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Pre-Approval Notice: Nathan Blakeslee, First PREMIER up to $1,000.00. is prep o issue your MasterCard with a maximum LEFT FIELD Anatomy of a Credit Card Rip-off Good News! Even though your name appears on our marginal customer list, meaning one or more credit bureaus is currently giving you a bad report, you can still qualify for credit with us, without a security deposit. That means you don’t have to cut us a deposit check for the amount of credit you want You are pre-approved! Here are the only qualifications you must meet: Do you have a job? Do you have a place to stay? Not too hard. Lending to marginally qualified borrowers is the new hot market for credit card companies. The largest boom in the credit industry in recent years has occurred primarily with customers earning less than $10,000 per year. You are not required to open a savings account or send a security deposit as a condition do require you to complete the APProval Form below. Enclose your Approval Form in th , y envelope along with your check or money order made payable to First PREMIER Bank, Proces a paycheck stub or proof of other income along with a utility bill in your name both dat , sixty days. See reverse side for additional account terms and conditions. The sooner you reply the sooner First PREMIER Bank can process your new MasterCard. Fin is honored to help you build your credit rating and your financial future Whoa! Here’s the bad news: just like for banking, insurance, and health care, poor people pay higher fees for credit cards. The Annual Percentage Rate offered is several points higher than the going rate. And the fees! The credit offer is up to $1,000, but you start with a line as low as $250, less than your total fee for the first year which will be a minimum of $260. As Rodney Dangerfield used to say, “That’s no bargain, neither.” Even with defaults at record rates, companies are raking in profits by putting poor people deeper in debt. Seventy-five percent of credit card issuers’ income comes from customers \(i.e., poor people like chop up their cards? Ever try to rent a car without one? Or buy a plane ticket? ;–ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE FOR PURCHASES FEES FOR ISSUANCE OR AVAILABILITY OF CREDIT GRACE PERIOD FOR REPAYMENT OF BALANCES FOR PURCHASES ikii=i666V6OWCifti\\16 ti BALANCE FOR PURCHASES Your fees could be much higher: if you make an occasional late payment, for example, you’ll be hit with a late charge of $20. Don’t bet on any leniency there, either. Cash advance? Preferred customers pay no fee. For you, how about 3 percent of the amount withdrawn? All these fees are finance charges, by the way, so they get added to your balance. 18.9% for average daily balances of $1,0 or less. 16.9% for average daily, balances ove___ Acceptance Fee: $119.00 \(one-1 ow Annual Fee: $50.00, Monthly rttcipation Fee $6.00 \($72.00 lif you pay your previous ba ance in full on or before the due date sho , la grace period on purchases of 25 days \(from the statement closi finance charges on current purchases by paying the statern 1111; ;$0.50 !TRANSACTION FEE FOR CASH ADVANCES ;Greater of $2.00 or 3′ /0 of the ount of the cash advance FEES FOR PAYING LATE OR Late Payment Fee: $20 each time the payment is late EXCEEDING THE CREDIT LIMIT i Over Limit Fee:$20 each month the balance exceeds the credit lirnit Other Fees: Express Processing Fee: $6,00; Petutned Check Charlie: $20 00: Auto Draft Charge: $5.00 balance of your Account on each day, calse. per draft; Express Delim ,o/ $2’3 Rkt !’t 1,, new purchases r-Indtor cash advances and i_-‘t-P.; n then add ” IMINIMUM FINANCE CHARGE Credit card companies mailed out three billion of these solicitations in 1997. That’s about thirty per household, at a time when consumer debt was deepening and bankruptcies were soaring. Did the companies take their share of the blame? Far from it: they led the charge to toughen bankruptcy laws in Congress in 1998. 4 THE TEXAS OBSERVER MAY 12, 2000