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monday 06.07.2000
money pit

we are living in a credit card nightmare. we have this one card that is giving us no end of trouble. the payment requested is $23, i send $50 and the next thing we know we are over limit. just two days ago, they called about a payment. i made a payment of $50 and told them so. they checked their records and apologized. at that time the payment they were requesting was $49. today they call my husband at work and tell him we now owe $102, payable immediately. now how in god's name did that payment required go from $49 to $102 in two days and where on earth did my $50 payment go????

i am sure those who avoid credit cards are snickering at the dilemma. more than a few people i know would shake their heads and say "i told you so". but there are two things to consider: to get credit you must have credit, and this is the ONLY card we have this problem with. i pay $50 to another card and i KNOW the payment gets accredited and my balance won't balloon. i would very much like to close providian down, but despair of ever doing so. how can i when my payments result in my owing more rather than less?

and how stupid is this: husband calls and wants all the extra frills on the card removed. the first person he speaks to transfers him to someone else. he repeats the request...and is asked if he'd like to ADD something else he is qualified for. no, he wants to remove all the things he is qualified for and pay everything off. so he is transferred to yet another person. he repeats his request. the person has no clue what he is talking about. finally they remove ONE of FOUR of the items in question. this has taken a half an hour to accomplish.

what about the other three? all we know is they are STILL on the card. he has to call customer service AGAIN and re-request that everything be removed...again. so i figure 3 phone calls and an hour and a half later we may actually have all that extra stuff off there. maybe.

what i really wish i could do is ignore the whole thing. if i don't pay they close up the account. but there are a couple of problems with that. 1. it will show on my credit history (although i suspect it already is). 2. then the whole balance comes due at once, and if i could pay that i would have already. 3. they'd probably still charge a horrible amount of interest and manage to keep me from paying the whole thing off. they seem determined to keep us in perpetual debt and unable to close the account. i understand they want to make money, but please let them do it off some other poor sucker.

for the moment we are stuck with it it seems. if i get the project/client i have been waiting on, the money will go into a car that we desperately need. we barely make ends meet off my husband's income and my business isn't off the ground quite yet. and every so often something happens to bring about another setback. last year saxy was injured and on disability for 6 months. the last couple of months, health insurance for the entire family has eaten about half his income. (fortunately dad is willing to keep the kids on his insurance, so we can drop them from ours and pay half of what we were just for c and i). every time we have something like that i then spend months recuperating and catching up.

if my biz would get off the ground just maybe i could use the profits for the first few months to wipe out the account. but i can just see it now...i manage to pay $200, they realize i am clearing out the account and in a desperate attempt to keep us forever in their debt find a $205 charge every month. such is the way of money pits: forever sucking you dry. the only way to beat them is to pay in one huge lump sum. so, anyone know of a guaranteed way to win the lottery or the daily money give away at iwon?

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Since July 9, 2000

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