Don't let credit card companies catch you by surprise

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by By / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 24 at 12:37 PM

Video: Don't let credit card companies catch you by surprise

It's a good thing Jim Williams didn't throw the notice out. It's a heads-up from his credit card company, Capital One, that his APR is doubling from 9.9 percent to 17.9 percent. Why?

"The reason, because of extraordinary economic changes," said Jim.

Despite Jim's credit score and 10-year history with the company, Capital One wouldn't change their mind about the rate hike.

"I pay early, I pay more than the minimum, but yet they're still going to raise my interest rate," he said.

If you get a notice like this, read it carefully, contact your card issuer to check your options. If you ignore it you could be hit with late fees and even higher interest rates.

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Another thing to watch out for - lowered spending limits, which could end up hurting your credit score.

"I made actually three calls," said Jim.

He says he never got a satisfying reason for the rate increase. As a result, he paid of the entire balance so he wouldn't have to deal with it any more.

"Their solution to fixing their economic problems is to raise others' interest rate?" said Jim.

What are you rights as a consumer? It depends on what your agreement says. A good Web site put out by the Treasury Department, called , might answer your particular questions.

If you have a consumer concern, call Jesse Jones toll-free at 877-51-JESSE or e-mail him at .

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