Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 504 - Freedom!

Today, I have officially shed the last vestige of being a student. 

I closed my student credit card.  So long, Citi!

I took out this credit card right before I started college because I thought that (a) I needed to build my own credit for the future, (b) it would probably be safer to use online than my actual debit card, and (c) I thought I could handle the responsibility.

This little credit card traveled with me throughout my college career, took me to Pittsburgh with my sorority sisters, and saved me over the summer when my Blackberry got fried.  It bought a computer monitor, an iPod, and some boring things like groceries and gas. 

However, at a 19.9999% interest rate - that's right, there are four (4) of the number nine after that decimal point - the groceries, iPod, and new phone quickly added up.  And, after a while, I got crabby at the prospect of being almost 24 years old and having this student credit card with a regular interest rate higher than the default rate on my Old Navy card.

So, today, I decided that I was going to make the final payment and chop the sucker up.  It wasn't going to go that easy, I found.

First, I logged on to Citi's website to pay the bill.  To my surprise, there's this big, red, angry-looking alert telling me that a merchant where I had used my card had had their database broken into and that I couldn't make a payment online.  So, after some swearing and slamming of the mouse on the desk, I called Citi's customer service line.

And I waited.

And waited.

And listened to bad elevator music while I waited some more.

Finally, after I spent a mere fifteen minutes on the phone making that final payment, telling them that I didn't need a new card or account number, and reassuring them that yes, I do actually want to cancel the card, I was out of a credit card and I wanted to hit my head against the wall.

I understand that they're in the business of basically selling a financial reputation through a piece of plastic with a magnetic strip, but if I tell you that I am cancelling your service because of a ridiculously high interest rate and no, I don't want a new and "better" card, then quit trying to sell me all of your high-end credit cards, identity theft protection programs, CD accounts, and whatever the computer is suggesting you sell me in order to keep my account open.

However, as I pulled out a pair of scissors and started to cut through the numbers on my first ever credit card, I felt some satisfaction.  It was time to shed that last vestige of student financial management and move onto the adult world.  That credit card taught me a lot, but it's time to move on to bigger things and lower interest rates.

Citi Financial, I bid you farewell.