Saturday, October 25, 2008

Heads Up: Macy's and Citibank Closures and Credit Limit Reductions On My Radar Screen


My subscription to Site Meter has been a real boon to GlobCredit.com. Not only can I monitor my traffic statistics, I can also monitor search queries. I'm already using these search queries for my 10-Credit-Questions-and-Answers column (link here). I'm now going to use them to alert my readers to things that my search-query data is pulling up.

Over the past 48 hours, I have noticed a substantial spike in Macy's credit card closures and credit limit reductions. Some 24 hours ago, I was seeing credit-limit reduction searches. I was not seeing anything regarding closures. Today, however, I saw quite a few Macy's closure queries. According to a person over at Creditboards, who seems to have inside knowledge of what's going on over at Macy's Visa card division, Macy's is scouring customer lists, looking for people who have recent late payments on their Macy's Visa accounts, Experian FICO scores that don't meet a certain level, and accounts that have been inactive. Macy's is targeting these people for credit-limit reductions. This person didn't say anything about account closures. Still, if my traffic is any indication, Macy's is closing accounts as well. Anyhow, just a heads up for you Macy's Visa customers.

In addition to Macy's, I have also noticed an uptick in people using search queries that pertain to Citibank credit limit reductions. It's difficult to know if people are worried about this problem or if people are actually suffering from these Citibank moves. Regardless, my search queries are up -- and there are enough of them to make me take notice.

To a lesser extent, my Chase credit limit reduction queries are up as well. Ditto Walmart credit-limit reductions. Because I am mostly getting "Walmart reduced credit limit," and searches like that, I can't tell which Walmart cards are involved.

Not surprisingly, American Express is still chopping limits as well. This has been -- and continues to be -- my number one search query when it comes to credit limit reductions. People are also searching 4506-T as well, which tells me that American Express is still doing financial reviews.

That's what I am currently seeing. In the future, if I see something that warrants another story like this, I will be sure to write something up.

I normally wouldn't write something like this up on a Saturday, but I'm hoping this story will help some of you stay ahead of the curve.

Have a great weekend.

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14 comments:

Daniel said...

I remember hearing on CNBC a couple of weeks ago that the next 12 months, the credit card companies are going to hell and back with Fall 09 being when things will get better.

GlobCredit.com said...

Daniel, not sure when these card companies will be done, but clearly they seem to just be getting started.

Bob Wang said...

I'm glad I didn't read this BEFORE bedtime.

GlobCredit.com said...

I see that you and I keep similar hours, BW.

Bob Wang said...

Great minds sleep alike ;-)
Or, was it "slink"?

GlobCredit.com said...

Probably both, BW.

LBCS said...

Thanks for the headsup, CM

GlobCredit.com said...

No prob, LBCS.

The Lion said...

Oddly, my site meter page has stopped updating. I know I have visitors, as I get comments and emails about my posts...but they claim none...I might have to send an email...

I thought that massive disaster of bailout was supposed to fix these issues? Isn't that what the people were promised? ;)

GlobCredit.com said...

Lion, it's business as usual for these card companies. As long as they believe that customers are on the ropes, they'll continue to employ these risk-management moves.

The Lion said...

Oh, I know it is all just a bunch of SOP, but from what I recall when they gov't was pitching this bailout I believe they promised miracles....

GlobCredit.com said...

Lion, I loved the music group (Miracles). Maybe they'll be invited to the White House. Haha.

So far, the bailout has only been for the banks. I wasn't expecting much. So far I have not been disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I just got a letter from JCP/GE Money Bank cutting my limit to my outstanding balance. Curious if I had no balance whould I have no limit? Mind you I got the same from Citibank. My payment to both were timely and in greater amounts than the minimum. JCP upgraded me like three times to gold to silver to black or something of that nature. I have mortgage issue not revoving credit card or car payment issues. The real problem is GE and Citibank are losing money because of bad debt and poor risk management, not becuse I did not pay my credit card. Is there anything a consumer can do? This really helps the economy reduce the amount that solid credit users can spend. BASTARDS just intime for the holiday's.

GlobCredit.com said...

Anon, first, sorry to hear about the credit limit reduction/decrease.

To anyone who will listen, I say to carry no balances. Zero. The consumer MUST be in full control of his or her situation. Carrying no credit card debt gives you the strongest position.

But that doesn't guarantee that you won't get clipped by one of your creditors. These card companies are trying to reduce exposure wherever possible. My guess is that they're simply grabbing the low-hanging fruit first.

Anon, the timing is terrible. You have the holidays coming up and people rely on cards to make those purchases. It's going to be one hell of a holiday season, I'll tell you that.

There are no easy answers. Keep balances down (preferably nonexistent). And keep your head down. Try to stay off the radar screen.

That's my best suggestion.

Hang in there, Anon.

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