Hopefully It's Finally Over!! Balance Transfer Saga!

I hope this is the final entry in the Balance Transfer Saga.

I made up my mind that this weekend I HAD to “find out where we are with our money.” I’ve been busy for the past three weekends and haven’t been able to get receipts entered into Quicken, reconcile accounts, look at our budget, etc. Thankfully the money Mr. A was waiting on finally was released and we had access to that money to cover everything without having to stress out too much about overdrawing our account, etc. Unfortunately, before that money was released we did overdraw two of our accounts twice due to the check initially being returned unpaid. We do have overdraft protection, but our bank charges a fee to move the money over. Mr. A was pretty annoyed about that, as he knows our credit union account doesn’t do that.

First on the list – get that 0% interest card paid since I didn’t get the automatic payment set up yet.

I went to the site and opened up the statement. Near the bottom I found this:

The Annual Percentage Rate on your promotional or transferred balances has been increased due to one of the following reasons stated in your Card Agreement with us: you failed to make a payment to us when due, you exceeded your credit line or you made a payment to us that was not honored by your bank.

I called around April 10th, a few days after I made the late payment, and the representative I spoke to assured me that the APR would remain at zero. He also reversed the late fee of $39.00.

I thought maybe the statement had old information, but I am not one to make assumptions in these situations so I put a call in to Citicards.

I explained to the representative what had happened: that I’d neglected to make the payment prior to 5pm Eastern Standard Time on the day payment was due. I explained that I’d talked with a representative that evening, and she said that Citicards works with their customers and please don’t worry. She said if the rate was raised, just call back and it can be lowered. Well, the gal I had on the phone today wasn’t budging one inch. She told me the rate increase had happened because I was late on my payment, and that’s what happens. I attempted to explain again that I had been told the rate wasn’t increased a week after the late payment. I didn’t get anywhere.

I could feel the horror rising within me, but instead of getting too freaked out, I thanked her and hung up.

I called back immediately. The next lady I got on the phone, I briefly explained my situation, and she said to me, “I’ll see what I can do about getting your rate back to zero. It was zero, right?” I confirmed that it was, and then she said, “Okay, it’s been adjusted back to zero.”

This is the second time this has happened to me recently. I read about this on a website where a person had worked for credit card company and was telling “secrets”. One of the secrets was to call back and call back again, if you weren’t getting anywhere with the first person! I also experienced this with the IRS not too long ago! I keep the books for a small company and prior to hiring me, they got into some trouble with not making payments (actually the parents retired and left the business to the hands of their sons, who were the ones that did not make the necessary payments so they had to come out of retirement to try and fix things). Anyway, we had to make a three-way call not too long ago and the first lady we got on the phone was horrendous. She was not willing to take into consideration that the husband is blind and doesn’t know his business license number, anyway to make a long story short she actually hung up on us because the husband had handed the phone to his wife, then the wife handed the phone back to the husband and the IRS lady was just totally bent out of shape because now we had to go back through the verification process again with the husband, who didn’t have the answers to the questions. We call back right away, and the next lady on the line was totally considerate and helped us get the problem figured out.

This is a good lesson to learn. When you are not getting anywhere with the representative, bid adieu and hang up (it doesn’t hurt to be polite), and call back again. I would probably try three times and then I would ask for a supervisor.

I am so close to just getting this credit card debt wrapped into our mortgage; we only owe $50,000. If we got refinanced, it would only be another $10K and the monthly payment would only go up by $100.

I think about this option a lot when I get real nervous. It would be so easy to just wrap that $10K into the mortgage. But I think we’ll just hang in and struggle through. It helps to think there’s a possible way out, if it gets too sticky.

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