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HSBC is cutting back in the U.S. after its 2003 purchase of Household International Inc. required it to set aside more than $65 billion for bad loans

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Credit limits reduced for Direct Merchant Mastercard

BD in North Carolina said: “I received an email yesterday, telling me that I was over my credit limit….impossible!…I thought. On my last statement I had a credit line of several thousand. All of a sudden it has been reduced to less than $700.00. I don’t know what percent that is, but I was astounded. In all the years I’ve had a Direct Merchant Mastercard, which is HSBC, I’ve never been late, and I’ve always paid it off every month. I don’t carry a balance at all.

They’ve steadily increased my credit and even reduced my APR to 14.99 percent. When I called, I was told that all the credit limits were cut across the board, and it had nothing to do with my payment history. Like a previous poster, I asked about my credit score. They said a letter had been sent out (the day I called them) that would state that the cut was due to decreasing risk factors….even though I’ve never been a risk! But I can show the credit reporters my letter!

On the bright side, I didn’t have to pay the amount I went over my new credit limit. How unethical to lower a limit without notification, when they know good and well that during the time they mail the notice and the consumer gets the letter, the consumer will continue to charge. I’m sure that many people will not know that they don’t have to pay the over-the-limit amount.

HSBC was quick to tell me that in the agreement, they can raise or lower the credit limit without notice….unbelievable! I can’t believe this woman had the nerve to say that to me! When asked if they were in financial trouble, she evaded the question.

Stay away from Direct Merchant/HSBC! At the least, go online and check your credit limit before making a big purchase. If you have gone over your limit due to this reason, DON’T PAY THE OVERAGE! Call them and tell them you don’t have to pay it, and they will confirm that….but you have to ask to speak to a supervisor and wait 20 minutes while they are hoping you hang up.”

Posted By Timothy Blake

HSBC Watch is a watchdog and consumer activist coalition.

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UPDATE NOTE: HSBC car loans were sold to Santander USA in 2010 :: Most HSBC credit cards became Capital One credit cards in 2012 :: HSBC horrible predatory home mortgages are in run-off