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5) Slashed credit limits and canceled accounts
5) Slashed credit limits and canceled accounts
Citibank recently closed some MasterCard gas card accounts.
Without so much as a call from the bank, some customers are learning their credit limits have been slashed by as much as 75%, or that their accounts have been closed altogether, according to the Center for Responsible Lending's Josh Frank.

Citibank recently closed what a spokesman called a "limited number" of MasterCard gas cards co-branded with Citgo, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Shell.

"People go to make a purchase, and they find out about these huge changes only when they're denied," Frank said. "It's a shock, and it's been happening a lot."

Even cardholders who don't charge anything might find their accounts abruptly closed, Frank said. With credit losses at a record high, companies see inactive cards as a red flag and close the accounts to avoid the worry of future writedowns.

"Usually cardholders have this credit line available for an emergency, for this kind of current economic situation," Frank said. "But now they're turning to it when they need it, and it's gone."

NEXT: What's a cardholder to do?

Last updated October 26 2009: 3:56 PM ET
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