Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dear Mastercard… (Request for Personal Debt Ceiling Increase)

Dear Mastercard,

I am writing this letter to request an increase in my credit limit. As you know, I have been a lifetime customer of yours and in all that time I have never missed a payment. Unfortunately, it seems as though I have run into a rough spot in my finances lately and have been forced to max out my credit limit with you. I know this was a rather irresponsible thing to do, but I only did it because I was counting on these troubles being temporary. I was sure that I would be back on my feet and able to pay all of my debt by now. However, this rough spot is lasting a lot longer than I thought it would. Now that I find myself out of credit but still in need of funds, the recent debt I have accumulated is causing me to have trouble making even the interest payments to you.

I want you to understand the gravity of this situation. It is not only I who depend on your credit so that I can make my BMW payments on time. I also use your card to pay for my sick mother’s medicine and for my son’s education. In addition to that, my wife just lost her job and I have been using your card to buy her all the food and clothing she needs. So you see, if you cut off my credit now my entire family will be devastated. Not to mention the fact that my credit score will be ruined if you don’t do this for me. Please don’t let that happen, because if my credit score gets ruined, not only will it affect my ability to borrow more from you, but it will also likely cause Visa and Discover to cut me off as well.

Anyway, I don’t really see what the big deal is. You know that if you increase my limit I will then be able to make my minimum payments to you, and if you don’t then I won’t. It’s quite easy to see what the right thing is to do here! I don’t want this letter to get nasty, but I would be foolish not to point out that you need me as much as I need you. You know it is in your best interest to grant my request. Not to mention the fact that my mother, my son, and my wife all have credit cards with you too and that cutting off my credit will result in them defaulting on their payments to you as well. Can you really afford to let that happen? In my opinion, this is a no-brainer.

I anxiously await your decision. By the way, I need to hear back from you immediately. The quicker I hear back, the quicker you get paid, know what I mean?

- Deadbeat

Mastercard response:

Dear Deadbeat,

We sympathize with your situation. However, it is not the responsibility of your credit card company to provide income for you. We provide credit, which is much different from income. Credit provides liquidity to you in situations where you need something immediately, but don’t have the funds to pay for it. In return for our services you pay us back the money we lent to you along with a finance charge (also called “interest”). That’s how credit is meant to work. It’s NOT meant to work like an ever icreasing stream of loans that mushrooms to the point where the interest payments alone will cripple you and force you to come back to us asking for perpetual increases. You talk about not being able to afford the interest payments, but do you ever plan on paying back the principal?

Also, why are you worried about your credit rating? That is just a fictional number which doesn’t really have a true bearing on the credit-worthiness of a borrower. The fact that you consistently have lived outside of your means for so long speaks more to your credit-worthiness than some arbitrary number would. Besides, we have cut off credit to borrowers with much higher credit scores than yours before.

And we are very sorry to hear that your entire family is now dependent on credit to maintain their current lifestyle. However, the blame should be put on you for letting your financial situation come to that point, not on us. We understand that food, clothing, and medicine are basic necessities in life, but BMWs and college aren’t. Perhaps you should trade in your car for a less expensive one and tell your son that college will have to wait for now.

I’m sorry, but we are cutting you off. We hope that you are able to continue to pay us with the current level of income you now have, but if you can’t perhaps you can sell some of the items you have accumulated over the years and use that money to pay us back. Doing this may help you maintain that important credit score that you seem to be so concerned about, and since you bought most of that stuff on credit it never really belonged to you in the first place. Also, in the future, perhaps you should try saving your money and then paying cash for things whenever you can. It helps build character and keeps you from believing the lie that you can have everything you want whenever you want it without ever having to work for it. Just a suggestion.

Good luck to you. You'll need it!!

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