The new credit card rules that affect your money management planning are supposed to protect you. But do they?
No doubt, the days of easy credit are long gone, along with very low introductory rates for extended periods, no annual fees, and high credit limits for just about anyone who wanted a credit card.
Let’s look at what is coming with the new credit card rules
Effective February 22, 2010 the Credit Card Act of 2009 (Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009) goes into effect. Quite a few of the changes protect the consumer, for example:
1 – Your card company has to notify you at least 45 days in advance of any modification they intend to make in your account, like raising the interest rate you pay, changing certain fees like late fees or annual fees. However, there are situation where they do NOT have to notify you in advance.
2 – They can only increase the interest rates on new charges, while the existing charges have to remain at the old interest rate.
3 – They have to get you your credit card bill a minimum of 21 days before the payment is due so you have time to make the payment without being late and getting dinged for a late fee or triggering other unpleasant events.
4 – The card company can only charge interest charges on balances in the current billing cycle; no more double-cycle billing.
5 - Protect consumers who are under the age of 21 by making them show that they are able to make payments, or require that they have a co-signer, in order to open a credit card account.
The New Laws Will Also Hurt Consumers …
While, the new legislation prohibits a variety of credit card billing practices, the banking industry stands to lose as much as $50 billion in lost revenue as a result of the new restrictions.
There is little doubt that they will take action to make up for these losses. In fact, the issuers of credit cards are taking action now to implement changes before the new law goes into effect that will cost the consumer more. They are:
1 - Raising annual interest rates on current balances,
2 - Lowering credit card limits,
3 - Changing from fixed interest rates to variable rates,
4 - Stopping the low promotional rates campaigns, and
5 – Starting to punish consumers who don’t get their statement on-line by charging a fee for mailing you a paper statement.
There is a lot more information you can learn from this website Federal Reserve’s consumer information site that explains the new credit card rules in-depth.
Have your credit card companies made any of these changes on your cards? Leave a comment…