I also had my Citibank Checking Plus line changed without notice this month.
I've had a $5k line there for about 15 years. It is far and away the oldest account on my credit report, so I want to make sure to keep it.
I ran into some rough times during the financial crisis, and ended up (among other changes) carrying a full balance on it for years, but never missing a payment. Around the same time, I closed all my other credit accounts, other than a mortgage.
I've finally had things turning around financially, so I've started rebuilding w/some new cards late last year. While my total available credit is now significantly higher, my utilization plummeted, since I had more than the one maxed out line of credit.
Then, last month, I decided to pay down $1900 of the balance on the Checking Plus account, instead carrying the same balance on a 0% APR promo rate on a card, which I'll pay down before the promo rate expires. That turned out to be a big mistake.
As soon as I hit my first statement after paying down some of the balance, Citi lowered my credit limit by $1900. When I asked, they said that it was probably because they saw something in a periodic review of my credit. The reality is that my credit had been lower at various points when I was carrying the $5k, but it seems that their systems were just waiting for my utilization of that account to drop so they could close the door a bit and reduce their exposure.
Now, I'm loathe to pay down any more of the balance on that account, since it's 15 years older than any other account on my credit report, which has a significant impact on my average age of accounts. My current plan so to eat the interest costs for a while longer while I garden, get my scores back up to the mid-700s, then pay down a bit of the line as a test to see if they'll keep the limit the same.
It could also be that they've changed their practices, and are reducing credit lines for a large number of people who have not been problematic accounts, but who give them exposure they're no longer interested in having. If that's the case, there's little we can do about it, but boy does it suck.
It sounds like they are balance chasing you. It isn't unusual for an account that was maxed out for a long time with minimum payments. Personally, I would continue paying the balance down with the goal of paying off the loan. There is a good chance they will not close the account. But you will end up with a small CL. In a year or so you could then request a CLI. No guarantees obviously.
If they close the LOC, your credit report will not be hurt until the account drops off in about 10 years. On the other hand, having the maxed out account is doing horrible things to your credit score.
There is a poster that has 'Don't take credit personally' in their information. I think that statement says a lot about how the bank views people as customers. What have you done for me lately, is the approach.
Having been balance chased in the past, I understand the frustration and could not help but take it very personally. I took it as an opportunity for some self reflection and see what I could do to hopefully prevent action like this in the future. Time to find a new bank and start a fresh relationship. Good luck!
Interesting experience and sour to say the least but thanks for sharing the details.
I think this is one of the chief reasons that i choose to steer clear of certain invitations (and bonuses) peddled my way from various big banks like Chase, Cit, and some others and bank mainly with a local regional one.
The big ones seem to scrutinize more aggressively IMO when there is a banking relationship attached to card accounts. And one little thing that they choose to pick at and there goes the whole shebang and throws the customer all the way back to square one again.
Very Informative. Again Thanks for sharing and hope for only better things for those who been stripped out like that..
I wouldn't have been so annoyed if they had simply given me notification that they had reduced my credit limit, and therefore denied me the ability to draw against the line of credit. It would've been inconvenient, but it wouldn't have left my checking account in an overdraft condition.
Instead, they let me draw against the line of credit, then retroactively lowered the credit limit later that day, retroactively turning what their ATM had told me was drawing against the line of credit into an overdraft condition. In fact, I got a letter in the mail telling me I had to correct the overdraft several days before getting any notice of the reduction in the credit limit.
I have no issue with them balance chasing, but if they're going to do it, they need to be a bit more up front about it. I had a lower balance on the line of credit for 3 days before they lowered the limit. This leads me to believe that they weren't going to lower the limit if I hadn't drawn against it, but that leads me to question what the point is of a line of credit that disappears if you try to use it.
I suppose I'm just frustrating that after over 30 years of banking with them, they can't be bothered to communicate things in a straightforward way.
Citi did it again. I paid off the remainder of the balance that I've been carrying on my Checking Plus account for quite some time -- never delinquent on a payment, but carrying a balance. A few weeks after I paid it off completely, they've now reduced my line down to a token $300. The change was made sometime last week.
I finally got a letter, dated June 9, informing me of the change, and it used an EQ score that was pulled on April 26th. The letter also says that my line will be terminated in another 30 days. My score is now about 60 points higher than it was at that time, and my score will likely make another move higher when the new zero balance reports.
I'm really frustrated with the way Citi has handled the communication about this. For most things (like when I put in a fraud report on my debit card a couple of years ago), any time they mail a letter, they also make a pdf version available in online banking immediately, with an alert so that I see the letter several days before it gets to me in the mail. For these credit line decreases, they don't bother with any online communication, so there is a lag of several days before I get any information. There are ways for them to undertake AA without being **bleep** about it.