When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Am I Crazy? Or Is America?

(Originally 3/26/07)

So I got the spam solicitation for a credit card that I knew would come eventually and I reviewed it, ready to apply. I decided to use the online application process. You know, instant grat and all that.

The web address; www.60seconddecision.com

The surprisingly plain English terms of aggreement;

Our card is designed and geared to help people who have had credit problems in the past.

In addition we offer you a low 9.9% APR on all of your purchases as long as your account remains current. This will save you money if you carry a balance as compared to carrying a balance on cards with a higher APR.

You will have an Annual Percentage Rate on purchases of 9.9%. The cash advance and penalty APR is 19.9%. The minimum finance charge on an account with a balance will be fifty cents."

In addition, you will have a grace period on purchases of 25 days. The method for computing the balance for purchases is the average daily balance, including new purchases."

You will have at least a minimum credit line of $250 and based upon our final decision that credit line could be higher.

If it applies there will be a $25 late fee and a $25 over the credit limit fee. Also if you choose today to add an additional user to your account, there will be an additional card fee of $20 billed annually.

First PREMIER Bank will bill the following fees to your first statement which will reduce your available credit until they are paid. There is a one-time program fee of $95 and a one-time set up fee of $29. There is an annual fee of $48, and it is not billed again until your anniversary date. There is also a monthly participation fee of $6.00. Keep in mind your minimum monthly payment is only $20 or 3% of the balance, whichever is greater.

If you are assigned the minimum credit limit of $250, your initial available credit will be $72.00 ($52 if you choose the additional card option). Do you understand and agree to these fees being billed to your first statement and what the minimum available credit will be?"

So if I have this right, this credit card will be given to me with an "initial" credit limit of $72.00? And for this privilege, they will charge me a $124 "one-time/set-up" fee, and then $48 a year thereafter, plus another $72 per year, billed as a $6 mothly "participation" fee (which is still $120 every subsequent year, no matter how you slice it)?

So its $244 for the first year and $120 every year after that, for $72 worth of credit?!!!!!

How does America let things like this legally exist within its' borders, and talk about how wrong other nations' politics are?

Meanwhile, I. Pass.

1 comment:

Alan said...

Eliel Mamousette said...

This is America.


That practice that you describe used to be called "usury". 3 : an unconscionable or exorbitant rate or amount of interest; specifically : interest in excess of a legal rate charged to a borrower for the use of money

But now it's called "shareholder value"

Here's a great interview with a Harvard Law Professor on this very subject.

I imagine you will want to blog about it after you listen. But try not to take it out on your keyboard...
8:12 PM

Alan said...

And what I love is that the minimum payment is $20. So before you ever even get to "purchase" anything with this card, you will be paying a $20 bill every month for ... hmm ... EVER (if, of course, you only pay the minimum).

It really IS cheaper to pay overdraft fees a few times a year!
10:34 PM

Scott said...

Wow, that is just unbelievable. Following the link to the interview now!
10:18 AM