Opening the August credit card statement is going to send the blood pressure of some Chase customers skyward. For the second time this year the bank has changed up the rules for how it calculates the minimum payment due for certain customers, increasing the rate from 2% of the outstanding balance to 5%. If you’re carrying a $5,000 balance that means your required minimum payment went from $100 in July to $250 this month.
That move, in turn, has raised some serious hackles. Over at
the call to action is to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission over this “unfair practice.”
Hmmm. Unfair? I’m not so sure. Unfriendly, absolutely. There is no question that tightening the payment screws at a time when unemployment is at a 25-year high and furloughs are the hot new employment trend isn’t exactly consumer-friendly. Yet there is indeed a residual benefit for cardholders. Increasing the minimum payment rate by 150% means Chase customers will pay off their debt a whole lot faster. That’s a boon for their personal balance sheet as well as saving a bundle in interest costs. While I don’t believe for one second that Chase’s motivation is to help its customers — this is all about Chase reducing its risk — I think Curtis Arnold over at CardRatings.com got it right by tagging the change a case of “
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