Capitol One offered Pruitt a credit card at their introductory rate: one year at about nine percent. But even before a year was up, her interest jumped to 21 percent—for no apparent reason. "I paid my bills on time and I never went over my limit," she says. "One lie they told me was that I was notified by mail of an increase but I never saw that."
Pruitt contacted Capitol One and she was told that they would "investigate my account and get back to me." In the meantime, Pruitt continues to pay these exorbitant interest rates. "A customer service rep at Capitol One told me that I was given the option to close my account before my rates were increased. Again, I never got that notice. As well, I do my banking online and they didn't send anything electronically either."
Unfortunately, Pruitt is in a predicament. She doesn't want this account to wind up at a collection agency because she is trying to buy a house. This would negatively affect her credit rating and she might not get a mortgage.
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Pruitt's daughter, a college student, has also been a victim of increased rate hikes. "She was sent a pre-approved credit card with a low interest rate of two percent for a year but she was never sent a bill," says Pruitt. "Two months later, her interest rate was increased to 25 percent because of non-payment. As well, they charged her two late fees of $39 each. She had only charged about $150 in gas to that credit card!
"They are crooks. It is ridiculous what they do to poor people out here trying to make ends meet. I am going to fight these credit card companies and pursue this to the end. I was able to get my interest rates lowered with MasterCard but it took a big fight; this time I plan to get legal help."