I stupidly opened an Aspire Visa credit card account in 2004, as I had a bankruptcy in 2001 due to cancer, and I was trying to rebuild my credit. Even then, I knew I would probably regret using this company, and I most definitely do. For the last 4+ years I have maintained 5 credit card accounts with different companiesall in a timely manner. I have never been more than a couple of days late at any time in those 4 years. Literally. Once or twice I went over my limit on one or two cards due to maxing out my card enough that their fees pushed me over the limit. In any case, when this occurred I always sent out a minimum of triple-the-minimum payment due, as I did not want to "play the game".
Last June (2008) my Aspire card number was stolen (along with several other Aspire cardholders' numbers) and fraudulently used at a Wal-Mart somewhere in Florida (I live in New England). Aspire did do their job and sent me notification of suspicious usage and put a freeze on my account. Unfortunately that was the last positive thing they did. It has been a nightmare dealing with these people ever since. I did exactly as they told me, which was to keep sending in the minimum amount due to keep my account in good standing. I did. They sent out an affidavit so I could dispute the fraudulent charges, which I received in late June and immediately mailed back to Aspire. It took them over 2 1/2 months to make a decision regarding my affidavit (it went in my favor and they reversed the charges and any accrued fees). Meanwhile, in August I was not able to get payment to them on time as I have been under-employed since last March. I did however give them two payments in September, one in early Sept and one in the third week of September. Also in September, they imposed late fees from August when my card was still in dispute/frozen status, and THAT sent me over my limit. I was, maybe 2 or 3 weeks late getting my August payment to them...the ONLY time I have been that late since opening this card account. The last actual usage of this card by me was in May 2008. At that time my credit limit was at $2300 and I had about $1800 charged up on the card with no cash advances. In June, the card was used illegally, maxing me out. I sent payments to Aspire in June, July, twice in September, once in October. They permanently closed my account the same week I received a new card with a welcome letter. Of course during the course of the last 5-6 months I have called Aspire countless times, pressed dozens of numbers while navigating through their phone menu and spoke to several non-American (India) representatives who were obviously reading script and not quite fluent in English. Had they told me I was maxed out or nearing maxing out even though the card was frozen, I could have paid more per month. In addition, my card was closed the day after I did a pay-by-phone payment that they insisted on, as they had also frozen my online payment access on their (chintzy) web site. I asked for a manager several times, and that 'person' was never available. I was told to expect a call-back from a manager within 24 hours, TWO TIMES over the last 2 weeks, and never did get a call-back. I am through with this horrible company. I sent them payment of $1400 by phone (again) the other day and am paying the remaining balance off over the next two months. Good riddance to this crooked bank. My biggest fear is that because THEY closed my account, they can report me as bad risk even though they received payment in full. After years and years of working so hard to re-establish my credit, they have single-handedly (and unscrupulously) damaged my credit score. And they could care less. I hope they go under!