NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. (11/2/09)--Credit unions were notably absent from a list of 12 financial horror tales published recently on Bankrate.com. Readers submitted stories about some of their most hair-raising financial experiences, some of which were self-inflicted. The stories ranged from a consumer who co-signed on a private student loan that later defaulted, to a couple who thought they had accidentally thrown away some receipts proving they had paid for repairs on their car (Bankrate.com Oct. 26). Specific financial institutions and credit card companies mentioned in the article included MasterCard, Chase and IndyMac Bank. One reader had deposited money into IndyMac before it failed last year. Another reader reported that after a balance transfer to a Chase credit card account on the promise of a fixed 3.99% interest rate, the rate hiked to 5%--meaning that the accountholder’s minimum balance increased to $440 from $165 a month. The reader said she and her husband “went into survival mode” to save enough money to pay off the card. The mother of one reader had a MasterCard account that had $43,000 in fraudulent charges. The card company did not contact her regarding the charges even though she had a $40,000 credit limit and “special monitoring,” the reader said. Another individual submitted a story about an interest rate hike she received when she made a mistake entering her bill payments online. Instead of paying the card company $243, she accidentally transposed the numbers and paid $234. She was hit with a $36 late fee, and her 2.9% interest rate hiked to 27%. The reader contacted the credit card company about the hike, and the company said it would drop her interest by 1% if she made good on future payments. However, because the reader had a revolving balance on the card, she scrambled to find the money she needed to pay off the card to avoid more charges. To read the horror tales, use the link.