Not my normal subject matter, I know, however, these changes are ones that I’ve been watching for a bit. Hubby did a lot in the credit restoration industry years back . . .even helped him formulate and design an 80-page self-help manual on the subject, so anytime the credit industry is being overhauled, I’m all about staying on page.
A few of the CC changes went into effect last August. Most, however, hit the percentage points today.
Limited interest rate hikes — meaning, the CC companies cannot jack your rates. Well, almost. CC companies can increase your interest rate if: (1) you’re late on payment, (2) you have a variable rate card, (3) or it’s the end of the promotional period you signed up for. GOOD NEWS — CC companies must give 45 days notice before rate hikes on existing balances, and interest rates can only increase on new transactions after the first year.
Limited universal default — meaning, in the past CC companies could adjust your interest rate using credit data from any # of sources. GOOD NEWS — they cannot pull obscure credit data to raise your interest rates. Existing balances cannot be adjusted just because the phone company, the insurance company, the electric company submits damaging information against your credit file. Word of caution: with 45 days notice the CC company can raise your rates using this info. But, they have to tell you what they’re going to do and give you the 45 days, which means you can shop around for another credit source and send their slab of plastic back in teeny, tiny pieces.
Limited credit to those under 21 — well, giving CCs away like candy to those struggling with their first taste of financial freedom or to make college ends meet has never seemed like a very good idea to me. Someone in Washington final got on the same page. GOOD NEWS — Now, those under 21, must have a co-signer or must show MEANS to make the CC payments.
Time to pay the bill and pay it on time — CC companies must give 21 days to pay a bill. GOOD NEWS — No more sending out bills where the due dates have been moved forward and expect consumers to juggle finances to get the bill paid on an earlier date. Believe me, CC companies won’t ever move your due date back on the calendar. Also, CC companies cannot make payments due before 5pm on the DUE DATE. Word of caution: I couldn’t find whose 5pm the law references. My guess, but do check this out, it will be based on wherever the corporate office is located for your CC company.
There are a number of other CC issues that the new bill regulates. Again, go to your favorite news source for the best, up-to-date information. However, I did find this great site for new CC fees that the CC companies are putting into effect. Many are already hidden in the small print of your new CC information. Check out: creditcards.com
This was interesting as well: 10 worst mistakes on credit cards
On the back porch, it’s been cloudy and cool, and, wow, has the wind blown. I have my rose bush under cover again — yep, there’s snow in the forecast once more. Frankly, not expecting much this time. A dusting, they claim, but it’s certainly cold enough to snow.
Do drop by again.