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Help! Has anybody else had a huge hike in their credit card interest rate?

(15 Posts)
pocketmonster Thu 29-Jan-09 22:26:22

I've balances on 2 credit cards, and in the last couple of months both lenders have hiked up my interest rate. One card is now charging me 27% and the other 29%.

My credit rating is excellent, I work full time, earn a good salary. Why have they done this and can I do anything about it?

Thanks in advance for any advice/similar experiences.

pocketmonster Fri 30-Jan-09 07:44:31


DaisyMooSteiner Fri 30-Jan-09 08:04:28

Have you heard of the credit crunch?! The banks have lost lots of money and so are trying to recoup it in any way they can.

pocketmonster Fri 30-Jan-09 08:08:13

Thanks Daisy - nice post and helpful too hmm

catsmother Fri 30-Jan-09 10:39:12

Because they're bastards, and because their terms and conditions allow them to - but, basically, what Daisy said.

It's a dog eat dog world out there and the customer is usually bottom of the heap.

morningpaper Fri 30-Jan-09 10:42:08

credit cards are evil, they can shaft you whenever they like

and what Daisy said

mankyscotslass Fri 30-Jan-09 10:44:51

Daisy speaks the truth. sad

GrinnyPig Fri 30-Jan-09 10:47:28

Those rates are quite high. If you have an excellent credit rating and good salary then apply for another card with a better rate of interest. Have a look at Martin's Money Saving Expert website for some suggestions of the best.

You could do a balance transfer from your existing cards to the new one, although that will cost you. Alternatively, do your essential spending, eg supermarket shopping, on your new card, and then immediately pay the equivalent amount to your old card companies to reduce the amount owing on this. You need to be focussed on this so that you don't end up just increasing your debt.

pocketmonster Fri 30-Jan-09 10:49:56

Thanks for the replies smile

I suppose whilst I'm aware of the current financial climate, and also know that banks are bastards, I know not everyones rates have gone up - is it really just as cyncical as I have a balance on my card, they want to make more dosh out of me, so they up it? If that's the case, are they allowed to? Can I challenge it?

Does anyone have 'inside' information about why they pick who they pick? I've checked my Experian Credit report and it says I have an almost perfect credit record with a rating of 'excellent'. I always pay on time, so why me?

DaisyMooSteiner Fri 30-Jan-09 10:57:04

The fact that you always pay on time may (because I don't know this for sure, I'm just cynical!) in fact be a factor in their putting your rate up because they don't get any late payment charges from you!

Really, they can do what they like in terms of interest rates and I think your best bet is to try and find a cheaper rate elsewhere. If not then you could consider consolidating it into a personal loan with a cheaper APR or try and pay it off as quickly as you possibly can.

TheCrackFox Fri 30-Jan-09 11:03:30

Pocket, that happened to me with Barclaycard - I always pay on time and have a small balance so I just paid it off and cut it up. I know there has been a credit crunch but the base rate is 1.5% and the banks are starting to take the piss.

they want to improve their profits and I am not going to be the mug that helps them do that.

morningpaper Fri 30-Jan-09 11:09:28

Agree - if you've got a good record you might be able to switch to another card, but now's the time to pay em off...

pocketmonster Fri 30-Jan-09 11:40:10

Have just gone through my bank account and worked out exactly how much extra I can pay each month. If I change to another card they could just do the same thing to me, so as you say MP - pay em off - no more credit cards for me...

Thanks all.

bearhug Fri 30-Jan-09 12:07:43

Don't forget you can actually negotiate with banks. Whenever they've tried to increase my interest rate I've rang them to remind them I'm a good customer who could easily go elsewhere (like you are!). Each time the rate was reduced to a more reasonable level again.

pocketmonster Fri 30-Jan-09 15:47:59

Thanks Bearhug - I'll give that a try.

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