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Credit Cards and Consumer Debt
On My Way Home

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By regattagirl
February 10, 2006

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Dang it!

So I was getting all my spending under control while living on the edge with all of my accounts...and getting ready to step away from the edge when I get my federal refund (already filed on 2/2)

I was focusing on making the minimums, just started a budget, not charging anything, just getting things under control when WHAM! They got me again.

I had been just over or at my limit on my 3 cards. Paid the minimums and lo and behold on one card the minimum payment wasn't enough to cover the new interest charges and I went back over for a fee of $35. I wasn't sure what I was going to do, I got a little mad but figured I must have screwed up again because that's what I do. I couldn't call the CC because I was at work when I discovered it and I'm not carrying my cards (yeah me) so I had no account # to reference. I immediately checked the other cards two cards and another one had an over limit fee of $30! On this one I went over limit because of their annual fee (which I forgot about because a year ago I wasn't opening statements) plus the interest. What the H-E-double hockey sticks?!?! I paid the minimums after all! More mad...in fact let's just let that good ole MAD build up to a fevered pitch!

So I waited until 9pm my time (free call on my cell) and dialed. I started with the one that charged the annual fee because that gave me a powerful good reason to fight the over limit fee. I got someone in another country with the Americanized name of Ralph who I politely reasoned with that their annual fee had put me over. I said I had never called before about any fee and they were making tons-O-$ off me at the practically illegal rate they are charging me and now that I think about it I should probably cut it up right now just because of this.

While he was reversing the charge (one courtesy reversal per year - who knew?), he explained to me that my statement informed me that the annual fee was coming up. I said that's all well and good but he could look back and see that I always pay online and just keep my statements as records AND OH BY THE WAY, don't you think if you can send me an over limit email, you could send me an email that I was about to be charged an annual fee? This technology exists, really it does. I told him I was so frustrated that I had a scissors in my hand. So while we set up a $300 payment for the day after my next paycheck to get the balance back in check and further from the edge, "Ralph" explained that I could call back again as soon as my account was under the limit and ask for a lower rate. I think the scissors really freaked him out. I felt a little like I had a hostage and it was his first-born child.

So while the score was still being changed out in left field, I immediately dialed the other CC and reasoned that I thought that if I didn't charge anything new then the minimum payment would put me at a balance that the new interest charges would not put me over (poor thing was confused with that). I had already made a $400 payment when I discovered the over limit so she too offered the one courtesy reversal per year (holy crap).

I know I should have called to get these rates decreased before now but I am not a whiner and I was chicken. I have never argued with a professor about a grade or argued that I deserved a bigger raise. I know this has to do with how my [sic] just took horrible treatment from my father because I react the same way she did...like "well, I must deserve horrible things or they wouldn't happen to me." Weird thing is that I'm only like this with money. I seem to have overcome it in most other areas of my life.

SO NOW I KNOW that I'm going to make those rate reduction calls and I'm going to do it with a scissors in my hand (very powerful). And if they don't lower my rate, then I WILL CUT CUT CUT!!! CC are evil, evil, evil and I am NOT using them again ever. EVER. Do you HEAR me?!?!

Without all of you, I wouldn't have bothered to look at my balances; much less what causes them to be what they are at. I would have just assumed that because I am "not so good with my money" that I must deserve the fees and gave up...which actually was my first thought.

But things are changing, Baby! And I'm ON MY WAY HOME.

Regatta
Who loves this board and who would send everyone of you a Valentine but it's not in my budget.


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