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Ask The Experts: My Credit Card Co. Is Taking Advantage of Me

How should I handle this situation of Chase raising my monthly payments by 122% for no reason whatsoever? I have made all my payments on time for over 3 years and have reduced the balance from over $20,000 down to $10,000. This is the thanks I get for being a loyal customer! What alternatives do I have? -Ken, CA

Hello Ken - Welcome to the club. Many of the credit-card issuers are doing bad things to their clients. And this isn't just reserved for people who have missed payments. Consumers with sterling credit histories are seeing their minimum payments increased, credit limits lowered and accounts closed. And just to prove that nobody is immune, one of my credit card issuers lowered a credit limit on one of my Visa cards by $15,000. My lowest FICO score is 809 as of last month. It's hard for them to say they're doing these things because of credit risk alone.

You might want to check with them because you may have the option of closing the account but keeping the balance due the same. I could be wrong but that's what I've seen from some issuers who are increasing minimum payments.

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I guess the important question is whether or not you can afford the payments after the increase. If you can then I'd suggest doing your best to pay that one off in full as soon as possible. If you can't afford the payment then get on the phone with them asap. You don't want this to ruin your good credit.

This is the best case scenario: get the balance as low as you can and leave the account open. This will help your credit scores, which love to see a lot of unused credit limits on credit cards.

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John Ulzheimer is a nationally recognized credit expert, president of Consumer Education for Credit.com and contributor to On The Money. Learn more about him at CreditExpertWitness.com.