New Credit Card Protections for Consumers

Starting today (February 22, 2010) all credit card companies must comply with new consumer protection rules issued by the Federal Reserve Bank.  Among these rules:

1. You must be given 45 days notice before an

  • increase in interest rate
  • change to annual fee, late fee, cash advance fee, etc.
  • other significant changes to the terms of your account

2.  Your monthly bill must show how long it will take to pay off the balance if you only pay the minimum monthly fee in a clear chart (i.e. you owe $3000, the monthly minimum is $90 at 14.4% - it will take 11 years and cost you $4745).

3.  No interest rate increases for the first year of the card

4. Rate increases only apply to new transactions, not existing balances

5.  Over the limit transactions will be restricted unless you advise your credit card company otherwise

6. Applicants under 21 must be able to demonstrate they can make payments (instead or luring in college students who have no source of income and then forcing them to declare bankruptcy)

7.  Standard payment dates and times 

8. Payments must be applied to higher interest balance

 

 

Thanks to Tonya R. Coles, Esq. (via Facebook) for sharing this important news).