No. of Recommendations: 4
hi all,

as predicted here, after i filed for bankruptcy in october 05 (20 minutes before the law changed), i was inundated with fabulous credit card offers. reason: BK filings are public record. and the banks know my "assets" won't be protected for the next 7 years at best, probably longer. (i didn't look it up because, OF COURSE, i will never file again.)

under the terms of my divorce, i assumed some of the debt that my EX-husband and i shared - which immediately went on two 0% cards. (i have received very few offers since then.) unfortunately, in all the brouhaha about various and sundry, i didn't, um, make a note of whether/if those rates expire. of course again, i have been rigorous about paying these on time - as well as all other payments that might trigger the universal default clause and/or upset xtn.

now what? i guess it's silly - but i'm afraid to call the banks and ask about the terms for fear they'll realize they never should have given me such great deals and hike my rates to India-level heights. or that they will notice the rates should have been changed 3 months ago and they will do it now and if i hadn't called they wouldn't have noticed and i would have sailed along under their radar. good grief, when i type that i see how wacky it is.

nonetheless, i just can't shake those thoughts. something similar happened to me once when i was trying to battle the high interest rates i had pre-filing and pre-divorce: i called mbna to ask for a lower rate and ended up with a lower credit limit and a referral to debt-free america or some such wacky consolidation/kickback company.

so i'm asking for 2 things here: input as to whether this fear could possibly be founded in reality, and, if not, encouragement to go ahead and do it.

thanks!

BklynBorn
who makes no apologies for the shortage of upper case...
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No. of Recommendations: 0
I actually don't know that much about CC's, so I leave that to those more knowledgeable than I to answer.

But in general I have found that acquiring knowledge generally helps me, and that the fear of something often outweighs its reality. So I would say call and ask.
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No. of Recommendations: 12
now what? i guess it's silly - but i'm afraid to call the banks and ask about the terms for fear they'll realize they never should have given me such great deals and hike my rates to India-level heights. or that they will notice the rates should have been changed 3 months ago and they will do it now and if i hadn't called they wouldn't have noticed and i would have sailed along under their radar. good grief, when i type that i see how wacky it is.

nonetheless, i just can't shake those thoughts. something similar happened to me once when i was trying to battle the high interest rates i had pre-filing and pre-divorce: i called mbna to ask for a lower rate and ended up with a lower credit limit and a referral to debt-free america or some such wacky consolidation/kickback company.


Greetings, BklynBorn, I have to say that your fears are not actually wacky. MBNA, for instance, was NOTORIOUS for finding a way to thwack their cardholders who carried a balance and they were famous for pulling dirty tricks such as they pulled on you. So before you take any further steps, do the following:

1) Check your statements to see if there is any hint of what your current rate *is* - has it already gone up from 0%?

2) Let us know who the creditors are here and maybe posters with experience can come along to better advise

3) Do you have an escape plan in the event that your interest rates suddenly surge? Are you willing to give an idea of actual dollar amounts still owed - or at least of percentage credit limit utilized? That might help posters here to assess your chances of the likelihood of opening sufficient new credit to be able to do a balance transfer when the walls start closing in. Alternatively, could you take out a personal consolidation loan from your bank or credit union? Clearly not so ideal, but if your interest rates took an upward hike, could you aggressively snowball to the point where you become a ferocious extreme debt repayment warrior (a nod to xtn) and get brutal on your debt?

By the way, no apologies ever needed for the shortage of upper case. In truth, I feel that an apology is actually owed to you and that is the last word I will say about this here. Your writing is fresh, funny and a lift to read IN ANY CASE, with WHATEVER CASE, so please keep on posting and don't look back!

xraymd
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or that they will notice the rates should have been changed 3 months ago and they will do it now and if i hadn't called they wouldn't have noticed and i would have sailed along under their radar. good grief, when i type that i see how wacky it is.

I don't think that the customer service reps have as much initiative as you fear.

With the ability of computers, I find it much more likely that changes in terms of service and interest rates are all automated. The company gets an update of your credit report and their computers make determinations about what that means for your rate.

So call them up and ask when the rate expires. They are monitored for call volume so your call would be a short quick answer that would help with their average calls per hour.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
First, log into your account and see if there's any notation on your statement that shows when and if the 0% will expire.

If you can't tell from your statements, I would then go ahead and call or email and ask when your 0% rate expires. I recently (about 2 months ago) did this with Chase. I forgot to note when my 1.99% balance transfer rate expired. I logged into my account and sent them a note that said, "Please advise as to the date my promotional rate will expire. Thank you." Within 24 hours they sent me what appeared to be a form response with my promo expiration date stuck in there.

I understand your concern, but I think that if you ask a simple question, you'll get a simple answer.
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I'm looking at my statement from my Bank of America / MBNA credit card (whatever the thing is, I'm snowballing it.)

You're making perfect sense here. But I don't understand how they work, either.

Anyway, unless something changed since your statement came out, your interest rate will show up under the heading of "Finance Charge Schedule", down there where it says "Annual Percentage Rate for this Billing Period". While you're looking, it won't hurt to check what day the payment is due. I've caught MBNA changing my due date, making it earlier than I expected, without warning or explanation.

Alternatively, you can always check your account online, assuming you've made the transition to their truly annoying setup (which sent me back to paper.)
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Hi BklynBorn,

I had a card with Chase with a 0% offer with no BT fees, for 15 months with $7,800 left on it, which I KNEW expired in July. I called Chase in May and asked for the terms. They said the 0% it expired in July 15 and the interest rate would be adjusted to the 15% rate (or whatever). I then asked if they could extend the 0% rate for any length of time. They said no and seemed surprised that I even asked. I told them I would be paying the balance in full. I was actually wondering if that would make a difference, but they said no. I transferred it off in June.

They were happy to tell me the terms over the phone. There was nothing on the website or the bill to indicate when the offer expired.

I would have liked to pay it off, but alas, we are not prepared to do that at this time. But I did start with 12,000 and got it down to $7,800 in 15 months, by paying the minimum payment plus a little more at the end.

My rate didn't change by calling them. But they didn't do what I asked either. It was a long shot though.

But I got 14 months at 0% out of them. And got rid of $4,200 worth of debt. :)

Doctor Beth
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No. of Recommendations: 1
i assumed some of the debt that my EX-husband and i shared - which immediately went on two 0% cards. ...unfortunately, in all the brouhaha about various and sundry, i didn't, um, make a note of whether/if those rates expire. of course again, i have been rigorous about paying these on time - as well as all other payments that might trigger the universal default clause and/or upset xtn.

... i'm afraid to call the banks and ask about the terms for fear they'll realize they never should have given me such great deals and hike my rates to India-level heights. or that they will notice the rates should have been changed 3 months ago and they will do it now and if i hadn't called they wouldn't have noticed and i would have sailed along under their radar. good grief, when i type that i see how wacky it is.


thanks, all, for your thoughts and ideas on this.

i do know how to find my current interest rate on the statements. i follow this very closely, on line as well as on the paper statements. they're both still at 0%.

you all inspired me to do a little more digging. sure enough, there at the bottom of the "visa" file were a couple of those little booklets the credit card companies send. i always thought they were boilerplate, or privacy stuff. but i saved them anyway.

good thing - they do lay out the terms. one of them (WaMu) - the one with the larger balance - stays at 0% until 1/08. the other one (which shall remain nameless but whose initials are hsbc), interestingly, was 0% for six months - starting 9/07. i looked at it over and over, and i'm sure that's what it says. so maybe my wacky idea is not so wacky...

great idea about the escape plan. i'll work on that for the hsbc card, and also throw as much $$$ as possible at it.

it has been really good for me to finally look at this issue that has pecking away at the back of my mind. as so often happens here, it's shining the light at these dark places that makes the difference. the numbers fall into place after that.

thanks. i'll keep you posted.

BklynBorn

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oops...

hsbc), interestingly, was 0% for six months - starting 9/07

should be

starting 9/06

bb
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