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The American Caliban

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I just canceled two credit cards. [Jun. 18th, 2007|12:51 pm]
The American Caliban
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[Current Mood |cynical]

Zeroed out balance, they were crap ghetto credit, goodbye.

1) HSBC. Polite and pleasant operator transfers me to "win-back" guy. He talks too fast reading the script and is hard to understand due to an accent, but very nice. After two attempts to sell me back, including a fairly pathetic 2% cashback offer and waiving the membership fee, he folds and agrees to cancel it and send me written confirmation.

2) Juniper/Apple Credit. Same type of operator transfers me to win-back guy. He is a "relationship manager" which makes me think of Dr. Neil Clark Warren. He doesn't try to give me any deals. Instead he first tries to sell me on how great the card is, and is not chagrined at all to learn that I have 8% less interest and ten times the limit elsewhere. Then he issues a warning: if I cancel the card, it could have an adverse effect on my credit rating! He says this once and I point out that closing the account after paying it off is probably not a minus. In a more ominous tone he asks me to reconsider because it could seriously be a negative MARK on my CREDIT RATING if i canceled. "Oh no you don't," I say. "Enough with the threats; that is not cool. Immediately cancel the account and send me written confirmation." He folds too.

Nice bullying, Juniper/Apple!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: klikitak
2007-06-18 08:03 pm (UTC)
Relationship Manager? Makes me think of a therapist.
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[User Picture]From: kasheri
2007-06-18 08:05 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the card cancellations. There are few things as satisfying. We've made a lot of debt headway in the last few years, and it is such a relief!
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[User Picture]From: hraebn
2007-06-18 08:14 pm (UTC)
that sucks. my juniper/apple relationship manager was pretty ok.
I was all, "I don't want it no more" and she was all, "why not?" and I was all, "eh" and then she was all, "ok, it's cancelled."
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[User Picture]From: handstil
2007-06-18 08:35 pm (UTC)
When I cancel a card my tactic is to just start saying "no no no no" similar to dan at the beach.
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[User Picture]From: rum_holiday
2007-06-18 08:43 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately I learned the hard way that the Juniper/Apple punk is right. Cancelling cards regardless of outstanding balance actually dings your credit (this I learned after I cancelled five myself, following what I believed to be the general wisdom of cancelling anything you're not using). It is absolutely ridiculous - you can't apply for credit without it hurting you and you can't cancel it without it hurting you (they look at the amount of credit you have vs. the amount you use, so by cancelling some part of what is available to you it lowers that), but you have to use it or you have none.

I still felt good about cancelling the cards, but I was pretty furious about the fucked up logic of credit rating agencies. I was told by a friend who ran some scenarios for me that I would have to spend the next year not touching my credit (except for transactions) in order to raise it a point a month back to where it was.

I wonder how often that Juniper/Apple guy's shtick works.
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2007-06-18 08:55 pm (UTC)
It's an interesting catch-22 then, because the credit service told me that one reason for my lower "score" was that I had too much ghetto credit, i.e., low-limit high-interest stuff. I do still have a couple of less grotty accounts, plus a paid-off car loan etc.

Oh well. I'd rather be rid of those things that win the Credit Contest!
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[User Picture]From: rum_holiday
2007-06-18 09:06 pm (UTC)
Agreed, it only mattered to me because we will probably try to buy a dwelling of some sort within the next couple of years and I didn't want to pay extra in interest because this arbitrary "score" was off by 5 points or something stupid like that.

Who the hell knows what they are thinking. It's such a racket.
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[User Picture]From: ludickid
2007-06-18 09:20 pm (UTC)
It's such a racket.

I have, quite literally, been saying that for over a decade. My credit is okay these days, and I still have nothing but contempt for the cheating fuckfaces who run the industry.
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[User Picture]From: pbd
2007-06-20 11:08 pm (UTC)
Here is my experience. About 7 years ago, I cancelled about 10 credit cards (probably more). Yes, it did ding my credit, but maybe by like 20 points or so. Now, I have far less lines open and the cards I do have open keep raising my limit. My credit rating is now over 800. It used to be around 680-700 a few years ago.

The critical factor is long term installment loans. What will hold anyone back from helping their rating is lots of revolving accounts (credit cards) and nothing that shows the account paid in full or a reduction of a balance over time (mortgage and car loans). This coupled with not opening many new credit accounts (I have opened 3 in the last 8 years) and just having existing accounts raise your limit is how I think my rating got so high.
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[User Picture]From: mcfnord
2007-06-18 09:48 pm (UTC)
Low-limit is visible but I had not understood interest rate to be shared among lenders. Maybe so!
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[User Picture]From: travisd
2007-06-18 10:02 pm (UTC)
One thing that can affect this is the age of the credit -- I believe that part of the score is looking at how far back your credit goes. Canceling more recently acquired credit will not "hurt" you as much as canceling that old high-interest card you got back in college umpteen years ago. Keep it, but don't use it, assuming it's a "normal" line of credit, not ghetto store credit.

They also like to see gas-station cards for some reason supposedly.

Every time I think of my credit rating, a quote comes to mind that I heard somewhere -- "Build wealth, not credit" -- Sadly, I never seem to do much of the former as I'd like to...
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2007-06-18 10:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I got enough credit from buying and paying off a car that it's not really an item of interest now unless I get it destroyed. I just want enough credit so that if I suddenly need $3000 to avoid doom I can make that happen. "Airbag credit."
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[User Picture]From: tuliphead
2007-06-18 09:07 pm (UTC)
is this Juniper/Apple as in the high tech companies?
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2007-06-18 09:32 pm (UTC)
Juniper Bank, who provides the credit card that is now Apple Credit.

I clicked on the "APPLE CREDIT!!!" button and applied in 2005 thinking it was actually an Apple credit line, and they gave me a shitty credit card with a $750 limit and 22% interest. Yeah, that'll buy me a computer.

Finally got around to cancelling it.
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[User Picture]From: tuliphead
2007-06-18 09:37 pm (UTC)
oh duh, I should've guessed that - we get lots of email (I work in eSupport a t Juniper Networks) from clueless users who can't find the credit card application on our website. :)
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2007-06-18 10:08 pm (UTC)
You should tell them you only sell herbal flavor preparations to distillers, and transfer them to Tanqueray's customer service.
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[User Picture]From: mcfnord
2007-06-18 09:46 pm (UTC)
Indeed, he does not know your credit scenario, and so can't say whether closing this line matters. I track rejection rationale, and "too many lines" is one. That's precisely when the dinkiest line gets axed. Oh man if there's a yearly fee they can forget it.
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[User Picture]From: wrecking__ball
2007-06-19 01:01 am (UTC)
I think they should add a good, hard spanking to the list of threats.
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[User Picture]From: torgo_x
2007-06-19 09:05 pm (UTC)

Threat-mo-phone

"Oh no you don't," I say. "Enough with the threats; that is not cool. Immediately cancel the account and send me written confirmation." He folds too.

See, that's that kind of thing that makes me want to start recording my calls. I mean, I have the fulltext of every practically incoming and outgoing email message of mine going back a dozen years years, so why not calls?

I know, just up and taping calls is probably illegal; but aren't we all?

Also, I'd want it recording to my hard drive as mp3, but I'm lazy and don't have a kerjigger to do that (yet), etc.

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