Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New rules add protections for consumers

Goodbye Credit Card Rate Hikes?

The good news: The Federal Reserve passed new rules to improve disclosure and prohibit unfair interest rate hikes among card companies in December 2008. Specifically, the new rules will:
--Require that consumers receive a reasonable amount of time to make their card payments
--Forbid the use of payment allocation methods that unfairly maximize interest charges
--Provide consumers protection from unexpected interest charges, including increases in the rate during the first year after account opening and increases in the rate charged on pre-existing credit card balances.
--and more

The bad news: the new rules don’t go into effect until July 1, 2010.

In the meantime, go to this page to find credit card-related statistics -- including statistics on credit card debt, credit card delinquencies, credit scores, credit card interest rates, bankruptcies and more -- compiled by the CreditCards.com staff.

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