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GE Money Bank / Caveat emptor!

1 United States Review updated:

This institution (I use the words aberrantly) is less than wonderful. It has some how managed to fly under the radar of the FTC and state's Attorney Generals for some time. If they're to be held accountable, then these complaints have to be directed to the appropriate government agencies. It is unlikely anything will happen by posting to a public forum other than a public service.

On the other hand, you have to take some responsibility for entering into a relationship with GE. Perhaps the emotion of the moment clouded your judgment or you allowed yourself to be persuaded by a less-then-forthcoming person. Nevertheless, you've got to read everything: disclaimers, small print, interest rates, fees. Everything! Upfront, the deal sounds good, but after it's all over and you have agreed to the terms, which includes subjection to inimical conduct of GE, there isn't a great deal of recourse options, if any, that are available.

Their interest rate have remained high, even through the recent recession when rates were at an all-time low. This is a company you have to keep on top of and make sure payments are not late. If you fall behind or are late, then your troubles are just beginning. I wouldn't be surprised if GE wasted no time in reporting a delinquency to the credit bureaus, thus your FICO score takes a major hit. Their interest rates are not the highest, but they are high nonetheless. For example their ShopNBC card carries an APR of 24.24% and a delinquency rate of 26.99%; late fees range anywhere from $15 to $35, depending on the balance.

My antipathy toward GE has been growing for sometime. My first experience was when I applied for PayPal Buyer credit about a year ago. I would use it to pay for auctions won off eBay, and either pay the balance in full or take advantage of items eligible for 0% interest promotional period. Obviously, the balance needs to paid in full before the end of the period, which begins when the item posts. The APR is 23.75%. I suspect the delinquent rate and fees are similar to above, if not more. When I first applied, I was extended a $250.00 credit limit. Frankly, I found it an insult considering my FICO score and debt ratio. GE allows one to apply for a credit increase every 90 days, so I'm not sure why they don't just don't grant a limit based on credit worthiness initially. However, they're a financing business and can set their own rules if one wishes to play with them.

My second experience started with ShopNBC. On their TV program, they occasionally list big-screen TVs for 12 month 0% interest. Of course this only is applicable on the ShopNBC credit card through none other than GE Bank. I said, "what the heck, I'll apply." During the application, your approved for either a ShopNBC card or ShopNBC Visa. The TV I was interested in cost $1200. Remember the best money to use is someone else's at 0% interest. After I went on-line to apply, I was approved for a ShopNBC credit card with a limit of $500. Obviously, buying the TV was out of the question. Not to mention another insult. I protested to ShopNBC, who said there was nothing they could do. I then wrote a letter to GE Bank protesting their decision. They have yet to reply and that was over 6 months ago. Needless to say, the card arrived and I did not activate it. The whole ordeal turned out like a bait-n-switch scheme, but it was perfectly legitimate. The lesson here is what seems morally wrong is nonetheless legal.

I did however, apply to a major card issuer and was approved for a $10,000 limit with 12 months 0% introductory rate. I bought a big-screen, but not through ShopNBC.

Card issuers are getting devious in their practices. For example, some reset the APR to the delinquent rate if you miss one payment. Another trend is to reset rates if you're late on any payment for other creditors and services. Still others, like Providian, have received payments on time, but did not post it to the account until after the due date, thus triggering late fees. Providian got caught doing this by he way. That is why is is all the more important to know what your getting into.

All I can say with regards to entering into a contract with GE is caveat emptor. And if one does, scrutinize the relation under a microscope.

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  • Tr
      2nd of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    Check with any Private Label Consumer Financing and you would find a very high rate of interest. Whether the prime changes or economic features are shifting is only a variable for the type of loan with interest based directly on the prime; however, many Private Label and Closed-End Installment contracts are disclosed as a set rate, regardless of the economy.

    Yes, be a smarter purchaser, but please also be an intelligent complainer.
    It is too bad you feel so mistreated, but a little care can certainly make life a little smoother for everyone.

  • La
      17th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    Its under the FTC radar because no one is filing complaints with the FTC and Office of Thrift Supervision

    Everyone having problems with GE Money needs to report them to these agencies so they can force GE Money to fix their broken processes and nasty attitudes

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