I fought the credit card company.....

and I won! So this blog has officially morphed from knitting blog to hock my designs, to official debt reduction/politics/knitting/I'm bored and have nothing better to do, blog.

So here is the story. You all know the debt reduction story. We don't use credit cards at all anymore. But we have opened some accounts in the last year in order to take advantage of 0% interest offers to restructure the debt that we do have. One of the cards is a BofA card that I opened in October. Since the first month, it has always been due on the 3rd. Except apparently for February when they decided they wanted me to pay it both on the 3rd AND the 29th. Of course, because the bill is always due on the 3rd, it is scheduled to go out via our online banking bill payment service. So our March payment was late (because it was due in February). So they jacked up our rate from ZERO to 29.99%. Oh yeah baby, didn't even offer any lube.

So I decided to call them and check up with them since the last time I called. Last week the nice gentleman who helped me was able to tell me that my account was flagged for "retention". This apparently means that when I call and threaten to cancel my account, they're supposed to try and keep me. Now this is fun turn of events, because two years account my credit was for shit. I guess when it becomes clear that you're in the process of paying off and closing accounts, your credit score goes up? That must be the case, because it has been probably more than a year since we've used a credit card. :shrug: Anyway, the guy who I talked to told me to pay the late fee, bringing the account "current" and then call back and ask for a lower rate.

Today I called and not only did they give me back my 0% rate, but they credited me back all the late fees and shit. SWEET!

I tell all of you this not to brag about my credit being good (which honestly, I could care less, since I hope to NEVER need it), or to brag about having the money to pay off accounts of companies that piss me off. But to say that two years ago we were hopelessly broke. We payed out more per month than we made, even though we made good money. Our credit was for crap. I thought we were going to live on the verge of bankruptcy forever. We never had money to go out and eat, like all of our friends. Every small emergency was financially devastating.

If you feel like you don't make enough money, and you're never going to get ahead. You're wrong. If you really want to do it, you can. It's not easy. Truly it isn't. But it's the kind of hard that is so rewarding that you don't mind doing it. Every little extra penny paid is a triumph and it motivates you to keep going.

So many people are hung up on the idea that in order to have a lot, you have to make a lot of money. But the reality is that the best way to have a lot, is to have very little overhead. Think of your salary for a minute. Now image how much BIGGER that salary would feel if you had NO credit card payments. NO mortgage payments. NO student loan payments. It would be like getting a $2,000 a month raise, right?

Okay, now I'm veering off in the direction of infomercial territory, right? I'll stop. If you're interested in our debt repayment plan, you can check it out at www.daveramsey.com. The basics of the plan are completely free. We haven't spent a dime on learning it, although if you really want to be a kool-aid drinker, there are classes, seminars, books, etc. But the radio show and the TV show are free, and you can learn about the basics of the program for free on the website.

Total financial freedom. You can do it.


Lia said...

Yay for you!!!

I absolutely adore Dave Ramsey! Almost bought his book the other day, but listening to him on the radio or visiting his website usually does the trick. He's such a great motivator. I'm so glad he's helped you so much!

I'm glad you gave BofA hell. Credit card companies are really shady bastards. We have one card that has the balance due about a week after we get the statement. Sounds fishy, doesn't it? Woe betide us if the mail is late or if we set the bill aside. Needless to say, that account has no balance and is about to go bye-bye. Just more crap we're getting rid of before we move :)

essjay said...

I'm glad you were able to get what you needed from the credit card company. I think they operate on the idea that people are not going to call and demand to be treated correctly - good for you! I love hearing about how you've worked your way out of debt - even the little day changes, it is insiring!