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Creditor Cut Your Credit Line? Fight Back!

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Last week I spoke to our local association of Enrolled Agents. In case you're not familiar with what EA is or does, they are tax professionals who are licensed by the Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before all administrative levels of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including examination, collection and appeals functions. They are the only professionals tested by the IRS on their knowledge of tax regulations.

In other words, they are a smart group of people. And I can also tell from speaking to this group several times that they are for the most part financially conservative and responsible. Many of them reported that their credit card companies are not only cutting their client's credit limits, but theirs as well.

But when American Express dropped Enrolled Agent Dave Rancourt's credit line from $15,000 to $1,000, he wasn't about to just roll over. Dave told us he got on the phone and kept going up the line, even when he was told there was no one higher he could appeal to. (Since he wasn't talking with Kenneth I. Chenault, he figured there was still someone higher up who could help.)

Still not getting anywhere, he pointed out that he owns American Express stock, and suggested perhaps he should raise the matter at their annual meeting. Sure enough, he found someone else who could help him.

The end result? His credit line is now $25,000.

Dave's a strong negotiator, but there must be others out there who are turning around credit line decreases. If you're one of them, do tell.

Gerri Detweiler – Personal finance author and Credit Advisor for Credit.com, Gerri contributes budgeting, debt recovery and savings information online. She is also the co-author of Reduce Debt, Reduce Stress: Real Life Solutions for Solving Your Credit Crisis.
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