After a bad marriage and some credit problems to follow. I received an offer of credit from Household Bank. The first time I applied I was turned down and when I received a second offer I was calling to tell them what to do with their app when, much to my surprise, my application was approved.
Of course it was approved at the subprime lending floor of 18.9 or prime plus 12.9%, but I was just glad to get the opportunity to rebuild my credit. After getting the card I read all sorts of horror stories about household bank but my relationship with them seemed to be going smoothly. I'd even defended them on some of these blogs. I had never taken my card over the limit nor been late with payments and in return, they managed to raise my credit limit approximately every three months or so.
I received a change in terms in July of 2004 that stated their base rate was going up to 14.9%. So that meant an interest rate at prime plus 14.9. When I called their representative, I was told to disregard that notification and that because I was a customer in good standing, this interest rate hike would not affect my account. In November of 2004 I received a statement reflecting a higher interest rate. I again called household to demand an explanation as to why my rate went up although I'd tried to be a model customer. I was told that my rate went up because of prime and when I told the girl that prime had not gone up enough to raise my rate above the floor 18.9% I got another song and dance and was told this is the lowest rate that they offer.
Okay, I've got a card and I don't want to make a fuss. Today 2/6/2005 I received another application from household that states the floor is still 18.9 although I've been paying over 20 for the past couple of months. I'm sure you can imagine my language. The new disclosure on this application was the exact one I filled out two years prior with the same terms. In other words, the only thing being a good customer with an account kept in good standing with household got me was a higher interest rate.
When I called them to have them explain this, I was told that the application I received must be an introductory rate. I explained to them that Federal law would require them to disclose that introductory rate information on the application and nowhere in this app was this disclosure. I then asked again why my rate was 20+ although I'd never missed a payment nor been late or over limit on my account if they were offering this 18.9. I was told that the bank sometimes just changed their fee schedule but no one could tell me what criteria my account had met to fall into this new fee. I call it a bait and switch. I think once my credit limit got to a certain level, HHB decided to make it more difficult to pay off thereby increasing their bottom line.
If you are considering getting this card, get rid of it before your limit gets much higher than the initial offer. If not, I'm sure you too will be a victim of the oldest scam in the world. The old bait and switch.
Luckily, I am able to afford to pay this card off completely next week. They'll never get another dime out of me over 20%.