More sneaky credit card tricks: Lower credit limits can start you on a downward spiral

Reports of consumers with good credit histories having their credit card limits lowered for no reason are becoming commonplace. Consumers are logging onto their online accounts, and finding that their limit has been lowered and they weren't told anything about it. And this problem can set you on a downward spiral quickly.

A lower limit means you're in greater danger of going over your limit, and therefore incurring penalties. Your credit score may also suffer, as one component of the score is how much of your available credit you've used. A new lower limit can mean you've used a greater percentage of your limit.

And a lower credit score can cause your other accounts to be negatively affected. Some credit card companies will make changes to your terms based upon a lower credit score or worse credit condition in general. You might get hit with a higher interest rate, another lowered limit, or a closed account. Those negative actions could then further impact your credit score, and you can see how easy it might be to get in real trouble quickly.