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by Scott Bilker
Scott Bilker is the author of the best-selling books, Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt, Credit Card and Debt Management, and How to be more Credit Card and Debt Smart. He's also the founder of DebtSmart.com. More about and DebtSmart can be found in the online media kit.
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Scott Bilker

Scott,
I have two credit cards. One I stopped using since I made an arrangement with the bank to keep the rate at 9.99 until I pay off the balance of $3,033. With the other card the bank gave me a fixed 9.99 rate, then it changed the rate to a variable 14.99. I called them up and they reduced the rate to 13.99. Can they give you a fixed rate then change the rate to variable? Is that legal?
--Zorina


Answer
Zorina,
As Dr. McCoy would say, "I'm a doctor not an engineer," but I will say, "I'm an engineer, not a lawyer." :)

I can't comment on what is "legal" however, I can say if you have something in writing, from the bank, that shows that the rate should be "fixed" 9.9% then I would call the bank and tell them they need to do as they promised. I personally might talk to a lawyer just to find out if I could take them to court to get the rate reduced but first a call to the bank, with your proof, may be enough.

I always keep a copy of all paperwork from the bank for just such an occasion. I have had problems in the past not getting what I was promised, it's rare but it has happened.

I'm impressed that you have been able to keep your rates under 10% and fixed, for the most part. Many, many people have rates much greater and are really paying out huge interest charges.

In summary, review the paperwork from the bank to see exactly what they promised. Read the credit card agreement. Hey, if you find that paperwork that promises the 9.9% fixed rate, I'd be glad to take a look at it and make further suggestions.

Good luck and please let me know what happens.

Scott 

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