Monday, July 20, 2009
We had a couple of credit cards, we didn’t use them much but they were there. We had enough available credit to charge a down payment on a small condo – which of course is ridiculous and we would never do that, but still it was great for the extreme emergency back-up plan in case something goes south faster and farther and crazier than our extreme emergency savings can provide for.
Then the notices started coming.
What they said: “Because you have not used your account in the last 12 month period it is apparent that this account is no longer meeting your needs. Your account has been closed.”
What they meant: "You don't have debt so we don't want you. Closing this account will kill your debt to credit ratio and FICO score. Can you feel us flipping you the credit bird? Because we SO are.
What another one said: “Due to the lack of activity on your card we are reducing your credit line from $15,000. to $300.00.”
What they meant: "You aren't buying enough stuff you don't need. We don't know you but we know we don't like you. Remember your excellent credit rating? Wave goodbye to that, Mr. and Mrs. Loser. Who has a $300.00 credit limit? Ha ha ha. We are so the boss of you."
My husband called the credit companies. He was able to have the canceled card reinstated but with a fraction of the previous credit limit. He was able to have the second card’s limit raised back up, but not as high as it had been. In order to do both of these things, he was made to go through a lengthy credit check to get approved for accounts that we already have. Approved for accounts that we already have. And of course every time they check your credit it hits your score again.
The reason we knew it was even possible (and important for our numbers) to get the companies to reverse these decisions is because I follow financial guru Suze Orman on Twitter. She is a mega-tweeter in the Ashton Kutcher/John Mayer tradition, but unlike these darling boys Suze tweets actual helpful information. (Martha Stewart tweets a lot of helpful information too if you need help seeing how poorly art directed your life is compared to Martha Stewart’s.) On occasion, Suze the Awesome will even answer your financial questions if you can fit your question into a 140 letter tweet direct message.
And I used to think Twitter was only for following mommy bloggers and inappropriate comedians. (My sweet spot.)