Chase Bait and Switch
LIVINGSTON, NEW JERSEY -- I have been a customer of Chase for approximately 30 years. For the last 15 years I have been taking loans on the low balance transfer offers that have been offered by the various banks. This has helped with building our house without having the whole amount put on a home loan. As long as the rate and balance transfer fee was good, I took advantage of that offer. As soon as I paid of one balance or had a low balance, Chase was marketing furiously with the next offer and if I did not take advantage of that offer, the rates and fees would get better. Chase continuously kept on increasing the credit line without me ever requesting the increase. At the moment the credit line is $23,000.
Thankfully I never took out a loan even close to that amount. My current rate is 3.99% which was to have been for the life of the loan as long as I paid on time, which I have always paid on time. Now Chase decides that these offers are not a good business decision on their part, and since they cannot raise the rates, they have found a way around this for all the customers who took advantage of these offers.
In the past year Chase has changed the due dates, which after looking at comments online from other people, it seems that this was Chase's way of trying to have the customers default on these loans by moving up the due dates since Chase knew these customers were not making purchases on these accounts and were paying monthly and mostly on the same date. For the people that this scheme did not work, Chase is now going to charge a $10 monthly maintenance fee and increase the minimum payment from 2% to 5%.
I am interested in paying off my loan and personally I do not have a problem with the 5% minimum payment. I cannot wait to pay off this loan, which will be in about a year.
However, I have a huge problem with the $10 monthly maintenance fee which is used for accounts that are for people who have no credit or bad credit. In addition, in regard to the increase to the 5% minimum payment, I have a huge problem with a bank that would do this to customers who took advantage of these offers when Chase kept sending checks and information regarding how other balances should be paid off, your car loan, your school loan, your other credit cards, take a vacation, buy things that you need, the check can be made payable in your name and you may use it any way that you like and constantly increasing the credit limit and making that credit limit available for the low interest balance transfer offer with the low rate offer being for the life of the loan as long as you pay your payment on time.
In addition, there is no credit card fee and the minimum was set at 2% of the balance. Now, Chase has decided to make a business decision increasing the 2% minimum payment to 5% at a time when the country is in a huge financial crisis - people are losing their jobs, the jobs that people have are not secure. This was a loan that was supposed to be set and as long as you paid on time, than you did not have anything to worry about, or so everyone thought. Chase obviously is a very "ME" company and does not care about its customers or the country in which it does business. This decision will force people who otherwise would have been able to pay their minimum payments to default, further increasing the crisis. Of course, Chase is very kind to offer an alternative by allowing you to keep the 2% minimum payment if you allow Chase to increase the rate to 7.99% set for two years and Chase will also be kind and also waive the $10 monthly maintenance fee.
After the two years, the rate will go to the purchase rate. This also hugely affects the minimum paid that will need to be paid and further delays repayment of the loan and allows Chase to hold on to the loan for a longer time thereby collecting more interest and allows Chase to change the accounts to a very high rate after the two years have expired (if Chase does not come up with another scheme in the meantime). Of course, Chase told me that I can take my balance to another bank - so this is another alternative. If you pay off the balance, then you will still be charged the $10 monthly maintenance fee even if your balance is zero. Chase told me I can close the account. Obviously Chase does not want customers who have zero accounts also. But, Chase is offering you $125 if you open up a checking account (which pays no interest) and you set up direct deposit into the account. Chase pays only. 10% interest on its savings account at the moment. Chase must be at the very bottom if it is resorting to this type of scheme.
THIS WAS A HUGE BAIT AND SWITCH ON THE PART OF CHASE. And, the government is bailing out these banks and financial institutions which will have to be paid by tax dollars. I thought the bailout was to help out the banks so that they could continue doing business - maybe the government should have demanded to find out first what kind of business the banks were planning to do before letting them have the money.