Dear Liz: I had a $9,000 balance on a credit card I’ve held since 1971. This year, I paid it off, and within a week the issuer lowered my credit limit from $10,800 to $750. I never was late or over the limit on this or any other credit card. I know this action will lower my credit scores, since I have less credit available. Why and how can banks get away with treating longtime customers this way? What should I do? I tried going up the chain of command at the issuer and no one cares.
Answer: You weren’t over the limit, but you were very close to your limit, which these days makes risk-shy issuers very, very nervous. The dramatic reduction in your credit limit was the issuer’s way of saying, “Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.” Your loyalty as a customer clearly didn’t mean much to this particular company.
Fortunately, you can find better treatment elsewhere. If your credit scores are good (740 or above), plenty of other issuers will be happy to give you a credit card. Even if they’re not so great, you may find a happy home with a local credit union that issues cards.