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Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Jo, Mar 30, 2000.
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You can file a complaint with the FDIC and OCC. In additional you can file a complaint with the Banking Commission of the state of Delaware, where MBNA is incorporated.
Before you do that though, check the following things.
If you have a variable rate card with them, the interest rate will have gone up a bit over the past several months because of the rise in the prime rate as a result of actions taken by the Federal Reserve Board.
If any part of your balance consists of cash advances or balance transfers done by those convenience check they love to send out, those balances are subject to finance charge until they are paid in full. So if you have a balance of $505.69 (that was a balance transfer done by convenience check, for example) on a statement and you send in a check for $505.69 you will then have finance charge on you next month's bill for the days between when your statement cycled and when they received the payment.
To prevent this from happening, calculate what the finance charge is going to be 5 days ahead of when you are going to mail the payment and add a couple of dollars to it and send in that amount to prevent being billed. You will probably wind up with a small credit on your account. If you choose to close your account at this point, they have 7 days to issue you a refund of the credit balance per federal law.
If they are raising the interest rate as a result of information obtained from a CRA you have the right to reject the change of terms and continue to pay your balance at the old rate, but you must notify them in writing. However, this will 'cancel' the account and you will not be able to use it any longer. You must do this by the date specified in the notification of the change of interest rate. Typically this is some innocuous looking piece of paper with tiny print on it that is stuffed in you bill along with the other junk offering wonderful things like $3.95 alarm clocks and offers for worthless credit insurance. They are relying on the fact that most people throw these things away and don't read them, hence they miss the opportunity to reject the change.
In addition they are required to disclose to you the specific reasons why they have changed the terms on your account. You need to write them a letter requesting this information though. The CSRs you talk to on the phone do not have this information available.
The explanation of 'reasons' are likely to be uninformative and disappointing. They are just going to give you the text version of credit scoring 'reason codes' such as 'excessive revolving balances' and 'past delinquencies'.
The best thing to do would be to order your credit report from TransUnion and see what is says for yourself. Since a creditor took adverse action against you based on your credit report, you are entitled to a complimentary copy.