Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Credit Card Laws

Starting today, phase 1 of the new Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act takes effect. Phase 1 requires credit card companies to give at least a 45 day warning of changes to credit card accounts, allows cardholders at least 21 days to pay their monthly credit card statements without threat of late fees, and gives consumers the right to opt out of interest-rate and fee increases and the right to cancel their accounts while paying off the balances under the old, lower interest rates. Phase 2, slated to take effect starting in February of 2010, will restrict interest-rate increases, ban issuing and marketing credit cards to young adults, and regulate gift cards.

Credit card companies, always so eager to assist consumers in any way they can, have been preparing for these changes by cutting credit limits, closing accounts and increasing interest rates prior to today. Priceless.

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