Monday, July 14, 2008

A small celebration

I paid off another credit card today! Well, sort of. Actually, I balance transferred the remaining amount on one card to the card that I paid off with my $600 economic stimulus check. There were two reasons I decided to do it. The first was that the offer was 6.99% for a year with no transfer fee and the second was that it meant that was one less credit card I have with Chase. I know many people have various banks/cards they dislike with a passion, and mine is Chase for the simple reason that they treated me like crap. Unfortunately I still have one card with them, but that one is next on the chopping block and then it will join its two previous siblings in the confetti pile.

It all started a couple of years ago when Chase, over a few months’ time, raised the rates on all three cards I had with them to the default rate, which was 29.99%. Was I late with a payment? No. Was I late with another card or my car loan? Nope. Did I go over my credit limit with them or another card? Again, no. The SOLE reason that they decided to essentially double my interest rates on the cards was that I had too much debt. So, in their computer, that made me a “risk”. Note that I always made more than the minimum payments on all my credit cards (not by much sometimes, but still always greater than the minimum) and by raising my rates they made it all that much harder to make the payments. So I really wasn’t at risk of not being able to pay the cards until THEY put me at risk by raising my rates (and therefore my minimum payments). Please explain the logic of that to me??? Yeah, I know, that’s just the way credit cards work. My Discover card did something similar, but not quite as high as the Chase rates. (Discover, though, will be next on the chopping block after the Chase cards go!) Meanwhile the rates on my Citibank cards have dropped and they raised my limit on one of them. Go figure.

The funny part is that I was going to have that Chase card paid off in about three or four months anyway, so I’m not really saving a whole lot by transferring (about $50 over the remainder of the time to pay it off), but boy did it feel good. I’ve been trying very hard to pay off my debts over the past year or two and I’m starting to make some headway, which feels good. I don’t care if anyone reads this blog post, it just felt good to write it! I’ve been reading some personal finance blogs lately and I’m inspired by some of the stories of people who have been able to eliminate debt in their lives. Hopefully I’ll be joining them in the next couple of years!

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