Since I restore vintage cars, much of my business depends on an economy that allows for a bit of excess. My customers are generally driven by the passion they have for a car. This passion is limited when stocks fall and bussinesses slow down.
2008 has been slow, but I am hanging in there. I actually have ongoing work that will get me through well into 2009. Unfortunately, I have used my two credit cards to float through some of the projects. As these projects sometime go on for many months, I am carrying what I consider to be too much junk debt. The bank sees this as too much unsecured debt and has decided to raise my interest rates to over 25 percent.
Last month during an on-line banking session, I made a mistake when I entered the payment amount on one of the two cards. This resulted in an under payment of about 62 dollars. The result was what the bank called an adjustment of my credit card account. Basically, they ran a credit check, looked at my banking history, and added some fomula to arrive at my new incredibly high interest rate.
I have called the bank, gone to the bank, and gently discussed my less than agreeable position. My bank is unyielding in the belief that I am somehow going to default on my payments. I have been a customer since 1988 and have never defaulted on any loan with any institution. So my bank, my business partner, has chosen to shun a hard working person with a good history.
I know that my business is small, really small, but how does making it even harder to pay the bill each month going to help anyone in the long run. I think the bank should take a closer look and use a more personal approach when dealing with business partners. The sad part is that the bank personnel that I see nearly every day were powerless and even saddened at the way their own bank has treated me.
The bulk of my transactions are business related, so I take offense to being lumped in with the millions of people that default on unsecured debt after spending too much for spa treatments and designer accessories. There is a difference and this situation should be handled differently.
I will sell off some assets and pay off these cards. However, the relationship I have with my bank has been damaged to a point where I am searching for a new business partner. The world needs more love and less greed. I hope to find a banking firm that still has a heart....