Read the Fine Print

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Why did the interest rate on my credit card double?

Read the Fine Print

Millions of Americans are currently living with thousands of dollars in credit card debt, and the number continues to grow daily. To compound matters, many of these individuals have been on the receiving end of doubling or tripling credit card interest rates. How does your credit card go from an interest rate of 9.49% to 24.5%? It's really quite simple.

Contained in the fine print of the credit card documents that most of us never read, there is a clause that states your rate can change "at anytime for any reason". Although this may be unfair, the credit card companies are well within their rights to hike your rates. Furthermore, if you are ever or late or there is a change in your spending habits, your rate is subject to change. So what recourse do you have if your interest rate heads north?

There are a few things that you can do to keep your rates from doubling.

Prior to any rate change, your credit card company is required to notify you in writing of any APR changes. By doing this, you are given the opportunity to pay off your balance under the old APR. If you know for certain that you did not receive a notice about your rate increasing, contact your credit card company immediately, and request to speak to a supervisor. Calmly explain that you did not receive the letter, thus you were not given the opportunity to pay off your debt.

The next step is to monitor your spending habits. Do your best to keep the balance on your credit cards to at least 30% of the available credit limit. This will demonstrate to your credit card company that you are responsible enough to manage the line of credit that has been extended to you.

   

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