Consumer-banking legalese is usually about as boring as you can get. But lawyers occasionally throw in a catchy phrase, seemingly to relieve the monotony.
About 30 pages deep into an account rules and regulations contract, any consumer who has had the stamina to read that far is asked to "Please Read This Provision Carefully." Or a promotion will state the obvious: "Repayment terms and payment amounts ... may change, if, for example: we change your APR." Repayment terms change if they are changed? Thanks for the heads-up.
Here are five of the wackiest clauses in banking:
1. Wisconsinites Need to Shop Responsibly.
"Notice to Married Wisconsin Residents: all obligations on this account will be incurred in the interest of your marriage or family," states the Chase (CCF) Freedom Visa Signature Card's Pricing & Terms provision.
So, Wisconsin cardholders: You are legally bound to behave responsibly when racking up debt. (Where does that leave the rest of the country?)
2. Relax guys. Your interest rate won't vary based on some index. It'll be changed at the whim of the guy who's collecting payments.
Even better, "this is not a variable rate tied to an index, such as the Prime Rate," says Bank of America's (BAC) application for a $30,000 personal loan. "It's a comfort to know your rate won't automatically fluctuate every time the index changes."
A predictable interest rate? I'm all for it. But wait, there's more... "By 'non-variable rates' we mean that the APR will not automatically vary with an index, such as the prime rate. We reserve the rate to change your APR, fees, or other credit terms at our discretion."
A comfort? That the interest rate will no longer be based on the bank's cost of borrowing, but rather, on whether it would like to get more money out of the deal? That's a favor I can do without.