Bailed-out banks look to hike credit card rates

Some of the nation?s biggest banks, many of whom have received bailout funds, say they?re looking to raise interest rates on credit cards, which has many Long Islanders crying foul. Bank of America,

News 12 Staff

Apr 13, 2009, 11:49 PM

Updated 5,578 days ago

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Some of the nation?s biggest banks, many of whom have received bailout funds, say they?re looking to raise interest rates on credit cards, which has many Long Islanders crying foul.
Bank of America, for example, told some of its customers it will soon double credit card interest rates to 14 percent. Some banks are also thinking about increasing fees. Such increases won?t apply to every customer, so experts say it?s best to check with each bank.
"I think we should have thought a bit more about it before we bailed them all out,? says Central Islip resident Jamie Ennover.
Doug Manditch, CEO of Empire National Bank, says he's been in the business for 44 years and doesn't like what?s going on in the industry.
"I read somewhere that 5 percent of credit card loans are delinquent so they're expecting large losses,? Manditch says. ?So to make up for the losses they're charging higher rates."
Manditch says it?s not smart to raise rates when many credit card holders are in desperate financial situations.
Family Service League debt counselor Bill Horan suggests card holders make a list of all their cards, balances and interest rates. He says using the card with the lowest interest rate will save the consumer money at the end of the year.


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