Posted by: Mark Nielsen | May 20, 2009

Panicky Banks Make Me Sick

True confession time: have you ever missed a payment on a bill just out of sheer disorganization or stupidity? I had it happen last month, on a piddly little $43 payment toward a home equity line of credit (our car loan, basically).

And for my little oversight, presumably out of economic panic over the number of loan defaults, our lender terminated our priveleges to borrow any future funds on the line of credit. It was our first ever late payment to the bank, and we have repaid at least triple the minimum payment due each month, for most of the life of the loan. Plus our overall credit rating is stellar by any reasonable standard.

Yet they treated us like any old deadbeat, despite a telephone conversation late in the overdue period in which I was led to believe it was no big deal.

So now I’ve appealed the termination decision in writing, as per their customer service rep, and we’ll see what happens. I even told them –and this is true– that we were planning on tapping the line of credit to buy carpeting for our lake cottage this year.

Used to be easy for a Joe like me to borrow money, and also to be granted a “grace period” when something weird went down. Apparently grace is in short supply these days, even to essentially responsible consumers like me. Do the banks really *want* to climb out of this hole they’ve dug for themselves, or not!?!


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