Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Cents and Senlessness

Oh, for crying out loud. This is the kind of stupid thing you hear about in e-mail chain letters. I never thought it would happen to me. and although I admit it has not reached any level of severity, it is frustrating. Here's what happened:

About a year ago, due to an auto accident I was involved in, TFR and I found ourselves in the market for as car. We found one that dit our needs perfectly: a 1996 Subaru. We love it. We were able to use the insurance money to make a down payment, and secured a loan from a local credit union, which shall remain anonymous (though my local readers would recognize the name immediately).

In order to get the loan, we had to open a savings account at the C.U., with a minimum balance ($10 -- eh, it was a formality). Because we are attempting to rebuild our credit, we arranged for automatic payments and have studiously made sure that the account from which the payment was made always had sufficient funds on the day of the payment. A year later, and our final payment was in November. The car was paid off and is ours.


Due to some glitch in the credit union's system, a balance of $.26 was left in the account, and yesterday, we received a nasty past due notice, informing us that it will go on our credit report if we don't resolve it immediately. Understandably disturbed by this, I called the credit union and was assured that we have a ten day grace period. As long as we pay the balance off within that time, there will be no problems.

I immediately offered to make the payment on the spot, over the phone, to get it over with. Unfortunately, they do not have the technology in place to take a payment over the phone. Considering the circumstances that led to the phone call, I should not have been surprised.

The phone representative then went on to warn me that once the loan is paid off, it will be a closed account, and that since our savings account there will then be a stand-alone account and will have a balance of less than $100, we will begin incurring a $7 service charge each month.

So Either TFR or I get to take some time out of our already busy life (I'm working opening through closing on Friday), go to a nearby branch of the credit union, pay them TWENY-SIX CENTS, and then either deposit an additional $90 in the savings account, or close it.

Guess which we'll be doing