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I can see why people commit suicide over credit card debt

August 15th, 2009 at 09:12 pm

I have been thinking about this post for a week or so. We got hit by one of the big ones, they "did'nt receive" our payment on time. I paid it electronically, but some how it did'nt go in their system on time. We were jacked up to 29.99. DH hit the roof, screaming and yelling, and it was just ugly. I have called them twice (this being Chase). The first time the "customer service rep" and I use the term loosely, would'nt move me on to a supervisor. It is bad enough, they don't speak English, but they are also rude. The second time they did move me onto a supervisor but with a comment of "There is nothing they will do about it". She told me "Chase negotiates with NO ONE." Kinda made me feel like a terrorist, instead of a customer. Will try them again.

Then came the second hit, we owe a HUGE amount to Citi. We are paperless. They send a reminder once a month that your bill is coming up to pay, but no date or amount, just a reminder. My payment has always been the 4th. I ALWAYS make sure to pay this on time so that nothing happens. Guess what?? Yep, my payment was moved to the 3rd. BAM! 29.99%. Oh, and your payment due is now something like 847.00! Their customer service was kinder and she said it could be reversed after she talked to a supervisor to call back in 3/4 business days. We'll see. I have'nt told DH yet, because I am waiting for their response.

I can only begin to describe how this made me feel. HOPELESS is the first word that pops into my mind. Frustratingly hopeless, that my government gave my money to these banks and they do NOTHING but help the American people. And HELPLESS is another one. Yes, I entered into a contract with these people, but nowhere did I state that I was perfect. I always pay on time and try to pay over the minimum due. Ugh!

I cried when I found out, I cry myself to sleep, I wake up with a feeling of dread and a little despair. Where will the money come from. Where can I get a second job, HOW will I pay all this?? The cards are cut up, yet they will be with me for years. This is what happens when you try to live off of credit cards. I am already desperately teaching my children how to save for what they want and NEVER be a slave to credit.

No, I will not kill myself over this, only learn from my mistakes and try to pass on a little knowledge learned, but I can see where these feelings might push another right over. Your life insurance could pay off all of your families bills and they would never have to worry about it.

Will let you know what happens with Citi. And I will try Chase again! I will fight even if it is useless.

19 Responses to “I can see why people commit suicide over credit card debt”

  1. LuxLiving Says:

    So sorry that this is happening. Can you find another CC to move the balances to?

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    ((hugs))

    The rate hike happened to a good friend of mine because a one day late payment. She had a good payment history. She called and after a good half hour or more on the phone was able to get them to lower the rate back down. She used the line "I'll have to file bankruptcy" if this is my new payment amount. I don't really agree that she would have to do that, but I believe that is how she feels. Not sure if that threat might help your cause.

  3. Ima saver Says:

    I am so sorry to hear about this. I certainly hope you can get your rate reduced back down. This is so unfair. I am old fashioned and pay my bill by mail. That way, when I get the bill in the mail, I send a check off the very next day!

  4. davera Says:

    Boo, I feel the pain in your post, and I just want to say I am so sorry you are going through this. You are doing all you can to get this back on track, so do not allow this to disrupt your peace.

    I encourage you to put your point of view and your arguments in writing to these banks, if you do not get a satisfactory verbal response. I would even consider copying it to your congressperson and senator, and the government agency overseeing the banks. These banks were bailed out when their loan portfolios looked risky. You are making a good faith effort to do all you can to honor your commitments, and this should be documented.

    Good luck!

  5. Apprentice Bliss Hunter Says:

    The behaviour of those banks is despicable.... treating good diligent conscientatious customers like that after getting taxpayers money ? It's not right.

    Please know that it is more a reflection on the Banks than on you....

    Keep the faith - one day you WILL be credit card debt-free !!

  6. ceejay74 Says:

    ccf has an interesting idea; if you told them you would no longer be able to pay them anything at the new amount, they might bring your rate down a bit; they'd probably rather get something than nothing.

    I just got a notice from my remaining credit card with a balance that late fees and penalties will be much higher...glad I pay that nearly a month early each month but it still makes me nervous.

    The CC companies know that pending federal legislation is going to regulate many of their predatory practices, so they are getting people while they still can. It's really awful; they are unabashedly trying to cheat people out of more money without offering a single extra improvement to their own "service." Our corporate world is absolutely monstrous and unfortunately just as (or more) powerful than our own government due to deregulation over the past couple decades. So this is what they do without proper supervision and not as many rules holding them back...great...

    Hang in there! And tell your husband to stop yelling at you--it's not doing any good! Frown

  7. frugaltexan75 Says:

    {{{{Boo}}}}

    I'm so sorry this happened to you. With Chase, you might have to ask and ask and ask to be put with a supervisor till they get sick of you asking. I read somewhere that they won't transfer you until you ask at least 3 or more times.

    What I do with my one card -- I check it at least once a week. That way I see due dates, charges, and credits. I also usually pay the balance due at least a week ahead of time, and then check daily until I see it's been credited.

    I hope Chase and Citi will work with you.

  8. baselle Says:

    Boo, I've followed a bit of davera's advice when I did battle with Cap One (their phone customer service was just as bad as yours ... like the customer service guy knew that I would have had to fly out to India to beat his face in the ground). Its time to go to the written route - facts without emotion, one page, tell them what you want.

    cc:ing your congressman would be valuable if you have an idea that your congressman is working in a banking or finance committee. The Thomas website is invaluable http://thomas.loc.gov/ for researching stuff like that.

    BTW, if DH is yelling and screaming, perhaps he should call Chase and they can do battle.

  9. BuckhornGal Says:

    If I can make a suggestion... maybe you can try calling and saying that you are upset about the extra charge and want to avoid it in the future by sending 6 months of post dated cheques to ensure it doesn't happen again. Then suggest they waive the late charge due to sluggish systems or postings. I had that happen when I was one day late with Visa due to my computer crashing. They waived the $20.00+ interest because of my payment history. And by the way, most service reps can reverse up to 50% and they need a manager or supervisor to reverse more. Just my thoughts based on my experience in customer service and collections.

  10. fern Says:

    Let's face it. Big national banks like these are practically criminal in the devious late fees, penalties and assorted other ways they seek to maximize their profits.

    I just don't understand why so many people apparently keep giving them their business. Is a rewards card really worth it?

    I hope that you will seriously consider closing these accounts and instead open up a credit union or LOCAL COMMUNITY bank account. The service will be better and, on average (there are always exceptions i guess) local banks won't be trying to rip you off every time you turn around. Yes, they still have their fees, but i don't believe you'll find them to as usurious as the Wachovia's and Chase's of the world.

    I think your comment, "I feel like a terrorist, not a customer" couldn't be more true.

    I would also urge you to contact a higher up at the company and speak your mind. But instead of attempting to iron this out so that you can continue banking with them, I would attempt to iron this out but at the same time explore your other options. Do not reward bad corporate behavior!

  11. lizajane Says:

    One of my cc companies also just changed my due date, out of the blue. Fortunately I saw the date in time. But it is annoying. What a handy way to make a fortune - change the date and see how many million people miss out on it! If your history is good, keep pestering them until they fix it right. I've occasionally screwed up as well, and NEVER failed to have it fixed by the customer service rep. Late fees reversed, interest rates restored, etc. The key is that is must be OCCASIONAL screw-ups, and very rare.

    And, on this one, I don't agree with baselle about having DH make the call since he's the yelling & screaming type. You will get MUCH further with calm, cool & collected.

  12. asmom Says:

    I'm sorry that this is happening to you. I know how you feel, it has happened to me too. It is infuriating and makes you feel powerless and at the mercy of the CC companies. Is there no chance of getting another card with a 0% balance transfer offer?

  13. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Kathy...listen up friend.

    I work at a credit union...and I know that many, many credit unions across the country are trying to help families just like yours. Our members come in panicked and crying...and leave with hope. I dont know if any of your local credit union's are doing this, but PLEASE CHECK. We are doing some unconventional things to keep people in their cars, homes, bring monthly payments down, etc. Perhaps hope is within your reach too???

    And Kathy makes a good point to all of us...be extra careful about due dates...many banks are using ANY EXCUSE to jack their rates up so they can recoup $$ lost be those who've had to default.

  14. boomeyers Says:

    Thank you so much everyone for your great advice and encouragement!
    *I don't believe we would qualify for any CC right now to be able to transfer anything too. I had good rates on the existing accounts, around 8.9 on average.
    *All these cards are cut up and I only use a JCPenney for some of the girls clothes and I pay that off right away. We have a great State Farm Visa with a really low credit line that I plan on keeping for emergencies and traveling when we get out of this mess. Otherwise, it is all on our local banks debit card, straight out of our account.
    *As for telling them I can't pay their crazy minimum payments, I believe that this is why they are going to try to work with me on this at Citi. I am eager to call Chase back, but want to do it during regular business hours to see if I can get an American speaking person.
    *BASELLE - (their phone customer service was just as bad as yours ... like the customer service guy knew that I would have had to fly out to India to beat his face in the ground) I just LAUGHED OUT LOUD on that one!! Thank you for the smile!
    *I will try the credit union. I have thought about this before. Is there a certain department you need to talk to?
    *I am going to put everything in writing. As I laid in the dark unable to sleep, I was thinking I needed to send it to my congressman and even the dang President!!
    GREAT IDEAS MY FRIENDS! THANK YOU!

  15. Broken Arrow Says:

    I'm late, but sorry to hear about this. For what it's worth, I believe in Business Karma. Look at Microsoft, Blockbuster, Circuit City, and many, many others.

    People don't forget easily when they are treated badly by certain corporations. And believe it or not, that does have long term impact on their business. I'm sure that once you are out of this and is able to choose, you will choose to avoid those who have treated you badly.

    Moreover, many who have read what you have written here will share similar sentiments. In time, I think it will catch up to them. For now, please take care.

  16. scfr Says:

    I'm so sorry. I really hope you can get things worked out. Definitely try a CU!

  17. creditcardfree Says:

    I just need to say one thing...do not send them post dated checks. Most likely they will cash them all...even with a date into the future. Everything is so automated, it won't be caught until it's too late.

  18. boomeyers Says:

    Haven't had a chance to call either yet, but will keep you posted.
    Good point CCF. I am still all for paying electronically from my bank. I don't want any CC company to have my bank info, as they may decided to just use it without my permission!

  19. MomEsq Says:

    I am so sorry - this kind of stress is awful. Everyone here has great advice. Also consider writing a letter or e-mail (often through the cc web site) explaining the situation and confirming any of the discussions you've had with customer service reps. Having something in writing is always always always better than relying on phone conversations, and I've found that putting my issue in writing to the cc company results in better customer service. I am generally suspicious of e-mail, but it's worked out fine for me the last few times I've used it. Good luck!

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