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Economic Climate Impacts Credit Cards - Rising Rates in the Marketplace

Those who have an interest in the economy might be confused as to where we stand in regards to a recvovery. Has it started? Has it stalled? Is it robust? Answers and opinions will vary depending on the publications you read, websites you surf or financial shows you watch. One area of agreement among economists – and pundits – is the negative impact that continued high unemployment has on the financial services marketplace.

Unemployment Effects Borrowers and Lenders

The Borrower: Unemployment has an (obvious) impact on the abiity of borrowers to make payments on their loans. Making late payments – or not making payments at all – can unfortunately result in stress, damaged credit scores and the inability to obtain credit in the future.

The Lender: As more borrowers fall behind or stop making payments on their loans, the lender can become financially stressed. They’re earning less income than expected from their loans – or have incurred losses from those who will never repay.

Credit Card Fees & Interest Rates on the Rise

Credit Card issuers who face increasing delinquencies have several methods to help offset their losses.

Increase Fees: Implementing or raising fees in a common way for Credit Card issuers to generate income quickly to offset losses. SF Fire Credit Union has held the line with our Visa Credit Card which has always been – and continues to be – a ‘fee-friendly’ card:

  • Application Fee: NONE
  • Annual Fee: NONE
  • Balance Transfer Fee: NONE
  • Cash Advance Fee: NONE
  • Foreign Transacton Currency Exchange Fee: NONE
  • Over Limit Fee: NONE
  • Late Payment Fee: $15

Increase Rates: Many Credit Card issuers have dramatically increased their rates int he past 6 to 8 months. SF Fire Credit Union has implmented modest increases to our Visa Credit Card rates while continuing to offer a significant value in the Credit Card marketplace of 2010:

Variable-Rate Option
7.90% to 18.00%

Please note that any SF Fire Credit Union cardholder will be notified directly (and in advance) should there be any changes to the rate associated with their particular card.

(Rates shown are Annual Percentage Rate and are based on the creditworthiness of the cardholer.)