Ask The Experts: Credit Card Co. Raising My Interest Rate for No Reason!

Q. Is it legal for my credit card companies to raise all my interest rates, without being in default, such as late payment, etc.?!

I was told it was mainly due to only making the minimum each month. I make all my payments o line. 2 issues keep coming up: The due date keeps changing, plus the on line due date and min payment (that are preset) do not match the statements once they arrive. Therefore, in the past 3 months I've been getting multiple late fees charges. What can i do to stop this? I called, Bank of America, and they told me they had the right because they had to make up their losses and they were sorry it had to be with their good customers. -Cynthia C

A. Cynthia - It is legal UNLESS your contract or agreement does not allow them to do so. Chase is getting sued right now because of allegedly breaching contracts with many thousands of their cardholders. But, in general, it's not a breach of contract and is perfectly legal to do.

Now, I didn't say it was a nice thing to do because it's not. You're not alone. A recent study by FICO determined that between April and October of last year 11 percent of the U.S population had their credit limits reduced. That's 22 million consumers and their median FICO score was 770. So, while it's a little different from your situation it still illustrates how many of us (yes, it happened to me too) are seeing our accounts adversely modified even though we've done nothing wrong.

Now, if they are hitting you with late fees because of their online billpay publishing a wrong date then you've got a beef with them.

Memorialize as much of this as you can. Take screen captures of their online statement and keep your paper statements so you can show someone the mismatched dates and late fees. Also, get copies of your credit reports showing any late payments. If you're sure about this then contact me through my website and I'll point you in the right direction.

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