Topic: Financial-credit card advice/resources?

Forum: Employment, Insurance, and Other Financial Issues — Employment, insurance, and financial concerns are common. Meet others here to discuss and for support.

Posted on: Jun 24, 2011 08:28AM - edited Jun 24, 2011 08:40AM by july2632

Posted on: Jun 24, 2011 08:28AM - edited Jun 24, 2011 08:40AM by july2632

july2632 wrote:

Getting breast cancer has taken so much time everything else has stood still. Even my tax return has been extended.

I thought maybe somebody here could steer me in the right direction. I somehow got three credit cards with high credit lines. I don't have any credit card debt and I don't know how I got these. I called the bank and credit card companies. They just confused me and wanted to sell me "financial products."

Is it a bad thing to have these unused credit lines out there??? Could someone steal my identity?

Are there any books/websites on this??? Thanks.

"If there was no room for doubt, there would be no room for me." --Frederick Buechner
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Jun 24, 2011 08:52AM Chickadee wrote:

Only an opinion, I've read it isn't necessarily a bad thing for your credit rating.  However the simplest thing would be to cut the cards up your don't want and contact the companies who sent them to close the accounts.

If you haven't you can check your credit report every year for free at all 3 rating agencies.  Use this website below (the others aren't free even if their name is freecreditreport).

https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

I'm in such bad shape, I'm wearing prescription underwear." Phyllis Diller 1917-2012 Dx 9/1/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 24, 2011 09:00AM Wabbit wrote:

I have heard that your credit rating is very much based on Available Credit vs Unused Credit.  So high limit cards with no balance could be a good thing in that respect. 

It is disturbing though that you don't know how you got them.  Nobody should be giving out credit cards unless the individual applies for them.? 

IMO ... the danger exists if you are going to be tempted to use them and thus find yourself paying high interest and/or owing more than you can afford to repay.   

Dx 3/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 24, 2011 09:00AM edwards750 wrote:

Agree with chickadee...check your credit reports. You are entitled to a free one from all 3 agencies once a year. As for the credit cards we get them all the time. Doesnt mean your identity has been stolen. Your credit score can be affected by credit cards with high credit lines. The theory is you could charge it up to the max if you wanted to and it isnt always a good thing. You said you dont have any credit cards and that is a good thing except that we have one for emergencies. We are paying off the rest of them methodically. We dont have high credit lines on any of them. Offered but dont want. There are so many people who have defaulted on credit cards these days - job loss, medical bills(we can relate),etc. that the credit card companies innundate you with credit card offers. My youngest son is 21 and he gets them almost every day. If you call them ask to speak to a supervisor. She will probably tell you you have good credit so they are offering the card. Dont have to take them of course. Again not a sign of identify theft but more of the saturation of credit card offers by the credit card companies. Still to be on the safe side check your credit report. Let us know. diane

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Jun 24, 2011 12:09PM ICanDoThis wrote:

Don't close the accounts until you see where they come from, and how your credit is on your credit report.

 Closing all those cards together could lower your credit score by as much as 30%, and you do not want to do that.

If you don't use the cards,  and don't want to be tempted, either put them in a safety deposit box, or wrap them in freezer wrap and put them on the bottom of the freezer.

Make sure you know what is going on.

 Sue

Sue - Proud to be Krista's Mom Dx 12/28/2007, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-,
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Jun 24, 2011 12:53PM july2632 wrote:

Thank you all for helping me think about this.

Chickadee, at first I thought it couldn't be a bad thing. I've tried to find out online what it means to have unused credit lines but I couldn't get a consistent answer from the so-called financial planners. White Rabbit, I did come across those terms available credit/ debt ratio but there is disagreement about what is good. Edwards, one of the experts expressed what you did, that I have this credit line that I could theoretically use on an expensive item and not be able to pay for it.

What Sue said was on my mind: what if I cancel a credit card with a high line of credit and it affects my credit? I guess I should just let sleeping dogs lie, hmm? I get an email credit alert if my credit score changes--some $3 a month service. Maybe I'm worrying about nothing. The credit cards aren't a temptation to me since I'm pretty frugal and even have a 19 year old TV.

Anyway, someone my age should know more about finances. If you can recommend any books, I would appreciate it. Thanks for your help.

"If there was no room for doubt, there would be no room for me." --Frederick Buechner
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Jun 24, 2011 02:42PM Chickadee wrote:

I'm curious about all these credit cards arriving without an application.  I haven't had one sent to me in decades and I have excellent credit.  Now I do get applications but not unsolicited cards.

They must target some areas.

I'm in such bad shape, I'm wearing prescription underwear." Phyllis Diller 1917-2012 Dx 9/1/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 24, 2011 04:04PM Wabbit wrote:

I thought it was illegal to send credit cards that an individual had not applied for?

Are you sure they are actual credit cards and not just offers that attach something that looks like a credit card but isn't a real one?   

Dx 3/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 24, 2011 04:27PM july2632 wrote:

I see I didn't describe the situation correctly in my initial post. I had three credit cards (two with the same bank) and the credit lines were raised while I was busy with this whole cancer thing. I never asked for the credit line to be raised. Two of the cards I don't even use.

But to clarify, nobody sent me unsolicited credit cards, they sent me unsolicited credit lines. When I called the bank, I got confused because they said it was an "upgrade" and it was clear they wanted to sell me "financial products" --whatever they are. But I never, ever, asked for this credit line raise. My neighbor thinks they're confusing me with somebody else with the same name but that doesn't seem right with all the account numbers and everything that would be unique identifiers.

It's gotten so I'm afraid to ask the bank any more and I'm afraid not to ask.

"If there was no room for doubt, there would be no room for me." --Frederick Buechner
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Jun 24, 2011 04:40PM Wabbit wrote:

Oh ... that makes sense.  They do that to us too.  We only use our cards once in a while and pay off the balance each month.  They don't like that because they don't make any money on you that way.  It seems like they think that if they raise your credit limit you will be tempted to go buy something big with it and get yourself in a revolving credit - interest paying - situation. 

They can raise your limit without asking you ... they pretend they are doing you a favor.  Hubby did make one bank put his limit back down but really as long as you don't take their bait it probably doesn't hurt you any.

Dx 3/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 24, 2011 04:54PM - edited Jun 24, 2011 04:55PM by july2632

Okay, this makes sense. I was thinking, why are they raising my credit line when I don't use what I already have???? That seemed nuts.

But I can see where, if they raised it high enough to buy something I never thought I could afford--say redecorating the whole house-- a person might be tempted. It really is bait, isn't it?

People must think if the bank gives them a higher credit line they can actually afford it. Yikes.

That's how that whole mortgage default thing happened.

"If there was no room for doubt, there would be no room for me." --Frederick Buechner

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