As Lisa Morshell drove home from the Georgia Dome on the I-75 expressway, returning from another glorious victory by her Atlanta Falcons, she made plans to attend the next home game in 2 weeks. She’d open the door, say hi her pets – a chocolate Schnauzer named Rico and a tabby cat she never got around to naming and still just called Kitty – then head straight to the computer to see what seats were still available for the upcoming game versus their hated division rivals. She wasn’t that concerned with how to pay for the tickets, her credit card debt balances had ballooned during the last few years after a period without work, but she should still have had a few hundred dollars available.
“I’ll just put it on the Bank of Georgia card,” she thought, but, after selecting a seat and proceeding to checkout, her card was denied. Lisa tried again, still with no luck, and then called her bank only to find out that her credit limit had been LOWERED.
“I couldn’t believe it! After all those years working down the Coca-Cola plant and going crazy with my spending, the credit card companies were constantly raising my limit, it was all I could do to avoid bankruptcy or debt settlement. I had to go into hiding from my friends in order to pay them down at all. Now, my spending is under control, but my credit limit has been lowered?”
In these hard economic time, many people are out there seeking credit card debt relief, but others just want to use the borrowing privileges that they thought they already had. It’s not as easy as you would imagine, it turns out. In Atlanta and all across the state of Georgia, people are having their credit limits slashed due to the credit credit card companies sudden analysis of risky spending patterns. New predictive models for determining risk in consumers has driven the major lenders to heightened caution. For example, if you shop frequently at Perimeter Mall or live in Peachtree Park, you might be determined to be a high risk based solely on the actions of other shoppers and residents, and your credit limits may be slashed as a result.
“It’s ridiculous! Back when I needed debt relief in Georgia, all they would do would be to raise my limit. Now that I’ve scaled back my lifestyle and only use the card on rare occasions, they took away my credit,” said Lisa. It’s a growing trend in the Peach state, and one that isn’t likely to go away until the economy shows significant signs of recovery.
“We’re just doing what we can to avoid worsening the already tenuous position of our banking community. To keep in the black, that’s our goal. Not to deny anybody credit that they deserve to have,” said local banking executive Jeffery Martinson. “Until things improve in the national economy, and in the local Atlanta and Georgia markets, our hands are tied.”
“I talked to my bank, and didn’t have any luck getting my limit increased. I guess it’s just another thing that I will have to live with,” said Ms. Morshell. “It’s just a matter of tightening the belt one more notch, saving a little money and getting a little ahead so that when something comes up, I can spend the money if I need to.”
Across the county, this pattern seems to be taking hold. But, as Georgian Lisa Morshell can attest, every cloud has a silver lining: “I did end up scraping up enough money to buy a ticket to the Falcons game -- and we kicked some butt!”
Cole Collins is a freelance writer in the field of personal finance with a concentration on consumer . If you are looking for more articles for your finance related site please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.