Tuesday, February 13, 2007

BofA issuing credit cards to anyone who breaths

Still think credit cards are not abusive by intent? InsideARM.com, a website supporting the collection industry, reports that Bank of America is issuing credit cards to illegal immigrants. Here is a quote from the article:

Quietly, and without much fanfare, Bank of America has implemented a program
offering credit cards to customers without a social security number. This courting of the undocumented isn’t new. In recent years, banks and lending institutions nationwide have offered checking accounts and, at least, once upon a time, before the housing bubble burst, mortgages. What undocumented citizens haven’t been able to do easily, if at all, is procure credit cards. No credit cards mean, usually, limited or no credit history – severely limiting the purchasing power of the undocumented
.

The credit cards in this new program at Bank of America start with an interest rate of 21 or 22 percent interest rate. These poor immigrants don't have the sophistication to realize that these interest rates can quickly undermine their ability to provide for their basic needs. Not only is this program abusing the poor, it is seeking to aid people in breaking the immigration laws.

2 comments:

JT said...

The real problem is not whether the CC companies are sending offers to undocumented persons. The problem is that undocumented persons are usually poor and under educated and companies are approving cards to them. There is no law or rule that says a person must be a citizen of a certain country to get a card.

My wife had, on a whim and to see what would happen, filled out an CC application and gave the bare minimum info she thought she could get away with. Basically Name and Address. No SSN (she generally doesn't like to give that out) and she greatly inflated our yearly income. But sure enough we got approved and a credit line of $12,000. We cancelled it and cut it up the next day. But this shows that there is not check to see the accuracy and/or credit worthyness of individuals being approved.

Jim Anderson said...

You are correct. And don't forget that it is intentional. It is a documented fact that 75% of the net profit of credit card business is attributed to late fees, other fees, and excessive interest charged to credit card holders who default. They want to find people who will fall for the trap. It doesn't matter who they are.