What to Remember about the New Credit Card Rules

If the new credit card regulations have gotten you confused, we have a simpler and more condensed version of them to help you understand them better.

The new rules regarding credit cards can seem confusing. There is a lot of language to get around and it’s difficult to take the time to actually find out what they are trying to say. We have broken down the new regulations into some simple language so you know what to expect from these new guidelines.

• The only time your interest rates can go up on your existing balances is if you are at least 60 days late on your payment.

• The credit card company cannot raise your interest rate just because you paid other bills late. For instance, your interest rate is not affected if you pay your car payment 10 days late.

• The minimum monthly payment is still subject to be increased at the credit card company’s discretion.

• The credit card company cannot charge you an overlimit fee without your agreement to allow transactions to go through that would put your account over the limit.

• If you are under 21 years of age, you can only sign up for a credit card if you have a cosigner. You may also be allowed to sign up for one if you can prove that you can make the monthly payments on your own.

• If you only make the minimum monthly payments on your credit card, the company must inform you about how long it will take to pay off your balance. They are supposed to do this by providing a graphical representation in your monthly statement.

• The credit card company must give you at least 45 days notice before raising your interest rate on future purchases.

• Credit card companies are not restricted on the types of fees and charges that issue to a cardholder.

Do any of these new regulations seem like a problem? The last one certainly seems like it could cause some problems. The card issuers may not raise your interest rates except according to the new regulations, but that does not mean they won’t make up for that lost money in other places like new fees and charges imposed on your account.

Credit card companies are not evil, but you have to be careful with your charging habits. It is so easy to fall into a habit of charging restaurant dinners, gas and much more without realizing how much of a balance you are incurring. Just be careful and conscious about the money you are spending on your credit cards and you should have no problem being a responsible and conscientious cardholder.

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