The ‘final payment’ scam could affect your credit score | Leave it to Levy

Last week my wife had an aggravating experience that you should know about:

First, she received a letter from Huntington National Bank saying she had missed a payment on her car loan and owed a $10 late fee. Additionally, the bank said it was required to report this to rating agencies.

And that was her last automatic payment on the car she bought five years ago.

“One of the reasons I decided to finance it was that I had an amazingly low credit rating,” she said, “simply because I never took out a loan; I don’t pay rent, because we own our house; and they have nothing to base my credit rating on.

Our financial adviser told him that getting the loan and making all the payments on time would be beneficial because it would boost his credit rating.

So my wife set up autopay to make sure she paid Huntington $518.08 every month on time.

Not passing it this last time was inexplicable. So she called Huntington to ask why the autopay hadn’t worked.

The bank representative said: “That’s what we always do, because when it comes to your last payment, you don’t know in advance how much you will owe at the very end. This will likely be something different from the original calculated monthly payment. We therefore never deduct the last payment.

“But I haven’t been informed,” she told the woman, asking her to withdraw the last payment immediately, which she did while putting my wife on hold.

“Now can you alert the credit agencies that I made the payment?” she asked the woman when she answered. “And tell them it wasn’t my mistake, it was bank policy, or,” she said, “don’t alert the credit agencies that you didn’t deduct the payment. “

The woman replied, “I can’t discuss it with you. I’m not allowed to.”

At that point, my wife blew her top off. “Why can’t you discuss this with me, when it concerns me?” she retorted.

“Because I have no knowledge of it,” she replied.

“So who can I talk to who knows that?” replied my wife, in disbelief.

“There’s no one here you can talk to,” the woman said.

My wife exploded. “It’s a ridiculous policy!” If your policy is to always not deduct the last payment, there is something wrong with your policy. Please let the bank know that I object to your policies because they affect me and make no sense! »

The bank representative said she would, then added, to my wife’s amazement, “You have to call all the rating agencies and tell them yourself.”

“I have no idea how to do this, and I don’t have time,” my wife said angrily. And since the bank deducted the payment during the conversation, it never contacted any of the rating agencies.

Huntington’s policy: unique or standard?

I called a few local banks and credit unions to find out:

KeyBank: Not withdrawing a final payment on autopay, the bank rep said, “That’s strange. Never heard of that.”

People’s United Bank, Manchester: ‘It sounds strange,’ Michelle said, ‘and I would advise against using this bank.’

Skyline Financial Credit Union (Waterbury): “If you set up automatic payment, we will not hold your last payment.”

Dime Bank Manchester: ‘It would be deducted,’ Anya said. “And if it was too little, you would be responsible, but you would know that in advance when you set it up, and you should be notified if you owed extra before any late fees.”

So, check all the terms and conditions – including the last payment policy on autopay – when you take out a car loan from any entity.

Contact Harlan with your questions, issues and concerns as a consumer; email him at [email protected]

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Elaine R. Knight