Monday, February 22, 2010

New Credit Card Regs Effective Today

(See entire posting on this issue at February 10, 2009)

New Credit CARD Act of 2009 rules went into effect TODAY, and the are actually some decent regulations

1. Card Issuers will have to check on the customers ability to repay before issuing cards. Sounds common sense doesn't it! It will be unreasonable, under the new regulation and always has been based on life, for a card issuer to give a card to someone without income or assets, and for a card issuer not to review such information.

2. Before you can be assessed an over-limit fee, you will have to AGREE to allow over your limit charges to be accepted. It is not like so many other programs where you have to say "no" or your in, here if you do not say "YES" you cannot be assessed a fee or penalized in any way if you are approved for an over-limit charge

3. If the Card Issuer is going to increase your rate, for any reason, you must receive at least 45 days notice, and then the increase can only apply to charges/cash advances AFTER the 45 day date. Old balances pay at the old rate of interest.

4. Your rate cannot be increased, in nearly all circumstances, for the first 12 months you have your card. The exceptions include if you get a variable rate card where the interest rate is supposed to go up and down; or if you are more than 60 days late in the first 12 months.

5. If you are under 21, you will have to show that you can afford the payments on your maximum credit limit, or have an over 21 co-signor.

6. Card issuers will not be able to make deals with colleges or high schools to come onto campus to offer cards if the card company offers the school an incentive to let it in.

7. Payment dates must be the same day (1st 4th 8th 27th etc) each month and if the payment date falls on a holiday or weekend, not late fee or penalty can be assessed

8. The new statements must contain information in bold type of the New Balance, Minimum Payment Due, and the Due Date. There must also be a warning of what will happen to the rate and when it will happen if a payment is late. The biggest change in statements is that each month it MUST show how long it will take to pay off the balance at the present interest rate if you make Only The Minimum Payment; AND HOW MUCH YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY, TO PAY OFF THE BALANCE IN 3 YEARS. It must also show how much in total you will pay in each case

9. Credit Card Issuers MUST post their agreements on their websites, have the agreements first approved by the Federal Reserve, and have the Federal Reserve Board post them on the Fed’s comprehensive and advertised Card Agreement Website. (WELCOME TO 2010!)

Note: The full 841 page bill with commentary before final adoption is available at the Federal Reserve’s website but a shortened version along with the long one is at:

Others At:

Author's Copyright by Richard I. Isacoff, Esq, February 2010

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