The lending practices of U.S. credit card companies will be under the microscope Thursday as President Barack Obama meets with executives from 13 leading credit card issuers.
Lawmakers have labeled some practices by credit card companies as "abusive," and are pushing for reform in the industry. Among the issues being examined are arbitrary interest rate increases and penalties as well as certain billing practices.
Executives from Bank of America, American Express, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One Financial, Visa and MasterCard will be among those due to visit the White House.
We wanted to know if you feel you've been unfairly treated by the credit card companies. Tell us what you think:
Tell us about your experience? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wish I Was 'Pleased'
Last Friday, the CEO of Citi announced that he was "pleased" by Q1 stats. I wish I could say I was pleased during that same period. Citi raised the interest rate on my ZERO balance Mastercard from 16 percent to 20 percent. —Bill S.
They're Borrowing At Historic Lows
I don't agree with the media when they report, people who have credit card debt get what they deserve! They knew the interest rates could go up at any given time.
I have some debt on my credit cards, the cards were offered at very low interest rates. I'm one of the people who believe if you can use someone else's money at a very low cost it makes sense. Having said that, I have seen Wells Fargo, Discover, Bank Of America, and Citi all send notices to raise the rates on their cards. I have never been late, and always pay more than the minimum. Most of these guys have taxpayer money, why would anyone think it's fair for them to raise rates when the cost for them to borrow is at historic lows. —Bobby S.
With These Rates, How Can We Spend?
I am not sure how these companies operate in the U.S., but here in the UK some of them are charging anything between 13 to 25 percent APR. How can they justify charging 20 + times base rate. If the government's want us to start spending our way out of recession surely they should get these companies to reduce the amount of interest charged to enable people to clear their balances ASAP. It will be very interesting to see if governments act promptly or as usual they are only paying lip service! — Bill S.
Biting The Hand That Feeds You
I'm a small business owner and have an American Express business card. The interest rate has always been equal to the "prime rate". In recent months, with the prime rate low, I thought it was prudent to carry a balance and save cash. Now that I've got a balance, they changed the terms and more than doubled the interest rate. There was no "opt-out" option. The fine print says they can do that. My credit is great and I have never had any late payments to anyone. I am very unhappy to say the least. I can assure you that my business, from this point forward, will NEVER ACCEPT American Express Cards, and when my customers ask why, believe me, I will tell them. I'm amazed by the stupidity of Amex management. It's never a good idea to bite the hand that feeds you. —Randy J.
Undoing the Damage
...I’m glad the President is initiating some changes in the way credit card companies do business. I hope whatever happens with them will include “undoing” all the interest rate hikes they’ve just handed off to us. —Jeanne R.
The Let Markets Decide
I am tired of the government stepping in and saying they know what is best. They need to realize that if they start telling credit card companies to what rates they can lend at that they will eventually destroy our credit markets. I am tired of the government playing upon people’s emotions to encourage support against things that down the road will result in much high consequences. When did we become a planned economy? People take out credit cards, it is the lenders decision to give them a credit card and the person’s decision to use it. What we need to be investing in right now is teaching Americans how to many their money responsibly. We need to teach Americans how to spend properly. Nothing will change unless with change the mindset of the American consumer.
Do not punish the credit card companies. Blame the government for enabling and encouraging people to fail by making it easier for more Americans to spend more with less consequences. —Jason