Around 2007-08, when the economy had be wrecked by
the Great Recession, I became financially
vulnerable. This is also when USAA abandoned
Prior to the recession, I had acquired a USAA credit card at 4.25% fixed. When the recession hit, I used this card as my safety net. While this was a tricky situation, it was manageable. Then, one day in 2008, after historically paying all my bills on time, I received a letter from my USAA credit card. It informed me that my fixed rate would be increasing to 16%. Since this was not the original terms of my cardmember agreement, I was offered the option to decline the increase and close my account. I chose to close my account, so that I could continue to pay down the balance at 4.25%.
A few months later, after continuing to pay all my bills on time, I received another, more troubling letter. This time, USAA said it found a loophole that allowed them to retroactively increase my rate to over 20%. I wrote many letters to the bank’s president and regulators, but due to all the housing mess, my pleas fell on deaf ears.
I warned USAA that if my rate increased to over five times my current rate, that would break me financially and force me to default on the credit card. No one listened, and my rate jumped through the roof for no real apparent reason. At this point, my monthly payments wouldn’t even cover the interest. So, without any other options, I defaulted on the account.
I endured 7 years of non-stop harassment from debt collectors, calling me day and night. I spent all this time on the sidelines, unable to buy a house when the market was low. I delayed marriage, and having children too. I spent 3 more years rebuilding my credit.
USAA Bank is an evil soul-sucking branch of an otherwise great insurance company.… read more
Reviewed by: @wallethub_126