/2005
APR (as of 07/04/2005): 12.24% variable rate for Standard Purchases
APR (as of 07/04/2005): 24.24% variable rate for Standard Cash
Our records do not indicate you have defaulted on your credit card account agreement directly with our company since the accounts inception date.
APR (as of 02/03/2009): 31.99% variable rate for both Standard Purchases and Cash
Typically, account changes, such as an interest rate (APR) increase, result from a perceived increase in risk based on factors such as credit bureau and internal credit scores. We perform regular credit risk assessments on all accounts and make decisions based on our credit guidelines. This decision is based upon specific credit criteria that has been established for our company and cannot be changed at this time. The guidelines we follow are consistent for all of our customers.
If you have further questions or would like additional information, please e-mail us through our secure Contact Center or you may also call our Customer Service Department toll-free at 1-800-280-0561. Representatives are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Thank you. We look forward to more opportunities to meet your financial needs.
WaMu Customer Service
P.S. We hope you enjoy the convenience of online account access. Keep in mind, at our
website you can check your balance, pay your bill, and more - 24 hours a day!
Original Message Excluded:
Subject: Account facts - ending in XXXX.
I am seeking facts, so that I may make informed decisions:
When was this account opened, and at what APR?
How many times have I defaulted, or paid late, since this account was opened? On what date(s) did I default?
What is the current APR for this account?