OT: keep track of your financial stuff

Just a friendly reminder... check ALL of your credit accounts online, several times a month. Put reminders on your calendar or something.
I just checked my Chase HELOC online and found that while we should have a significant amount of available credit, we are showing zero available. I fear that because of the current economic situation that Chase is arbitrarily lowering customers' credit lines. I've inquired but have not received a response yet.
While searching online for any possible information about this happening, I came across MANY reports of Chase changing credit card holders' due dates, lowering the credit limits on high limit cards with balances and then charging OTL fees, arbitrarily closing high limit cards with no notice due to "inactivity" (sometimes while the cardholder is traveling and counting on having the card available for purchases) tacking on new "monthly service charges" and raising minimum monthly payments on people who have taken advantage of 0% or low APR balance transfer offers and then renegotiating the balanves at 8-9% APR to get rid of the fees (basically thinly legal bait and switch) etc.
For the first time in a long while, I'm honestly SCARED about my finances, when I ought to be in excellent shape (money in the bank, good credit, etc.) if one of my credit cards (which I do not use except for monthly purchases, and pay off in full every month) gets cancelled arbitrarily that will lower my credit rating, making it even harder to get credit, etc...
I hope that I am all worried about nothing, but the whole reason that I got a Chase credit card (yes, I have one, and it has been inactive with zero balance for almost a year) is because this all sounds scarily similar to an issue I had with MBNA years ago where they started rolling my payment date back until I started making my payments late. I learned from this experience and ALWAYS check online at least once a week but it seems that a lot of people are used to always paying their bills on the 1st or 15th etc. and they are getting caught (I used to do this, this is how I got caught. Had to get a loan from credit union to get out from under a balance at 20+% APR due to their deceptive practices.)
it sounds like Chase and possibly other banks are learning the shady practices of the old MBNA. Please be careful...
I am glad that I saw this as I was actually seriously considering taking a 0% balance transfer to buy some stock to take advantage of the depressed market but it seems that right now a good old fashioned FDIC-insured savings account is the best place for what little money I have. I've successfully used 0% balance transfers in the past to take advantage of opportunities and/or just give me a little more financial breathing room, but based on what I'm reading it seems like the banks are trying as hard as they can to take advantage of even people who do play by the rules.
nate
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About two weeks ago Chase sent me some check to use for purchases at a very low interest rate. A week later, they sent me a notice that the account was closed since it was inactive for two years. I wonder what would have happened if I used one of those checks that day. I'm glad the account is closed as I don't need it and have not used it for years, but they could have put me in an embarrassing situation.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Indeed. this seems to be consistent with what I'm seeing online... you're not alone, it would appear.
I feel like I ought to go out and make some small purchase on my Chase credit card just to see what happens; at least that way they can't claim "inactivity." (I always try to keep two credit cards at any time, one of which has zero balance. that way if I really get financially screwed I can get a low/no interest balance transfer without having to pay off a balance first to avoid having to pay off the whole transfer amount to avoid finance charges.)
nate
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nate do not try to beat the system - just cut your cards, bud.... sooner or later ( rather sooner , than later) the system will beat you dead.........
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I'm not trying to "beat the system" just have credit available for emergencies. If the squeeze trickles down to the "common man" to the level of personal credit cards, a lot of people are going to be hurting hard. I am not one of those people who relies on credit for day to day expenses but there are many out there that carry a balance month to month. I'm not making a judgement on the wisdom of doing that but it's gonna be hard if those people suddenly have their "loans" called in...
nate
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When the " squeeze hits the common man" it will be too late to learn to live without credit ( or ' emergency credit' whatever it may mean...). Cut your damn cards. Don't even send'em back to your bankers - save on postage ! ( they do)
p.s. as for " emergency credit window" you are talking about - better secure something called " emergency cash" ( rings the bell ?)
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

only if you can tell me where to get my hands on some cash. Investments ain't working, and the word just came down, no raises this year. Now is not a good time to be looking for another job. I do have some reserve cash but nowhere near as much as I'd like. Can't really cut back on expenses as mortgage is by far the largest. Thank God I stuck to my guns and insisted on a 30yr. fixed. Even refi'd for a lower rate right before the housing crisis really started kicking in. I feel like I've done everything I was supposed to but am still not in a good position.
nate
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wrote in message

Well, I got this email about some bank in Nigeria that has millions for me. Want me to forward it to ya? :-)

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Nate, here's where I'm at: I do not expect any " raises", too ( basically out of work - "in & out" - since September 2000, but WHEN I worked, my work week was 80 hrs. long, and that's when I built my cash positions - usually I was putting away 70% of take home pay...) No mortgage here - house is ' free & clear' thanks god. Car paid off, too. Even bought my three college aged kids some vehicles ( titles are free & clear, too...) Only expenses = prop. taxes and utilities. Wifie's car is Toyota Yaris so gasoline expense is marginal. As for food bill - this year is the best year for us. I perfected DDing so greatly + economy makes it easier for me now, that this Christmas is the first Christmas with FREE FOOD for us.....yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaw. To make long story short, even w/my ladie's p/t job we manage to put away few hundred every month... just for a hell of it have a merry Christmas and piles of cash in the New Year ( maybe some authority will bail you out......i don't know)
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wrote in message

I have a few cards I never used. A couple of years ago I read a Suzi Orman tip to do just that. Make a small purchase at least every 6 months. It does a few good things.

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wrote in message

I have a few cards I never used. A couple of years ago I read a Suzi Orman tip to do just that. Make a small purchase at least every 6 months. It does a few good things.

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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I cut up my Chase credit cards and sent them back about a year ago when they screwed me. I was using electronic billing. They sent the bill less than 24 hours before it was due. I found it on the due date (late at night) and paid it immediately, but the payment was not credited to my account until 3 days later. Bam! $35 late fee. They admitted that their server had been down and sent the notice out late, but they would not back down on the $35 fee because I should have somehow known that a minimum payment was due on the usual date. Other card companies will usually forgive a late fee once every year or two when it's the customer's fault. F' Chase.
Now I just put everything on my Cabelas card.
Bob
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many bankers used to " forgive" late pmt. fees. Not much anymore.... They just figured penalties will generate " recession proof" income. So here we go: my uncle's credit limit on business visa was cut all of the sudden by few thousand. And because ' their server was down' ( yeah...we know, we know) they didn't have a chance to notify him about ' the change'. Next time he charged his card , transaction went through but miraculously bank server went back up and sent him 'over the limit penalty' bill........ kaboom
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wrote in message

Never touch the stuff for just that reason! As well as what if I couldn't connect for some reason for an extended time. Always get snail mail copy. Serves as a reminder anyway.

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yep, get your pitchforks ready, sheeple - time of payoff is coming !
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