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Tricky Credit Card Debt Secrets – The Universal Default Clause

Do you know what that is? Neither did I until recently. The universal default clause is another secret of the credit card companies that the quietly enacted by including it in the fine print of your credit card agreement that allows credit card companies to increase your interest rates on your card if you make your payments on time BUT are late paying OTHER bills.

“Really?” Yes, if you are late paying your utility bill, for example and it shows up on your credit report, the universal default clause give your credit card company the right to increase your credit cards rates. They justify it with the assumption that since you were late on your utility bill, you are a higher risk to them and so they need to raise your interest rates.

Not all credit cards have this clause in their agreements but many do. By burying the clause in the fine print (which they know nobody reads) it is seemingly another way for them to collect more money. This is exactly the type of practice that takes advantage of consumers and is increasingly forcing them into some type of debt relief program. This is just one of many of their tricky credit card debt secrets.

Unfortunately, the only way to protect yourself is to get out your magnifying glass and read the fine print prior to signing up for a new credit card. You probably should avoid cards with this clause – after all, we all are late paying bills sometimes – why should one bill affect the others?