Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What credit crunch?

I don't see any credit crunch. I carry two credit cards and a gas card. I never carry a balance. Visa upped my credit line to $20k earlier in the year; I received a letter from Citi bumping up that credit line today. I didn't ask, they just did it. Then there's my Chase rep who I have mentioned before. He calls me every month wanting to lend me money.

This is unbelievable to me. I never forget that I would be considered rich by global standards (and for that I am grateful), yet by American standards I would be considered solid middle-class. Now these financial companies and banks are virtually begging me to take their money. I guess it's because I pay my bills on time every time and I have never been a deadbeat. I am not bragging because if you are reading this you are almost certainly the same way.
You have more buying power and more flexibility.
What I have is the much greater potential to dig myself into a bottomless financial pit. No thanks.

So repeating the question in the subject line: Are you finding your credit lines expanded, or are they reigning you in?


tesla said...

I still get credit card applications and the like in the mail but not quite as many as in the past. My credit limits have remained the same. The mortgage loan junk mail has completely stopped. It just seems like things are going back to normal.

Tom said...

Same as Tesla, no credit limit increases but I still get plenty of credit card offers, especially travel rewards ones. Do they know I tend to use a travel awards card?

In the UK it's a little different I think, some credit card companies were closing accounts of people with excellent credit because they could only make money off those with poor credit. I can try and dig out a story if you're curious.

I still get an incredible amount of stuff sent to me from realtors though. I wish I could shut that off.

Anonymous said...

I long ago sent in the form for "do not mail me with credit card applications" so I don't get any of those. My banks do occasionally bump my credit line up without my asking. I don't pay attention to either the credit line or the interest rate because I don't use all the credit and I don't pay interest.

I was lucky (or clever) enough to buy a few shares of Berkshire Hathaway last week on the dip (the B shares, not the A shares -- I work for my money!) and they're already up 10%. I was able to do that because I had cash saved up that I hadn't spent on Hummers and big screen TVs and multiple $10 mixed drinks every weekend.

I think the people who are having problems are the ones who overextended themselves in the first place, the ones who didn't put anything away for a rainy day. Well, the rainy day is here, folks, and those of us with umbrellas are doing just fine.

Fred Fry said...

My bank just sent me a pre-approved bank draft for up to $50,000 to buy a new car. It came from my bank, which I already have a car loan with, and credit card, and car insurance....

Then again, my bank is not in trouble.

I am also signed up on the 'do not mail me credit card offers' list. Oddly enough, Chase totally ignored that list and bombarded me with card offers for years. This post made me realize that they recently stopped coming. Maybe they finally got the message of my silence.

Bob said...

My credit lines were also expanded by Citi very recently. Unlike you, though, I'm about 20k in debt (due mostly to fallout from Putin's boondoggle in Georgia) and trying desperately to dig out. I guess they noted my monthly payment regularity and decided to increase my limit.

This is pretty impressive management by Citi. At a time when many in its situation might panic and limit potential exposure across the board, they appear to be expanding credit where it is likley to benefit them. I bet they are making converse adjustments on other credit lines that are not so well rated.

Akubi said...

Yeah, I have a decidedly insane amount of credit (not to mention my HELOC I don’t use) – 200K or 300K or so combined – and now get more cash back spending money than saving it. A part of me just wants to make a platinum card house and light them up like a crème brule from hell. Nonetheless, I’m a walker/public transit person rather than a driver so I don’t like to carry much cash – freaks follow you at night. And you never get cash back if they steal it.

Lou Minatti said...

Bob, if you don't mind me asking, what happened vis a vis Putin's Big Adventure?

Mike S said...

My shredder stays busy, destroying the latest credit card offer every other day, and I also sent in the "stop sending" cards.

One general credit card, one gas card (I get a discount b/c I work for them), one ATM card. What else do you need really? I don't understand the multiple card habit.

Then again, I pay it off each month and the limit is no issue.

And Bob, I'm as curious as Lou re:Georgia, if you don't mind us asking.