Credit card companies threatened to retaliate against consumers after Congress recently passed consumer credit card protections. So we asked consumers to let us know what changes they have seen in their credit card agreements.
Last week, thousands of Chase card holders saw their minimum payments increase from 2% to 5% of their total balance. Chase pulled this trick before the law was passed, back in December and here they go again.
The change in minimum payment has little to do with how long customers have been Chase cardholders, or their credit ratings, though in an analysis of complaints to Consumeraffairs.com in the last few days, many customers do seem to have one thing in common. They all mention that they took advantage of a previous promotion and signed up for a Chase credit card, with the promise of a low, fixed rate for an extended period of time.
Chase Bank sent me a notice they are hiking minimum payment fees from present level of 2% to 5%!! This means on my account, where I took their balance transfer offer for over $25K several years ago at a fixed 5.9% rate that my monthly payment is now going to go up $558 to $930!!!
This is insane. More people will claim inability to pay or declare bankruptcy with this "strategy." My wife and I are trying to make ends meet with both our salaries reduced by our companies, costs for everything increasing as usual. This news from Chase causes us immediate financial stress, as it will others.
Isn't this behavior the exact kind Congress is trying to prevent???
Well consumers will find a bit of protection from this type of thing, once the credit card legislation goes into effect in February 2010. The new law prohibits card companies from more than doubling the minimum payment. So Chase’s action to raise minimum payments from 2% to 5% would be illegal. The problem is they will be permitted to raise the payment from 2% to 4%.
What is changing in your wallet? Are you a Chase customer? Has your credit card company changed the terms of your deal? Share your stories with us and help us fight for real consumer protections.