mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Friday, August 14, 2009

madanthony, latest victim of the credit crunch...

Much has been said in the media of late about how credit card companies and other lenders are tightening standards, reducing credit lines, increasing interest rates, and otherwise trying to mitigate the fact that they've spent years giving giant piles of money to people who can't actually pay it back.

Now, madanthony has pretty good credit (the last time I checked my score it was just over 800), so I'm not really worried - although I have been making a point of using a couple credit cards that I've had open a long time but don't use much at least once every few months so they don't get canceled for inactivity. But I've started to see it manifest in a couple ways.

My primary card is an Amex Blue Cash - great rewards, good customer service (I've had my card number stolen twice, both times they caught it before I noticed it and had a new card to me the next day). I - along with everyone else in the known world got a letter a few days ago that they are raising interest rates, fees, ect. Not a big deal to me, since I never carry a balance.

I also got a letter in the mail yesterday from Chase saying that they've cut my credit limit. The funny thing is about a year ago they sent me a letter saying they were upgrading my card to a "signature" card with no preset spending limit, ala Amex green. What they've lowered my credit line to is about what it was before they got rid of the credit limit in the first place. The other funny thing is that the reason they lowered it was because I "only used a small portion of my available credit" and because I "had plenty of other credit lines available". In other words, they cut my credit limit because I have good credit and am responsible about using it.

Once again, it's not a big deal to me, although I wonder if having my credit line cut will affect my credit score - but even then, I don't plan on applying for any new credit anytime soon, so it's not a huge deal. And I usually use the Amex card for most of my spending - the Chase card is mostly for places that don't take Amex or for a few rewards categories like fast food where Chase has higher cashback. In a way, I applaud Chase for trying to reduce their risk - but I wonder how much they gain by doing it by reducing the limits of people like me who I suspect would be the least likely to default.
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