According to the Wall Street Journal, you need to keep a close eye on your credit limits in the coming weeks/months. Given all of the recent economic turmoil, and especially given yesterday’s failure of the economic bailout bill, there is concern that credit card issuers might start rolling back some or all of your available credit. So, for example, if you have a $5,000 limit and a $3,000 balance, they might erase that extra $2,000 in available credit.
Obviously, this affects your ability to spend as freely as you normally would. It can also create problems in the face of an emergency, especially if you don’t have a sufficient emergency fund. Also problematic: potential overlimit fees when if you inadvertently exceed your new, lower limit.
Here are some tips for protecting yourself…
- Reduce your credit card debt to create a bit of extra space
- Watch the mail for notifications of any change in your card terms
- Check your credit report for errors that might worry your card issuer
- Sign up for online alerts that warn you when you approach your limit
- Shop around for more attractive credit card offers
You might also want to proactively login to your account and double-check your limit just to be sure you haven’t missed a recent notification.