Monday, August 18, 2008

Why Banks Hate Me

Banks hate me. The feeling is growing more mutual by the day. The reasons they hate me are myriad, but they all come back to the fact that generally speaking, they don't make any money on me. The only debt Brittan and I have is our mortgage. Even that is far below what we could have borrowed. And we plan to pay it off early. We don't have car loans. We don't have credit card balances. We don't overdraw our accounts. We don't do anything to rack up fees. So they hate me. I can live with that.

The reason I'm starting to feel the same about them is due to the games banks play to try and get money out of me. First, we received a notice about a month ago that HSBC had cancelled Brittan's credit card due to "inactivity." It hasn't been used in years. I think she only had it in case we were stuck somewhere and we had to make a purchase that was above our daily limit on our debit card. Whatever. But they canceled it and offered to open a new one for her. All she had to do was call. We don't care about the credit card. We don't use them. What we care about is that by the bank closing the card, Brittan will take a hit on her credit. It won't be as bad as if it was because of debt, but "closed by issuer" dings your report. That stinks.

Second game, deceitful sales people. B and I had great relationships with our banks in Kentucky and in Maine. Brittan worked in a couple of them. We knew every employee, the managers and even the presidents. They didn't like not making money off of us, but they didn't try to stick us, either. Down here in the big cities of Georgia it's a different story. In one case, our mortgage came with a Home Equity Line of credit. Those are bad to begin with, but it was something my company arranged.........long story. Anyway, there were no fees to close it before 10 years. Or so I was told when the account was set up. And there were no maintenance fees. Yeah, right. So about 3 months ago, I decided to close it just so the temptation wouldn't be around. But, low and behold, there is a fee to close it early. So I said, "there are no fees for failing to use it, right?" "Absolutely not," was the reply. Wrong again. This week I got hit with a $25 maintenance fee for lack of use. Balderdash, I say. We will be getting that reversed tomorrow. The way things stand, I can avoid fees by using the line of credit. But then I have to make sure I pay it off before interest hits it. What a joke!

I found an interesting article related to overdraft fees. Hope you like it. Read it HERE.