Wednesday, July 27, 2005Either the credit card companies are liars or the news media are fools. Tough choice.
When I read in Digby that the credit card companies were doubling their monthly minimums, I freaked out. That would drive me and a lot of other people over the financial edge. But after my breathing resumed, I decided to do a little digging. The report came from an NBC affiliate in South Carolina. I saw this and relaxed a little, because a) the local news isn't always so reliable, and b) if this were a true story, the major papers should have picked it up.
After jumping over a bunch of hurdles, I finally got someone from the MBNA media relations department on the phone. He told me that while there is going to be a change in the formula so that minimums will always result in a paydown of the outstanding balance, he doesn't know where in the world WYFF got the idea that the minimum payment had to be 4% of the outstanding balance.
Assuming he's telling the truth, it means that the local news station has really screwed up. I am going to call them and find out - I'll tell you more when I have more information. In the meantime, I'm going to treat what I read from penny-ante media sources with even more scepticism. If that's possible.