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CitiBank can blow me (Living the American Dream at 14.38% APR) - Paint It Black
Living the American dream one heartbreaking piece at a time
feren
feren
CitiBank can blow me (Living the American Dream at 14.38% APR)
I just got a neat little missive in the mail today from the fine folks at CitiBank. It came in one of those envelopes where you tear off the tab on the side, grab the enclosed letter and pull it out. I wasn't sure why I'd gotten one from CitiBank (for some reason I always think of the letter that Korben Dallas (played by Bruce Willis) gets via the pneumatic tube in The Fifth Element, it was similarly enclosed). Any time I see something like this I just know I'm going to regret opening it. There's always something unpleasant inside, like new privacy terms or a change on the APR. Yet they've got you by the cajones, you know? You have to open the missive because ignorance is not an acceptable defense in court. For me, it's also hard to resist curiousity when IMPORTANT PERSONAL INFORMATION is stamped on the outside of something. So despite knowing better I caved and opened it.

Congratulations, burbled the paper in a cheerful font. If you don't think paper can burble, you've never seen this font. Because you're such a good consumer whore and have never missed a payment with us, because we're worried that you're not spending any money with us and because we're greedy bastards who want you to carry a balance so we can suck your wallet dry through finance charges, we've raised the credit limit on your Diamond Preferred Mastercard! They've raised my bloody limit again? Well hooray for that. It was bad enough I could buy a brand new car and finance it entirely on one credit card. Now, with that aforementioend card, I can buy a new car, a new snowmobile and a trailer for hauling the sled without even approaching the limit. That'll make it so much easier to add on all the extras, like a seat warmer in the car and handlebar heaters on the snowmobile.

What the hell am I supposed to do with a credit limit of $23,100? I never want to owe that much in revolving debt and that's just one of my cards! I've got ... lesse here... four other ones with limits ranging between $6,000 to over $18,000. My credit score must be phenomenal these days.

It's more than just a dream

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Current Mood: cynical baffled
Current Music: Pink Floyd - Money

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Comments
skorzy From: skorzy Date: November 13th, 2005 05:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh.. MBNA..which was originally a AT&T gold mastercard I had eventually bumped my credit limit to $21,000...

I learned that your credit score is actually *harmed* by higher credit limits, even if you never carry a balance. So.. I no longer have that card.

I recently learned that credit card companies are finally getting wise to their "informed" customers and finally honoring requests to DECREASE a credit limit *because* of the high-limit negative impact on one's credit score.

The rule is, naturally, they want you in debt to them forever, and will do everything and anything to see to that.
feren From: feren Date: November 13th, 2005 05:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

A credit score is a many-splendored thing.

[I learned that your credit score is actually *harmed* by higher credit limits, even if you never carry a balance.]

Not entirely true. Having higher credit limits on your cards can show that you're trusted by creditors to pay back any debt load you take on. In those cases, it can actually help your score. There's an inverse to that, of course: if you have too much available credit and it looks out of ratio with your income it'll harm your score because you could take on too much debt and then declare bankruptcy.
From: almanzo Date: November 13th, 2005 06:34 am (UTC) (Link)
You're a lucky bastard.
fiskblack From: fiskblack Date: November 13th, 2005 08:35 am (UTC) (Link)
The harder he works, the luckier he gets!
fiskblack From: fiskblack Date: November 13th, 2005 08:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I get things like that all the time. They basically lie on the outside about it's importance as a way of getting you to open it. Lately, the big mail blitz has been for these loan-checks you can write against your credit rating to pay off other stuff and trap you into huge loans.
urocyon From: urocyon Date: November 13th, 2005 09:58 am (UTC) (Link)
This may be shocking news, but you can actually request a lower credit limit. You can even ask that they stop increasing it automatically.

Then again, one can also ditch banks in favor of credit unions too, which tend to suck entirely less altogether.
From: almanzo Date: November 13th, 2005 10:45 am (UTC) (Link)
That isn't one of the many catch-22 scenarios that inadvertently lowers your credit score?
feren From: feren Date: November 13th, 2005 05:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
[That isn't one of the many catch-22 scenarios that inadvertently lowers your credit score?]

Bingo. Too many open/close activities on your credit history can lower the score.
urocyon From: urocyon Date: November 14th, 2005 07:20 am (UTC) (Link)
One credit lowering is less damage than the next two automatic increases. But even without requesting a lower limit you can still ask to stop the automatic increases and prevent things from getting even further out of hand.
mindslide From: mindslide Date: November 13th, 2005 09:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
The only credit card I have is a Victoria Secret card. I got rid of all credit cards when I was 19...it's just too fucking tempting. If I really need something, I'll buy it outright.

And the only purpose the VS card serves, is buying tons and tons of underthingies at their annual sale in one drop (since everything is so cheap then), and paying it back within two months. I think I currently have a balance of like $50 on the thing. FUCK credit cards.
wyldekyttin From: wyldekyttin Date: November 14th, 2005 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, you can stop them from the periodic raising of your limit.

Call and ask for one. Give them your actual income.

Ask for an increase of like 1,000 dollars.

I assure you, from personal experience with Citibank, not only will they not give it to you, the periodic raising of your credit limit will stop. :P
(Deleted comment)
tarinfirepelt From: tarinfirepelt Date: November 15th, 2005 05:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Once, 7 or so years ago, I was desperate for cash and had to pay rent with a credit card check. Those things are an instant 21% or some such but I was 40 bucks short of rent and had no choice. I have never ever used one again and never will unless I am in desperate straits again.

As a result of that I get at least two mailings of the damned things every month. They are giving me all the KY they can so I will lube my own bung for them. Its sad.
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