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[Ben]:Huntington Bank fun and games Discuss This [5 comments so far] View Comments
Cara and I were happy to have the money to pay off our Ford Exploder a little more than two years early. Apparently, when I bought the Exploder, I neglected to notice the $125 early-payment-penalty that Huntington Bank required if paid off more than 6 months early.

Let's be honest: I'm a cheapskate. I don't like to pay extra money without good reason. Huntington has collected plenty of interest from me to make my loan profitable for them. There's no way I was going to just give them an extra $125 if I didn't have to. Upon Cara's suggestion, I called up the local branch who passed me off to their corporate loan department. The conversation went a little something like this:
Hi. I'd like to talk to someone about waiving the early payment penalty on a car loan we've got through you guys.

"Oh, we can't do that. That's out of the question. That's part of the contract. I've never seen that happen."

Okay, well ... what if I pay all but a few pennies so that the next year so that the next two years of interest is minuscule?

"We'll just close out the account if there's just a few cents left on it."

What if I leave a few dollars in there?

"I'm not sure. They might try to close the account."

How little can I leave in there for you to not arbitrarily close the account?

"If you have less than a monthly payment, we'll call you and send letters asking you to pay it off."

You know I won't owe you any money at that point, right? I've intentionally made my additional payments in monthly increments in case I needed to skip a month for some reason. Ignoring the additional payments I'll be making today, I wouldn't owe you another payment until October of this year. So what if I ignore your requests for a final payment prior to when our contract says it is due?

"I guess we'll stop calling you if you tell us you just aren't going to pay until it is due, but you'll keep getting letters. Usually you're better off just paying the fee."

I'm cheap and want the best of both worlds. Send me all the mail you want, I've got a big trashcan. Thanks for your help!

I'm pretty sure that the contract we signed doesn't allow them to force me to pay off the account early if I'm current (really, beyond current) and won't owe them any money for a few years. Given that, I'll probably let them collect interest on $5 or so and waste their money on phone calls and letters.

Huntington has not exactly gone out of their way to keep me happy as a customer in the past, and are certainly living down to my expectations.
  2011-02-10
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