Advanta credit card complaint

A visitor recently posted the following complaint about Advanta.  While I ordinarily don’t post single complaints as blog entries, this complaint is astounding.  Advanta, which went bankrupt and stopped issuing credit cards last year, has been increasing some interest rates to more than 30%.  Here’s one customer’s unenviable recounting of an Advanta credit card nightmare:

“I have perfect credit with a middle credit score of 755 as of 02/10/2010. In January the prior month I went over the due date on a payment by several days. About 7 days after the due date I logged into my account to make my payment and to my surprise they had changed my interest rate to 32.99% from 7.99%. I was furious as I had never been late or missed a payment. I called Advanta no less than a half dozen times and they also called me constantly. I explained to their calll center in India that the interest rate was abusive and that I was willing to continue making my payments if they lowered my interest back to the original rate.  After many calls back and forth in January they called me to tell me that they would be willing to offer me a 17.00% interest rate instead if I made a payment, I elected not to make the payment because I felt the rate was still abusive considering my credit is perfect and no late payments had been made in the past after numerous years of payment history with Advanta. Finally in February I receive a call from their call center in India which asked me some personal information to confirm my identity, then transferred me to a local office in Pennsylvania where I spoke with Dan . He called me to find out why I had not made my payment and explained as above. I also mentioned I had to close one of my businesses due to our economic situation. He asked me if I could make a payment of $ 517.00 dollars and offered me three solutions, one was to send them 50% of the balance and they would offer me 0% interest on the remaining balance for the life of the credit line, the other was 30% of the balance and they would offer me a 7.99% as was originally, then they offered me a hardship option which did not require me to make a payment until march where I would pay them $780.00 dollars and they would match my payment, credit my account for the total of $1560 and the interest rate would be 9.99% so I agreed and made the $ 517.00 payment on Tuesday 2/9/2010. He then proceeded to tell me before the conversation finished that we would speak again in March.  Concerned about my perfect credit I called all day Wendesday and could not reach Dan  left 2 voice mails. I called Thursday and left another voice mail stating I wanted to make another payment on my account to please return my call ASAP. Finally Friday morning 2/12/2010 I called and reached Dan who I spoke to for over 45 minutes pleading with him and even offerring to send them a few thousand dollars to show them good faith and not report me as a 30 day late to the bureaus because my credit report pulled on 2/10/2010 was spotless and I wanted to protect my credit and have it remain the same way. He proceeded to tell me that since I made the payment he had reset my “delinquency clock” and that now none of the options he had originally offered me were not available. I then called him back about an hour later and asked him once more about making another payment on my account, his response was that he could no longer help me I was to contact his Manager Tom . I left a voice mail and then received a call back from Tom  regarding my message, I asked him the same question about making another payment to show good faith and elect one of the original options and that I would send them a few thousand dollars, he proceeded to tell me that because I made the recent payment I no longer qualified for the original options offered to me and that my interest rate would remain at 32.99%. A WARNING to all those out there they used a bait and switch technique to collect the $ 517.00 and then went back on their word. This becomes a downward spiral because now unless I do not make the February payment and make my account past due they will not offer me any assistance as they had originally offered and deceived me incredibly. So now I am forced to withold payment take another late payment on my credit report before they will potentially offer me any other help if any at all. It is impossible to make payments at 32.99% when almost every dollar is going to finance charges that are pratcially as large as and your minimum payment and is impossible to keep up with. I am looking for every possible place to file complaints against this ruthless, callous organization that operates like a MAFIA. Sadly enough my perfect credit is going to take a dive in the near future and they could care less about any of us as individuals. These kind of credit card tactics from these companies must be illegal for them to offer you programs and then retract their offers. They are deceitful and I was betrayed unbelievably!!!!”

About the author

Jeff Weber

Jeffrey Weber has been following and blogging about the credit card industry since 2004. He has also written for Forbes and been cited in a wide range of major media outlets including USA Today, Time, MSN Money, The Christian Science Monitor, The Detroit Free Press and numerous other prestigious online and print publications.

Jeffrey resides in Easton, Connecticut and enjoys spending his free time chasing after his two year old son, watching films with his wife and occasionally taking a holiday to go snorkeling.

– has written 338 posts.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Frustrated March 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Hello, unfortunately, if you wanted to transfer the Advanta balance to another card, there is no way to get the information on Advanta Bank to give the new credit card the ability to transfer the balance.Any thoughts appreciated

Reply

Jeff Weber Jeff Weber March 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Frustrated,

You should be able to call the number on the monthly statement you receive to get the full card/account number. One other option would be to use balance transfer checks to repay the Advanta balance in the event they (to no surprise) make doing a balance transfer complicated.

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Randy May 2, 2011 at 5:18 pm

I had to leave town due to my father-in-laws illness, and missed a payment because my wife and I were so involved with the situation. As it turned out, my father-in-law passed away after a 10 days in hospice care. I returned home the day after the funeral and got a message on my answering machine about the miss payment. When I contacted Advanta, they informed me the raised my interest rate from 7.99% to 29.99%, even though I never missed a payment in the three years I had the account. The only way for them to lower the interest rate was for me to pay $2178.00. No matter who I talked to, they did not care. I am at a lost how a company can be so mean to someone who had to deal with so much and took immediate action to resolve the situation, especially since I have an outstanding payment record with Advanta.

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Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 4, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Randy,

I am very sorry to hear about your loss. With Advanta, there are a number of big issues. The main is that the company went bankrupt last year, so they have no interest in keeping customers happy. The second is that Advanta cards for business aren’t subject to the CARD Act, and thus they can raise you payment after a single purchase.

I strongly suggest applying for a new card that offers a 0% APR on balance transfers. This will save you a fortune, since at a 29.99% rate, your minimum payment won’t even cover the amount of interest you are charged in a month.

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Bonnie November 29, 2010 at 10:51 pm

I have an Advanta card also @ 34.99%. I also got stuck in their scam with no late payments ever and they jacked my rate from 7.99% up to the sky!!! I am now down under $7000.00 but with over $200.00 a month in interest it is a long painful process. The sad deal is that Advanta is now managed by our own government, the FDIC. Advanta has never shown up on my credit report along with BOA or Wells Fargo. Capital One is the only business credit card company that shows up on my report and they just recently started reporting as a business card but personally responsible for it. I think we all need to send letters to our state senators and have them put some pressure on the FDIC to reduce our interest rates. Hell, shouldn’t be up to us to pay down the national debt!!!!

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Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper November 30, 2010 at 9:17 am

Bonnie,

Unless you can make a lump sum repayment, you should strongly consider transferring the balance. If you have a small business and you are responsible for the debt, you should take advantage of consumer offers that have 0% balance transfer deals that last as long as 21 months. At a 34.99% rate, doing a balance transfer and paying $300 a month saves you $3300 in interest. Its well worth it to move your balances.

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Vicki September 19, 2010 at 7:02 pm

I am also a “victim” of Advanta. We started out with a low interest rate that is now at 34.99%. I have tried to call and speak with them but they said there was nothing they could do…does anyone have any place to go? With the way the economy is right now, there are no banks willing to finance $16,000.00 without having some form of collateral, which I do not have. Am I completely stuck? Is there anything that I can do. We are going into winter and that is the time we don’t have steady income in our field and are very desperate to keep afloat. Any help given would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper September 20, 2010 at 10:01 am

Vicki,

I think you may benefit from contacting a non-profit credit counselor that can work to get your rate reduced. The best site to learn more about these companies in your area is http://www.nfcc.org. Given the high amount of debt, unless you have a high income, I don’t think you will be able to get a 0% balance transfer credit card with enough credit to cover the balances. And at that interest rate, you could be in debt forever. I think you should act quickly and contact an approved credit counselor from nfcc.org as soon as possible.

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Greg April 28, 2010 at 7:38 am

They claimed ‘business card’ rules to avoid having to follow the new ‘consumer card’ 60 day late rule. SInce the rules are new I am nut sure how it will play out, but I am thinking that the cards that choose to say ‘we are a business card’ will lose the right to check your consumer credit report, and lose the ability to report it to your ‘consumer’ credit, since it is a ‘business card’.

It will be interesting to see how the feds handle this?

Will business cards start following the new rules in order to maintain the right to report?

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Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 28, 2010 at 8:15 am

Greg,

You make a really good point about whether it gets reported on your consumer report. Unfortunately, I believe the law is vague on this, and since business cards require a personal SSN, a company like Advanta might try to slam the individual’s personal credit report.

As to business cards following the consumer rules, I recently wrote about this in an article Small Business Credit Card Dangers. Basically, Bank of America is the only company that is applying the new consumer rules to business cards, though I think they can revoke their commitment to do so at a drop of the hat–I have a feeling there’s fine print that will let them do it.

Thanks for posting again Greg. Sorry I had to edit your previous comment. I was concerned about liability issues, but did appreciate reading your insights. You were clearly dead on about Advanta, since their bank got seized by the FDIC a few weeks after your post.

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Margie April 27, 2010 at 8:57 pm

I’m curious what happened when you didn’t make the next payment. I have almost the exact situation. I have paid on time for years and entered my payment on line and it didn’t go through. It wasn’t the banks fault, I was interurpted by a visitor and did not realize the transaction had clocked out. I marked the payment paid and put it in the file. Next thing I know my rate has gone from 6.99 to 34.99 percent on 17,000 balance. Ouch!!!!!!. I called the company and they were willing to work with me and off me 16.99 or if I paid 2800 plus the 397 they would give me 7.99. I told them I had alread paid the 397 online through bill pay and they said to wait a couple of days and call back. I did. My account is now current and the offer to pay down or lower the rate is recinded. I asked about the credit card law and they said this is a business account and not under the 60 day late rule. I asked about the previous offer and they said it is no longer available. I asked to talk to a manager and they said they were fully authorized to make any changes and that I would have to pay the 34.99 %…. I asked to talk to the collection dept(the ones I had talked to when it was past due) and they said no longer applicable, I had to talk to customer service. I said I’m talking to customer service who is authorized to make chages ( according to them) and I need them to lower the rate. They gave me the number to consumer credit counciling and told me good luck. I called consumer credit counciling and they had (Clearwater) and they told me to fill out the forms on line and they would get right back to me. That was 7 days ago. I received a confirmation the same day saying they had received my forms. Nothing else…..Has anyone else done this? I am trying to borrow $17,000 to pay off Advanta, no luck so far. I have assets, good credit, and steady income but I can’t make $800 a month interest payment. What to do? I’m thinking of sucide or doing something else I have never contemplated. No sending a payment. So any suggestions?

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Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 28, 2010 at 7:32 am

Margie,

I am going to send you an email. Please don’t contemplate taking your life. There are plenty of things you can do. Please don’t panic.

Best Wishes

Jeff

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Patrick April 8, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Sam, you may have a point. But because the person posted Dan’s last name, I was able to find this blog and it addressed a suspicion I was feeling. I also dealt with Dan and this story is very similar. So, to that person who posted Dan Carr’s name I say – THANK YOU!!

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Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 9, 2010 at 7:26 am

Patrick,

I was really torn about removing the name. On the one hand, customer service reps, especially overseas, use aliases. On the other, these were people who were misleading and mistreating consumers. I actually had suspicions that Sam may have had some relationship to the people and the company. However, I didn’t want to drag these people into the mud with Advanta.

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Sam March 22, 2010 at 3:04 pm

There are 3 sides to every story. So it would be interesting to hear Advanta’s and the truth, now that Nelson has detailed his experience from his point of view. I have had similar experiences and I know I can get caught up in the moment. But please also remember that these two gentlemen work for Advanta, they did not make you delinquent nor decide your consequences. So to call them out by name seems a bit much. Best of luck in reaching some type of resolution to your issue.

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Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 22, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Sam,

I think you made a great point and it was unfair of me to publish the last names. To be honest, it was an oversight, but it was a mistake nonetheless. As angry as we get at the people who answer phones at credit card companies, they are really just following policy and it is not personal.

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Greg March 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Reg “Z” that went into effect on Feb. 22nd does not include business credit cards.

Editor’s Note: The remainder of this comment was deleted because it contains speculations about Advanta’s financial condition that could not be verified.

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Larry Phillips March 5, 2010 at 6:04 pm

My own Advanta card started out low, then they jacked it up to where it most of the account is at 24 percent and some of it is at 33 percent APR!

I have read many, many such accounts.

That’s a main reason they went broke. So many people defaulted on the payments AFTER these outrageous interest rate hikes.

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Brenda February 21, 2010 at 8:21 pm

How could this man be charged 32% interset from advanta. I thought the credit reform bill stopped companies from charging default rates unless someone was delinquent for over 60 days.

Also I’m still getting card offers with default interest rates if a payment is missed? I thought they could no longer do this.

What is going on.

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Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper February 22, 2010 at 9:49 am

Unfortunately, this rate increase occurred before today, which is when the new laws are finally in effect. As to mail offers with default rates, I believe that is what they can charge if you are 60 days late. At that point, interest rates can be raised.

Reply

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