When your credit card is­suer blind­sides you

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS -

It’s easy to feel blind­sided when a credit card is­suer makes a neg­a­tive change to your ac­count, such as clos­ing it, rais­ing your in­ter­est rate, or re­duc­ing your credit limit. Such steps are le­gal, but may not seem fair. Here’s what you can do to bounce back.

READ YOUR TERMS

Gen­er­ally, is­suers must no­tify you about sig­nif­i­cant changes to your ac­count 45 days in ad­vance. But you might not get a heads-up if:

• You al­ready agreed to cer­tain changes. For ex­am­ple, your is­suer might not warn you about an in­ter­est rate in­crease due to a hike in the prime rate. That’s be­cause when you ap­plied for a card with a vari­able in­ter­est rate, you agreed to changes like these.

• You’re be­hind on pay­ments or haven’t used your ac­count for sev­eral months.

WEIGH YOUR OP­TIONS

Even when granted a re­ver­sal, you might have to pay a fee to re­in­state lost rewards. Or the re­ver­sal could trig­ger a new credit check.

CON­TROL WHAT YOU CAN

• Keep your ac­counts ac­tive.

• If one is­suer low­ers your limit or closes your ac­count, re­duce the out­stand­ing bal­ances on your remaining cards.

• Pay in full and on time. Nerd­wal­let

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