lowes-credit-cards-synchrony-bank-review

Today I’m going to dive deep into my recent experience with the Lowe’s Credit Card, which is through Synchrony Bank.

In fact, this may turn into a full Synchrony Bank Review by the time it’s over.

My Lowes Credit Card and Synchrony Bank Debacle (aka Extreme Headache)

If you’ve been to this site before you know I think borrowing money is a bad idea.

Before I go into this, you may be thinking, why do you have a credit card to begin with?

It all starts with a story and a little mental justification (as these things usually do).

Let’s go back to the financial principle and then we’ll dive into it.

The principle is that you should never borrow money.

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. -Proverbs 22:7 Click To Tweet

I broke that rule and got into a pickle.

Dave Ramsey Is Wrong!… (maybe)

What got me into this financial mess was that I first started thinking….

Dave Ramsey is wrong… maybe… or maybe he is just kinda right. 

Yes. I went down the Dave Ramsey is wrong road and here’s why.

I have been a firm believer in Biblical money principles for many years and I like what Dave Ramsey teaches.

I like his style and the money principles he promotes.

In fact, I like them so much I’ve been teaching them to my kids for years.

The problem is, when I learned the principle of having no debt I already had some credit and a mortgage.

So by working to pay the debt off my credit score is always stellar.

As my kids have grown into young adults, we’ve run into a potential problem with what Dave Ramsey teaches.

The problem is that if you don’t have any credit (and you can’t pay cash for a house or car), then you’ve got some serious problems.

My son is almost 21.

He has a car he paid for cash, he has a job, and he lives at home.

We’ve been trying to help him get started in life but he was stuck because he couldn’t rent an apartment without credit and he couldn’t get another car without credit.

He was at a standstill.

How to Build Credit if You Have None

When I looked into how to build credit if you have none, the advice I saw online and that people told me was to just add him to one of our credit cards.

Well, that doesn’t work if you don’t have any credit cards.

And here is where the story gets interesting.

In my infinite wisdom I thought… hmm… maybe Dave Ramsey is wrong.

You DO need credit to function in society (or least to get started).

Maybe I should get a credit card, put him on it, and make a purchase so he can get some credit.

We played with this idea for a few months and then we had an issue with our refrigerator.

Well, I thought, this might be my opportunity.

This purchase is something I would be buying anyway.

So instead of paying cash, I should just finance the fridge with him, and pay it off early since they are advertising zero interest for a year (that’s an entirely different issue but I’ll go over their “no interest for a year” policy”.

Anyway, I told my son the plan and we set off to finance a fridge through Lowes credit, which is actually Synchrony Bank.

How to Get a Lowe’s Credit Card with Synchrony Bank

Initially my wife and I picked out a fridge that was on sale at Lowes.

Unfortunately, when we went to buy it (and finance it), I was told that I had to have my son with me to put him on it.

So the Lowes employee closed out our account and told me to call and do it over the phone, or come back with my son.

So I called and what happened on that call should have been my clue to walk away.

Lowes Credit Car Issue #1

I didn’t want to call initially.

But when I tried to fill things out online, I was eventually forced to call Synchrony Bank.

Keep in mind, my income to debt ratio and credit score are phenomenal.

When I called, I found out the online form didn’t work because I was trying to use my google voice number and it won’t work with a google voice number.

They want your REAL phone number (I assume to harass you and sell your number to other companies).

I am convinced phone numbers are sold by companies to marketing agencies because every single time I give my cell phone number out, I start getting more spam calls.

So I don’t give it out, that’s why I was trying to use a google voice number.

I eventually used my house phone since it comes with our internet and the ringer is turned off.

When I got to the end of the phone application…. I was told I was all set and they said if I went into the store they could let me buy the fridge before my card arrived in the mail.

So I went the next day while the fridge was still on sale.

Lowes Credit Card Issue #2

After I go back into the store, I’m told that I’m actually not yet approved and there are 2 applications open.

The one I started with them and the one I completed on the phone (the one they told me to d0 at home).

So I was told to come back the next day because there was nothing they could do and they had to wait for one of them to automatically close out.

So I left and came back the next day.

And it was still not closed out when I returned.

So I came back again the next day (that’s what Lowe’s told me to do).

The next day, there was still an issue.

At this point it was a week or so from the start of this mess.

The Lowe’s customer service desk decided to call the Lowe’s credit card company (Synchrony Bank) on my behalf and try to get the issue resolved.

After being on hold for awhile, the credit card company hangs up on them!

Seriously… I can’t make this stuff up.

Eventually they get them on the phone again and I’m given another number to call.

Eventually I get through and I’m immediately approved.

Remember, I am NOT a credit risk.

We have great income and a great credit score.

I can’t imagine the run around somebody would get who had a bad score.

Anyway, we are approved for $8,000 right out of the gate.

I ask that it be lowered to $4,000 because I don’t need that limit and the lady says no.

I’d have to request a lower limit once my card came in (which makes no sense whatsoever).

Anyway, I’m done at this point. I’m approved and can buy the fridge and build my son’s credit.

That’s all that mattered at this point, so I end the call and proceed to make my purchase.

Buying a Lowe’s Refrigerator

I’m told all is good by the lady from Synchrony Bank that I’m on the phone with.

I’m standing in the Lowe’s refrigerator department with the employee who’s going to check me out.

So I get off the phone with Synchrony Bank and we start the purchase and BOOM!….

Again, there is an issue that can’t be resolved.

Eventually we’re on the phone with the Lowe’s Credit card company again (Synchrony Bank) who says I have to wait for my card to arrive.

The problem is, the Lowe’s Refrigerator sale ends the next day.

So eventually the Lowe’s manager on duty agrees to allow me to get the sale price of the fridge after the sale is over (since they’ve caused such a headache for me).

By the way, if you’re wondering why I didn’t go somewhere else, the model we wanted was cheaper on that Lowe’s sale than Home Depot or any other store in the area.

Anyway, the manager writes up a little note and signs it and says when my Lowes credit card arrives in the mail to come back into the store and there would be no problems.

So I went home and waited.

My Lowe’s Credit Card Arrives

When my card arrived, I went back into the store and now it becomes Lowes turn to cause their own problems.

After bringing out my paper signed by the manager to get the sale discount from the week before….

I’m told they can’t read the signature and they don’t know who would have wrote that because it’s NOT the way they do things.

Keep in mind that I always go in at the same time of day and I’ve been dealing with the same employees the entire time.

I was only this point I am so annoyed with the principle of the thing, I’m not letting it go. saving about $350 but at

So I make my case, get shuffled to customer service again, and make my case again with them.

45 minutes later I’m offered a different discount that is better than what the manager wrote down because apparently they can’t give me the sale from the week before.

But, they can give me a bigger discount because of the model I’m buying.

Okay… great.
Stupid but whatever.

Back to the refrigerator department to place my order.

An employee pulls up the order and…. nope.

Now I’m told that the computer shows 1,100+ refrigerators in the warehouse, but it won’t let them select the model I want to purchase.

They ask me “Do you want to be on a waiting list or come back in tomorrow and try it again?”

Are you kidding me?
Again… you can’t make this stuff up!

Um…. no…. I’m done.

I leave and go to another Lowe’s in the area.

My thinking is they might have the model I want in stock at the store or out on the floor.

Lowe’s Credit Card- Final Purchase

After going to another Lowe’s.

The employee seems to know what he is talking about.

He pulls up the model and says there are 1,100+ that were just delivered to a local warehouse.

He puts in the order and it goes through perfectly (which tells me the employee at the other store had no idea what she was doing).

The refrigerator is delivered the next day and all is good….

Or is it?

Final Lowe’s Credit Card Issue (#3)

All is good until we get our first bill from the Lowe’s Credit Card Company Synchrony Bank.

Again, as a reminder… We don’t have credit cards and only use credit to buy houses and cars… and eventually I hope to be able to pay cash for those items as well.

Anyway, I digress.

The plan was to buy this fridge and make payments on it to establish credit for my son.

We got the Synchrony Bank zero interest for a year credit card so we could pay it off in a year and pay no interest.

The fridge was like $3,400 plus tax and warranty.

I remember we put $400 down and paid the extra when we bought it so we would have an even number we owed.

So we should have owed like $3,000.

Our first statement from Synchrony bank comes in and it shows an interest charge of over $100 on top of what we owed.

I think it was about $126.00 and some change.

So we now owe $3,126.00 and are accruing $126 per month in interest!

I have two thoughts at this point.

(1) Here we go again…
(2) Maybe Dave Ramsey was Right!

Anywho, I call the card and complain and pay the fridge off the next month.

Moral of the Story – Don’t get a Lowe’s Credit Card /Synchrony Bank Credit Card

At the end of the day, this was a great reminder of why I don’t use credit cards and neither should you.

I am dumbfounded that a company as well known as Lowe’s and their credit card company Synchrony Bank can advertise a 0% interest credit card and then simply ignore it and charge people ridiculous credit.

I mean, as I said, I have phenomenal credit and when that interest charge came in and I called I was told that my interest rate was something like 26.99%.

Really!

I haven’t had a rate like that since I was in high school and interest rates are at a crazy low rate right now so I don’t know how they get away with still charging that.

It seems almost as wrong as what is going on with student loans in this country.

I was so upset when I saw that charge, but luckily I was in a position to pay it off.

I say all of that to say this.

If you need to buy something, don’t use credit!

If you have to use credit, don’t use Lowe’s credit and don’t use Synchrony Bank.

Use anything else.

I will NEVER use Synchrony Bank or Lowe’s credit again and honestly, I’ll probably not buy an appliance from Lowe’s for the rest of my life.

This is why companies like Amazon are stealing market share.

Next time I’ll just have the one I want delivered straight to my house.

What Happened to My Son’s Credit?

(Aka- How to Build Credit if You Have None)

Eventually, I just co-signed on a loan for my son to buy a car.

When he pays it off or in a year or two of making payments, he’ll have a decent credit score of his own.

If I could do it all over, I would have just went with this option from the beginning.

Actually, with my two younger children I will probably put their name on one of our car loans when they are in high school or college just so they have some credit when they need it.

If you found this article helpful or useful, please share it, post it, or link to it.

Thank you in advance, you’re awesome!

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God Bless,

Jason and Daniele

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