So what is going on?
- ... Faced with a growing wave of delinquencies, they're tightening lending standards considerably, focusing on card members they perceive at highest risk of default. (Chasing balances — the industry term for lowering a customer's credit limit as they pay down their balance — is one way to control that risk.) Unfortunately, these days lenders are expanding the definition of high risk to include many consumers who would have been considered good customers just months ago. Now, cardholders can be subject to greater scrutiny based on where they live or what type of business they run.
And get this, the big banks like Chase, Bank of America, and Citibank have clauses that allow lenders to change a users terms simply based on "general market conditions"-- they must be having a field day right about now!