My Brother’s Nasty Bank of America Experience

September 4, 2008

Make a couple of late payments and Bank of America will jack your interest rate up to 29.99%!

My brother just sent this to me:

I handle pretty much all my financial business online. I don’t get paper statements for many accounts at all. I wanted to know what my Interest Rate was on my Bank of America credit card so I pulled up a statement online and come to find out it was 29.99%. I had seen online about how you can call your credit card company and tell them that you have offers from other companies and your current credit card company will most likely give you a better rate.

So I called Bank of America and mentioned that I had Credit Score that was around 750, I had a our mortgage with them that I had never been late on. I also stated that I had anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 in my checking account varying throughout the month as well as having over $2,000 in one of my savings accounts with them, I have four savings accounts with them total that vary from $100 to $500 during the month. I then stated that I didn’t understand why I would have a 29.99% interest rate and asked that they give me a better rate.

The lady said, “OK sir let me pull your information up.” She did so and stated, “Well I see that you were late in March and you were also late in November.” She then told me that the system automatically changes your interest rate if you are late twice.

I said, “How many day’s late was I? She said, “Uh it looks like three day’s on the one and one day the other time.” I said, “So my interest rate with all that I have with your company should be set at 29.99% that doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve been late a couple times and you are telling me that I should have such an outrageous rate?”

She then said, “Well sir you’re blaming the credit card company for your mistakes.”

Well of course that comment really ticked me off so I said, “OK I know I am not your biggest customer but I can tell you this: I will actively seek to move every penny, including my mortgage elsewhere.”

She said “OK” and I hung up.

I was so ticked off. I don’t care if I was late a few day’s here and there. I was never late 30 day’s…not even close because I just pulled my credit report last week and there were no blunders on it. Anyway I will mention to everyone I know that BOA sucks a**!!!

Now for a little background. I sent my brother an email and asked him to clarify how he didn’t know that he had a 29.99% interest rate. This was his resonse:

I received a phone call from a BOA rep about three months ago and he stated that my interest rate was going to go up and that I could keep my current interest rate for the balance on my card until I paid that amount off but I would have to close the account. My other option was to leave the account open and the rate would go up. He wasn’t for sure what it was going to go up to.

Well in all my research on credit scores I didn’t want to close the account so I left it open and continued making my monthly payments. In the hustle and bustle of things I never thought twice about checking to see what the rate had actually gone up to, especially since I don’t get an actual paper statement with the APR printed on it.

I’ve really been focusing on paying off any and all debt so I decided to get rates on any loans/credit cards that I had and determine which to pay off first so I went online and pulled a statement and low and behold I noticed the rate was 29.99%.

Okay, my brother could have done one thing that might have changed the outcome of this situation (or prevented it from happening in the first place):

When he was late, he should have called the bank and explained why he was late. I know for a fact that this helps the situation. A lot of times the bank will make a note in your file or even delete the late fee.

Regardless, a 29.99% interest rate does seem extreme in this situation. That’s nearly 2.5% per month! Usually those kinds of rates are reserved for those who are considered a credit risk—or at least they should be.

Bottom line: Don’t take those warm and fuzzy bank commercials—where they show the loving banker taking care of their customers—seriously. The bank doesn’t care about the customer.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS: As an afterthought, I wanted to add my experiences with Bank of America. When we bought our house in 1999, we used a mortgage broker. A few months after we bought our house, we were informed that BofA had bought our loan.

Things went along fine until the day that I made an error when I paid our mortgage electronically. I misplaced a decimal point and paid $107.00 instead of $1,070 (or whatever amount it was). BofA rejected the payment, making our mortgage payment late. They charged us something like $40 and sent us a scary letter. I immediately called them and explained what had happened the guy cleared the late fee and allowed me to make the payment with no penalty.

We do our main banking with Wells Fargo but have our mortgage with BofA. As long as I can remember, we have always had good service.

87 responses to My Brother’s Nasty Bank of America Experience

  1. closed two boa cards last night because they were going to raise my rate because i was getting close to my credit limit i told them i was not late on either one and they said because i am close to the limit it was an indication i was a big credit risk ….i laughed and asked the guy if he could hear my shredder as i shreded there cards…. i told them to close both accounts that way i wont go over the credit limit and i would not be a customer of theirs again

  2. That’s what you get for not reading your terms and agreements. BOA is not the only company that raises your interest rate if you are late twice in 12 months. Plus it is a misconception that if you call into your credit card company and tell them that you have low rate offers that you will get a lower rate. How is that going to benefit the company? Last all of these financial institutuions are in the business to make money so why on earth do you think they have the customer’s best interest at heart? If we were really smart we would go back to the old ways and use cash and not live off of credit cards.

  3. This happened to my mother several times (she just turned 90) and I have had to take over handling the account. I made calls and everyone was extremely rude, so all accounts have been moved. Here is a website with several application sites if anyone is interested.
    FirstRateCredt.info

  4. I agree. I was also late 2 times and my monthly payment like doubled. I am not in the process of paying it off in 3 months and am closing this dumb account. I recently opened with my credit union and i do not have to worry about that now since they do not raise the rate if you are late. My sister is doing the same thing.

  5. I had the same experience. I had a mortgage with a company they bought and it all started there. They couldn’t service my mortgage in the branch which is why I chose that company. Then they screwed up a credit card (Premier member), lost the app, and didn’t give my wife and daughter a 50.00 dollar credit for bringing other accounts there. They also jacked the cc rate after the promo, but did reduce it when I forced the issue. I moved everything, including my mortgage, but kept the cc. They were great in the west, but not in the east.

  6. Where are all these people coming from who are saying “It’s your fault, so quit whining”? I’d like to meet some of them and find out how they’ve never made a mistake! I want to know their secret to being perfect!

  7. I worked for BofA for almost 7 years, and I can tell you for a fact how they prey on the public. When I was first hired we were only required to have 7 referrals a a month. Towards the end we HAD to have
    2 aday, this included a closed credit card. The way the system works that as you are running a transaction credit card approvals would pop-up. You
    Had to offer the customer a credit card and make it sound like the deal of the century. I protested this as I felt that it was morally wrong. I stayed in trouble, all the time as a result. People this was required to keep your job. Since I left, I’m sure it is still the same or worse. and the customer service on ALL levels has gone to S**t.
    I hope that if anyone reads this they will pull
    all of their accounts out that bank…..PS they treat their employees on ALL levels like crap, this includes my former manager, who was on the corp. level district sales and service manager for our state He finally left and went to another bank.
    PSS… Did you know that the original name was Bank of Italy, make you think Mafia? maybe…………

  8. Bad newz…all of the credit card entities of the financial institutions wooed the current government to be able to “ream” the american consumer for at least four years prior to this “new minimum payment” standard. You know, the right to ask for 1% of your total balance,any over the limit amounts and late fees for a minimum payment. Dubya Bush suggested that this will help the consumer get out of debt quicker.
    Anywho…the only real theoretical way of sticking it to the banking institutions is to tell them to F>>k Off when it comes to unsecured lines of credit (ie credit cards). Yes, I have been a credit card holder with Citibank, First National Bank, and recently Chase Bank. My mother had a similar shocking interest rate hassle with Bank of America. She was able to pay off at least 10K in debt she carried, and now when BAC calls to offer her “deals of the century”, she tells them no thanx and hangs up in their face.

  9. A FORMER CUSTOMER September 13, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    OH – PS to everyone who says “read the terms of agreement” –
    Bank of America just usurped my old credit card out of nowhere. All of the sudden, the online payment system didn’t work, and I was getting bills from BoA. No one even told me. I didn’t sign up with them, and I sure as hell didn’t sign any contracts with them. Yet, I have to give them all of my money, they don’t process my payments correctly – and because of their errors, I might have a lowered credit score by the end of the month (which I will of course contest, but really!)
    I know you weren’t directing the comments at me specifically, but BoA isn’t just another credit card company – it is truly Evil Incarnate.

  10. Did anyone ever think of taking responsibility for their actions? To the person who said they did not sign a contract. Each time you sign that credit card receipt or wite that access check or go to the ATM and get cash you are agreeing to take whatever these credit card companies do to you up the a**. The best way to stick it to these companies is to not be the greedy consumers that we are and pay for what we want with cash. Credit cards are the biggest hustle and we are falling for it hook line and sinker. Pay off your credit card debt and cut them up. I learned the hard way and bankruptcy was my only way out.

  11. first of all, all of you all that are complaining about what boa did to you after YOU missed a payment or YOU typed in the wrong amount?? WTF??? it was YOUR mistake be grown own up to the problem that YOU created, don’t blame some bank for YOUR mistakes.

  12. I once had a credit card with BOA, paid it off entirely. Shortly after paying it off, a new card came because the other one had reached it expiration date. Instructions were to call an 800 number to activate the new credit card. I did NOT call the number as I no longer wanted that credit card and my balance was 0. A month later, I received a bill for $35 for card fee. I sent a letter to them explaining that I no longer wanted the card, did NOT call to activate it, and to close the account. The following month I received another bill for the $35 PLUS late fees. This went one for several months with with late fees piling up and me responding each month that I didn’t want the card. Finally one day I receive a letter from a collection agency for the $35 and late fees, which now came to about $200. I ended up going to an attorney to get this nonsense stopped so my credit rating wouldn’t be destroyed over a card I had paid off and requested account be closed. No I will never knowingly do business with BOA again. And this wasn’t the only bad incident I had with them along the way, but it was the final straw.

  13. I too had a problem with my Bank of America mortgate. It all started when I tried to make an on line principal payment of $5400.00. Instead of placing the payment against principal as requested, BoA held the fund in suspense. The customer service agent tried to pass off the error by surmising that someone at BoA didn’t know what the payment was for. The three choices on line were apply to principal, apply to escrow, apply to regular payment. In trying to make corrections BoA customer service made errors that delayed this extra payment, subjecting me to additional PMI payments, messed up my automatic drafting from my BoA checking account that resulted in late fees for 2 months, which they later refunded. When they messed up my automatic drafting, I began to get mid-month collection calls around dinner time asking when I intended to make a payment, even though they already had access and authority to automaticlly draft my checking acocunt.

    After dealing with their customer service agents as well as their customer service supervisors multiple times over a period of 4 months, I decided to take a top down approach. Don’t waste your time climbing the ladder. Give customer services 2 chances to fix the problem. If they fail, go to the top. I didn’t get satisfaction until I sent a letter to Mr. Kenneth D. Lewis, Chairman, CEO, President, Bank of America, Inc. 100 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28255-0001.

    Within a week I finally got some action. The ban ultimately had to make 67 correction and reposting entries to my mortgage account to get all their errors corrected and to have my mortgage interest properly recalculated and extra PMI payments refunded.

    Oh, yes, I shouldn’t forget that they paid me $100.00 for 6 months of “inconvenience” they caused as a result of their posting errors.

  14. I don’t get it. Guy with credit score 750 missed his credit card payment and blames on his card company.

    It’s common sense! It is your brother’s fault!

  15. I would drop my BofA account for any bank that would give me better rates. I have not liked doing business with this bank for a long time. Maybe I’ll give my business to Wells Fargo or Citibank.

  16. I had a BOA mortgage and didnt have a problem. Except for I try to stay a month ahead and they took it off the principle. However I do have a BOA credit card that I pay off every month. They send the bill so close to the due date that you have to mail it back right away. A couple of times I got it there late and called to get the charges taken off. Sometimes they are ok to deal with sometimes you have to threaten to cancel the card. My husband’s 1st national card gives you three weeks to return payment.

  17. I am with BOA. They bought out LaSalle Bank…ever since the switch the service has been horrible! Many Tellers have been “let go”. I just heard yesterday that BOA is Arab owned and now they just purchased Merrill Lynch. Does anyone know if this is true. I think I will be switching banks ASAP! But, how do I find out who REALLY owns each bank?

  18. I was late with a payment for BoA and I received 33 harrassing phone calls within 15 minutes. This is the worst bank out there.

  19. Not true, kjf

  20. BoA owns Bank of America.

  21. BoA has been decent to me. Then, again, I’ve never missed a payment of any sort.

  22. JSM that the dumbest crap I’ve ever heard. If that’s true than you need to sue. There are federal guidelines on collection efforts.

  23. B of A raised the interest rate on my card with them from 7.25% to 13.25% because I hadn’t used it! I had no late payments at all, in fact I’ve had 4 cards with them, “all” with a perfect payment history, and this is the 3rd car I’ve financed through them.

    I’d been paying down my card each month with $100 or $200 payments, when the minimum due was only $15. Like I said, because I wasn’t charging anything on it, B of A hiked the interest rate up!

  24. BOA actually makes money from fraudulent charges on
    customer credit card accounts. during the time the
    charge is in dispute late fees and interest payments continue to accumulate. They will not remove these fees, or they will say they will and when you get the next bill. They have increased. BEWARE of BOA
    some of the biggest crooks in banking.

  25. Chase bank just sent us their new terms which, if we agreed to them, would have allowed them to charge a default APR or 29.9% interest. Although the accounts in question were dormant and we weren’t planning to use them, we formally closed both accounts for which we got the “Amendments to Your Agreement.”

  26. My husband and I own a small business and like most businesses now we are just trying to hold on until the economy gets better. We have banked with BofA for over 50 years, I even worked for them for 5 years and I own BofA stock. Yesterday we noticed our bill went from 13% to 29% even though we have never been late. Customer service says that they have a right to charge anything they want. Now didn’t the government just lower rates to the banks so that they would keep rates the same. It seems to me that if the government is giving them a break shouldn;t they be passing it along.

  27. Simply put … With the deregulation of Banks and credit card companies by our own government they have become Legalized Loan Sharks. Money is power; of course they want it.

  28. I tried paying my online bill for 2 days and even called customer servic because my due date fell on veterans day. I was told repeatedly that there was no problem and conveniently they said there was no problem with their website either I made a payment over the phone on the 10th and was assured of no late fee. I called back on the 11th and 12th because no payment had posted, nobody knew why. Checked on the 13th and guess what, 39.00 late fee. I called but of course the buck stops with the trainee I had and there is no one that I am ALLOWED to speak to.
    I know that big business does not care so I transferred my balance immediately but I will not close the card just for my own credit rating. I am however not done with them considering I get a ton of mail and convenience checks from them, I will be making plenty of calls on there constant harrassing me to use their company, which I was under FIA card services and did not know until today that it was a Bank of America account.
    So BOA can keep my 39.00, it will be the last.

  29. Bank of America actually just raised all my rates, without me making a single late payment. They raised them from 9% to 34%. It sucks because I didn’t remember getting anything saying they were going to raise my rates, so I looked again and they mailed it, but it was mixed in with the ads for selling stuff, it was on that small rectangular paper and it looked like an ad for a product.

    So of course, its getting raised because I have high balances. I’ve never missed a payment, or late payment or went over the limit on any card from any company.

    I transfered the balance but then they locked my account out. I called them and they said that the recent activity was suspcious (the balance transfer). So they said they would change my account numbers and they gave me a new number to use to redo the balance transfers but in the mean time I needed to cut up my cards. Then I tried those and it turned out to be bad numbers. Then the bill came and I called them to find out how to pay it online since the account got locked and they said I needed to go to the bank and show them my ID and my old card, the ones they told me to cut up, but I could just pay them over the phone for a 15 dollar fee.

    Turned out I could use set up a new ID online after getting the new cards and just used the new numbers and got everything set up again, but I’m trying to pay everything off as fast as I can.

    I love how not only I have to use my taxes to bail them out, but then they justify raising all the rates from the economy. So even when I pay them off, I still have to pay them.

  30. I just love how most of you blame your problems on the bank, most of you caused the problems you have, there is virtually no reason why in this day an age and as many opportunites the bank gives you to be late on payments, be accountable for your own actions, and only blame them for truly making bank errors, we seem to live in a world where everyone thinks they are entitled to everything, well you are not. You were late, suck it up. Dont borrow if you cant be responsible enough to make the payments per the disclosures. In my experience, over 20 years, not one time did anyone not immediately fix a bank error, and sometimes because I have been a good customer and I ask for help, not demand it from them, they have always been good to me. No one wants to help someone who yells at them and blames them personally for a mistake or oversight you made, maybe you should learn to pay your bills on time, stop blaming others, and learn how to speak to people. I do not always agree with some of the policies, but if I accept the terms and conditions, then it was my choice, you can always choose another institution which has nearly the same policies.

  31. Oh and for you former BOA employees, it’s a business, and one which is still in business after so many closings, they dont sell a product, they sell services, dont blame a company just because you were bad at your job, if you had a moral problem, work in an industry in which sales are not a part of the business, good luck on that – we all know this is a free market economy and to stay in business you sell products and services. Every job and job field is related to selling, and if you dont like it, stay home.

  32. BOA Supporter,

    You’re not doing a very good sales job for BOA.

  33. It is not just B of A, it is many more banks. Basically the scam goes like this:

    I paid down one of my cards from $6000 to $2000 and then the bank lowered my credit limit to $2100. This in turn raised my “debt to Income” ratio which in turn lowered my FICO score. With my lowered FICO score the bank raised my APR from 7.99 to 29.99%

    What can I say, I pay my bills and they are jacking me as much as they can before I pay them all off and never use them again. This is their plan it seems.

    Lastly, I noticed that BofA often uses holidays as the due date knowing full well that it is impossible to make a payment on that day.

  34. Pay your bills on time or pay your balance in full every month and you wont have that problem. You didnt wait to use the $$ when the bank granted you credit, the bank should have to wait to get paid back!!

  35. Phil Says:
    September 5th, 2008 at 12:02 am
    You should tell your brother to look into BofA’s Premier account status. By holding a mortgage with BofA they automatically upgrade you to this status. Life with BofA is a thousand times better as a Premier customer. I have my own account rep who personally handles all of my banking business and takes care of fees for me all the time.

    Not anymore. I, too, have my mortgage with BofA, and was a premier customer. But they informed me today that unless I have $250k with them (on top of the mortgage), I’m bumped and just an ordinary customer.

    I told them that this was an odd time for a bank to be treating customers with such disdain.

  36. I have had a BofA Visa for 15 yr. I had an $11k limit and have paid it off many times over the 15 years sometimes as much as $8000 at a time. Recently I had to sell a house in another state for a short sale leaving owing a 2nd TD. I am being sued for the difference on the 2nd causing my FICA to drop. Today I went to use the visa and the charge of $30 would not go thru. I called the BofA and they said because my score went down THEY chose to close the account!!! I asked when did they start doing this and the guy informed me they have always done this that they run your credit every month and if the score is too low they close the account. I think this is bull so now since I owed the bal of the 2nd td and this card I will be forced to file Bankruptcy and BofA won’t get another red cent from me…the bal on my card right now is $9200 …. they can kiss me where the sun don’t shine . I have never missed a payment, and have always sent $500-$1000 per month or more for the bill. They screwed themselves out of almost $10k ….no wonder our country is in such a state of affairs. I needed that credit card for emergency purposes. They scew me I screw them…..jerks and worse

  37. SAY THEY REMOVED THE OVER LIMIT FEE SECURED VISA BANK OF AMERICA STARTING SEPT 1st 2009 . THEY DID NOT TELL WHY , THEY USED TO CHARGE 35.00