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Credit Card Interest You DIDN'T See Coming

If your like most Americans than you have at least one credit card. Most Americans unfortunately struggle from paycheck to paycheck (which is why a lot of us are here) and can only afford a minimum payment on their credit cards. But they pay religiously and are never late.

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So how come their interest rate just MAXED out at over 20%?! Their is a law stating that a credit card company may raise their interest rate on anyone who makes a late payment to ANY creditor at any time. Even if they haven't missed a payment to the credit card company themselves!

It's legal and it's happening all over the place. When you see that great new introductory interest rate on a card make sure you read ALL the fine print on the back next time and look for the Universal Default Law.

Hopefully you haven't suffered from this (fortunately we haven't) but many have. Be very careful and examine everything you sign your name to. Or you'll spend the next 20 years just paying the finance charge and never even touching the principal balance.

Suzanne S. in NJ

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February 26, 20050 found this helpful

This is not the only dirty trick cc companies play. If they think you're becoming a credit risk because of too much outstanding debt, they may also raise your rates. If they can't make money off you, personally (say you pay your charges in full and you have no yearly fee), they may also decide to start charging you a yearly fee. One company did this to me, and I told them to cancel my account. They agreed, but told me if I used the card again, I would have to pay the fee. About six months later when I called them, I had to instruct them again to cancel my account because they hadn't done so after my first request. You have to watch these guys - they're super sneaky. Bankrate.com has excellent advice in this department.

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