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Credit History Saga: First Payment Complete

For more on my saga of building a credit history, check out my credit history / credit score page.

Last time I mentioned my new credit card and plans for using it, I had used it the first time to pay my cell bill and was waiting for the billing cycle to end. I decided to wait until everything for the cycle was finished until I wrote about it.

Capital One was quite decent, they sent me an e-mail the same day the billing cycle ended and I was able to easily login and pay from my linked account. A couple days later I backed Capital One and my bank account to see that the payment had gone through. Everything was smooth.

As you can sort-of see from the screenshot, the last payment posted on July 4th, the day after I paid it. The billing cycle is 25 days, so it wasn’t due until July 28th.

My Capital One Account

The paper statement arrived about a week later with still almost 20 days left to get it mailed in on time. It was pretty easy to understand and even had something inside explaining the length of the billing cycle, when things start earning interest (the whole “grace period”) and information about the minimum payment.

Since I took the screen shot today, it shows that I’ve already paid my next month’s cell phone bill. But I’m going to wait until the actual billing cycle to pay it so that it’ll have an effect on my credit history.

Everything with that went smoothly.

Less smooth was the other letter I got from Capital One the other day with “convenience checks.” They’re already trying to get me to take cash advances from my account. So many reasons not to do that, including that they start charging interest right away. No grace period on any form of cash advance.

So I shredded those. Now I’m waiting to see if that’s a one-time (or rare) issue or something they’ll keep doing. I’m not entirely sure the company will be willing to stop sending me those, so I’m going to base how loudly I complain over whether it’s a one-time thing or a real problem.

If it were just that I had to shred them, then I might still be annoyed about the hassle and environmental issues. But if the checks end up in someone else’s hands, it’d be a chance for someone else to commit fraud. I’d report it, of course, but it’s something I don’t want to deal with. I don’t leave my credit card just lying around, and in the same way I’d like to know if there’s access to my money drifting through the postal system.

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Organizing Your Bills and Paying Them On-Time.
September 2, 2008 at 9:55 am


Becca July 23, 2008 at 11:25 am

Capital One pretty much sends those checks out like clockwork. I’ve never tried to get them to stop, I just shred them and use them as rat bedding. Good luck with getting them to stop.

RacerX July 23, 2008 at 11:48 am

Shred them, but if you need them later just call and you’ll have them within 24 hours!

Kacie July 23, 2008 at 12:09 pm

I got convenience checks from Chase, and having the same concerns as you about fraud, I asked them to stop.

I still get them once in awhile, but they’ve cooled off.

I get tons of junk mail from Capital One all the time (never been a customer) and I feel like they love sending mail.

Aryn July 23, 2008 at 12:34 pm

The convenience checks will keep coming, as will other offers. To stop them, call Capital One and ask them to stop sending convenience checks AND all other marketing materials. I did this with all my cards. It took ten minutes (combined) to make the calls and a week later I saw a steep decline in offers.

They will also start calling you with offers. This is legal, even if you’re on the do-not-call list because they’re allowed to call customers. When you call to turn off the statements, you can also ask not to receive marketing phone callls. Or just don’t answer the phone when the Caller ID shows out of area.

mrsmicah July 23, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Aryn, that sounds like a good idea. I’ll put that in my schedule for later today. Might as well preempt…since C1 does seem especially paper-happy.

Alex July 23, 2008 at 1:02 pm

I get those Capital One checks about every 2 to 3 weeks. I shred them and compost the shreddings.

Big Wizz July 23, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Aryn is correct, a five minute phone call to the CSR will get the checks + marketing mail to stop.

I usually call twice to make sure the first CSR did it right!

Frugal Dad July 23, 2008 at 3:14 pm

I would get Cap One to stop sending you the checks because they are an annoyance, and there is some risk of theft with them floating around the mail system.

Frugal Vet Tech July 23, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Husband has a Cap One card and we regularly get offers from them, as well as from his other cards. I rarely get them for my CC – I’m not sure why they send so few of them. Maybe I opted out of such mailings a while back.

We recently took advantage of one of the offers Hubby had and consolidated his remaining CC balances on to one card with a 2.99% rate until the balance is paid off. That cut our interest payment down by quite a lot, which means we’re throwing more money at the balance itself every month. We just got another 2.99% offer the other day and are strongly considering transferring my CC balance to it so we have all our CC debt at that low rate. (It would be even better to have it all paid off, but until that happens, it’s nice to be paying very little interest on that debt.)

budgets are sexy. July 23, 2008 at 5:31 pm

OH man, i’m totally opposite – i LOVE those convenience checks! I’ve only used them twice so far, but each time it was the fastest and easiest way for me to get my goal accomplished:

1) Balance xfer – I needed just 1 month to pay off $700+ from a 0% credit card that was ending (would have gone to 21%!). So i used the check to xfer and got a great rate at only 3.5% w/ USAA. I then paid it off in 30 days

2) Buying my newest car! I did the same thing, called USAA and locked in a “cash advance” rate, this time at 3.4ish% but ONLY if i used one of those checks.

So i like them – but if you’re never gonna need them, then shredding is def. the way to go 🙂

Zhu July 23, 2008 at 8:32 pm

I hate companies which try to push you to be more in debt. I complain when they overdo it (i.e I keep on getting phone call to higher my credit limit, and I spend like $100/ month on my credit card)..

Frugal Babe July 23, 2008 at 8:40 pm

Discover Card sends us those checks.. We don’t get them from our main Visa though. Discover is in my husband’s name, and he’s had the card since he was in college, so we want to keep the account for the credit history. But I have the same concerns as you do about identity theft.

deepali July 23, 2008 at 9:32 pm

You should call and ask them not to send them. The junk mail is a pain (and not green!). I’d also be pre-emptive and do the opt-out prescreen too. Why clog your mailbox?

Funny about Money July 24, 2008 at 12:37 am

It took many calls to Visa and Amex and finally a threat to complain to the federal banking commission to make them stop sending me those dratted checks. The lender charges you a good gouge if you dare to use one: for at least one of my cards, you rack up interest from the moment the check clears, so that paying your monthly bill in full & on time doesn’t save you from a finance charge. And they’re negotiable instruments: if anyone steals them out of your mailbox, the person could run up a heck of a bill on your tab.

Congratulations on the elegant transaction!

Dad July 24, 2008 at 9:13 am

Certainly try to call them and ask them to stop sending access or ‘convenience’ checks. I think you can also request them to stop sending you any offers. As someone said, it is better not having them exist even if you shred them. I think you can also opt-out of all marketing attempts by them.

Deborah August 12, 2008 at 8:46 pm

I get checks from Cap 1 all the time. I also get different types of “checks” from Chase – like, if I cash it then I’ll automatically be signed up for their identity protection, or get a $20 gas card. I shred them all, but they ARE an annoyance, because I don’t want them sitting in my mail box or delivered to the wrong person.
Thanks to all the commenters who mentioned calling to have them stopped! I’m going to do that right away.

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