In December 2007, I was two days late paying a credit card because I had unknowingly put the statement in the paid bills file rather than the to-be-paid file. When I discovered my mistake, I immediately called the credit card company to inform them what had happened and made a payment over the phone. My new statement shows that my interest has been raised from 8.99 percent to 24.9 percent. I had always paid considerably more than the minimum payment. Is there anything I can do to get the credit card company to revert back to the original interest rate?
Name withheld

Dear reader,

You can’t MAKE the credit card company do anything. Read the fine print on your statement — it says they can change the interest rate for any reason. Get on the phone with a supervisor — not the kid in the cubicle. If you’ve never been late before, they should want to work with you. If not, tell them you’re going to transfer your balance to another company. They don’t want to lose your business. Of course, the best thing to do is pay the thing off and be done with it.

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