New bank credit card policies could send your credit rating spiraling down


Fearing that the Credit Cardholder's Bill of Rights could pass Congress this year, credit card companies are jacking up rates and lowering credit limits even on their low-risk customers with credit scores above 700. People with top credit scores are seeing those scores drop 100 points or more, especially if their credit limits have been cut on several cards.

I had a call Saturday from a friend with a credit score of 760 wondering why her Chase card got jacked up to a 19% interest rate. She didn't know what she had done to deserve this. I could only assure her it had nothing to do with her actions. She pays everything on time and paid off this particular card in full each month, so she won't have to worry about paying that outrageous rate as long as she continues to pay in full each month. The only choice given her by Chase was to cancel the account before the rate went up.

I've heard from many readers with similar stories about Chase, which right now seems to be the most aggressive about jacking up rates on people with good credit histories. I checked my Chase card and it happened to me too, but I don't even remember getting a notice. I've never paid late in my life and don't pay credit card interest, so I'm not worried. While I haven't heard other credit card companies being as aggressive as Chase in jacking up rates, I have heard many sadder tales of people seeing their credit card limit cut by 50% or more.