< HOME  Saturday, May 20, 2006

Tricks of the Credit Card Trade

Just a few tricks from their legal toolbox illustrate why moneylenders are often considered the most greedy, deceitful buggers on earth.
What comes first, the terms or the application?

Surprisingly, in most situations, it's the application. Most banks won't show all credit card terms until you've given them specifics about your Social Security number, your address and your income. That's so they can peg the exact rate, terms and conditions to your credit score and credit history.

* * *

"You're being shown a customized offer" is the polite way a spokesman for HSBC Bank phrased it.
Of course, the harsh reality is that when you apply for a credit card moneylenders attempt to gauge "how badly they can screw you."
That puts you in the position of having to actually put your credit history at risk to apply for a card before you see exactly what card you're going to be approved for.

There are two ways to handle this. McHenry suggests not applying for cards that don't disclose all of their terms up front, but that's likely to make your list of potential lenders very, very short.

* * *

The alternative is to apply for several cards all at the same time, compare the deals you are offered and then cancel all but the one you like best. That's not likely to hurt your credit score much . . .
Actually, there's only ONE way to handle this - promptly TEAR UP the offer and either do without whatever you planned to buy or save up and pay cash for it.
What [terms] are they hiding?
  • Two-cycle billing. This uses two months of balances to come up with the average daily balance. It can be a big problem for borrowers who only rarely keep balances from one month to the next, because they'll end up paying two months interest for one month's debt.
  • Universal default. This means your card company could raise your rates if you're late on somebody else's bill somewhere else. If your credit history profile changes at all, they can view that as a signal to raise your rates.
  • Over-limit fees. If you have a $5,000 credit limit and you use your card to buy something that costs $5,010, don't expect the charge to be denied. Instead expect your issuer to charge you a fee of $30 or more.
  • Due times, not just dates. Many, if not most, issuers now consider a bill late if it arrives on the due date after a certain time of day -- typically BEFORE the mail is delivered. Then you can get busted for being late, a situation that can jack up your rate to levels over 20 percent and add another $30 or more in fees.
And of course, lenders forever try to hide from victims their ultimate trade secret, their staple scam, the raison d'ĂȘtre of their despicable trade - collecting OBSCENE amounts of INTEREST over the life of every loan.
Issuers [a.k.a., lenders] say they could end up spending as much as $57 million to provide customers with customized minimum payment and balance disclosures, but most customers say that's what they want, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

Individualized disclosures . . . would let you know how long you'd have to make those minimum payments before you'd bust your balance to zero, and how much you'd pay in interest in the meantime.

Don't hold your breath waiting for those statements. Go to an online calculator such as the bankrate Web site to get your own answer.
Many will vie for a position among these lowest of low, but few will compare to them. That is because behind every imaginable dirtbag - is a moneylender.

4 Comments:

At Saturday, May 20, 2006, Anonymous Mighty Thor said...

Science As Art
(Mighty Thor, 20 May 06)

Yes, qrswave, and that's when we see who's tough, moneylenders' enforcer, or a united people, planning in accord with a culture and history, who will become corrupted soon enough (so moneylenders must hope). Abstractions need be made concrete for survivors--as we strive to be. Good journalism, analysis, hence history, HELPS (for info).

Bush II will be seen as the definitive traitor president--like Ken Lay, CEO of former ENRON.

We really, as united citizenry, then merely need same quality info and analysis, alert against disinfo, lies, and psychologic operations.

Simple acts (like reverting to original form of election of US Senators) are good enough as long as we continue to see and inform for most effective anti-oligarchal cause (aesthetic)--it is (anti-subjectivist) ANTISEMITIC and rationalist, the two going so well together.

CONCLUSION: Presently with the free internet we can plot and chart the ever marching, ever-continuing Judeo-oligarchic victories, so ruthless, so terrible. We then merely help the truth speaking to fellow citizens, journalism in its finest form--information, in the hands of artists and true scientists. Keep up all ur good blogging-informing-analysis. Honest elections and death to the Fed. Thor

 
At Sunday, May 21, 2006, Anonymous romunov said...

These people might be running the govt. Just ask Abe Lincoln. ^_^ I say that in jest, of course, but what if I'm right?

Me, I pick up my scholarship in its entirety when I get it, and keep everything at home. I don't use cards, although I do own one, but I'm not sure I can go into red numbers. There's no interest on cash!

 
At Sunday, May 21, 2006, Blogger Albion Moonlight said...

There's no interest on cash!

Well, that's not strictly true, is it?

 
At Sunday, May 21, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

No, it's not rue.

In fact, every single dollar that circulates in this world is accruing interest for someone. Just because you're not paying it, doesn't mean that someone else isn't. Dollars are simply not issued except at interest.

That's why banks try to keep as little money on reserve as possible. They pay interest on every single one.

 

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