Banks jump consumers with sudden credit card rate increases

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The video below from BusinessWeek looks at how touchy credit card companies are getting. The slightest mistake -- for instance, sending in one payment two days late -- can lead to a huge increase in your interest rate. But more slimy, even making a minimum payment or showing a steady increase in your balance can you flag as a greater risk and result in a higher interest rate.

Congress is taking a look at these arbitrary and unpredictable rate hikes but, in the meantime, the best way to avoid being at the mercy of your creditors is to avoid being a debtor. if you find your interest rates hiking, I'd suggest taking it as a wake-up call to start paying down your debt aggressively.

I'm not defending the credit card companies: but being subject to their whims is the nature of owing them money. A pound of flesh indeed ...

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