According to an article in the Star-Telegram, credit card companies are raising interest rates, decreasing credit limits and charging higher fees even on their best customers those who never miss a payment.
The article said:
D.J. Kennedy uses her credit card when she runs out of money at the end of the month. "I use it to buy food and medicine," the Fort Worth woman says. Then she repays the bill in full when it arrives. But that didn't stop the issuer of her Visa card from kicking up a 4 percent introductory interest rate to 10.75 percent.
Ron Henry of Granbury uses his credit cards to help pay bills as he struggles to beat leukemia. "We run up large medical bills, and we pay the minimum each month," he says.
American Express increased his interest rate from 14 to 28 percent after a mental mistake caused him to miss the minimum payment one month. He didn't notice that the minimum had increased and failed to adjust his online payment schedule to match it. By the time he figured it out, he had fallen $50 behind, and the higher rate was in place.
These stories are typical of credit card consumers who are depending on credit just to meet their daily expenses and in the case of the Henry, his medical expenses. But with the economic downturn, it may be in the best interest of credit card borrowers to be extremely cautious about using their credit cards. Many credit card companies are coming up with "creative" ways to make up for the record number of delinquencies and defaults by increasing fees and rates on their existing customers. For those credit card borrowers living on tight budgets and using credit to make it to the end of the month, these new measures can have devastating financial affects. One medical illness or job loss can send their credit card house of cards tumbling down. Don't become a credit card casualty.
Take the time out today to assess your current financial standing. How much do you owe on your credit cards and other debts? How long will it take you to pay off your credit cards and other debts? 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? If you find that it will take you more than 5 or 6 years to repay all of your debts, you may want to consider a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy . If you are currently unemployed and using savings to repay debt or if your debt has become delinquent, you may want to consider filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy to discharge your debt. Contact a Dallas-Fort Worth bankruptcy attorney today to discuss your bankruptcy options.