I am a normal, law abiding citizen, looking out for my finances and working in the back-end of IT, I know how easy it is to get your identity stolen, so I follow my credit-report closely. I have moved to the US almost five years ago, and as any other immigrant knows, it is a though job to get your credit score built up from absolutely zero.
I am also a brand-loyal person. Once I feel comfortable with a brand, if it is food, a store, a restaurant or a, well, bank, I stick with them. And so I also ended up with Chase when I was still working in NYC when I came to the country. I opened my account there, and lived happily ever after for at least four and a half years.
After one and a half year, with my credit score still crawling slowly up to mid-500 range, Chase offered me a solid credit card, for $2,500. I was happy as a clam. I make a very good living, but without a credit-score you can’t get anything done. And to build up your credit, maintaining a credit card adds a lot of points.
So I paid with it, made sure my monthly payments were in on time and everything went peachy.
Then, suddenly, quite recently, let’s say, about 20 minutes ago I checked my online account and notice that my faithful credit-card has been closed. Tadaaah. So, with my knowledge and not having received any warnings or messages about this, I called Chase. Of course I got the answer that was to be expected, the person who sounded as if he still had problems reading the words from his monitor, let alone that he understood what he was saying: ‘We cannot give you information about that. Chase has decided to close your account permanently because of information from the credit bureau.’
Come again? Like said, I faithfully, every month, check my full credit report through TransUnion completely. No late payments, no problems and a shiny 700+ credit score. There is not even an out-of-place speck on my report. Of course, the scores of the other two credit bureaus are different, but good to excellent. All at least 200 points higher than when I started the account.
Gone. Chase decided. So, this is what Chase is up to then? Now, I will not mourn this card, I don’t need the credit card and this closing will not affect my life in any significant way. But it is the principle that without any warning, not even through their fancy on-line alerts, they can close an account based on nothing. What if you are a person that does need a card because you need it to pay your electric bill this month. Too bad. Your rent? Sorry. Mortgage? It is sunny outside, you don’t need a home. Food? Ah, you can live a month without.
I have written way in the beginning of this blog why I don’t trust banks, but Chase, you absolutely just shine in absolute untrustworthy behavior. And yes, this immediately reflects on my checking account which I will bring to a more pleasant bank. I do not trust any bank, but you proofed my point, so I probably cannot do any worse. Or do you want to close my checking account yourself and keep the money that is still in it? Such a move seems right up your alley.
Anyone else have had sort-like adventures in finance? Drop me a line.