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Old 03-05-2010, 03:03 PM   #1
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Exclamation What the New Credit Card Rules Mean For You... And Your Wallet

What the New Credit Card Rules Mean For You... And Your Wallet

By Meredith Margrave Thursday, February 25, 2010

Last Monday, many new regulations, all directed at protecting credit card users, went into action.

Raising interest rates and exacting fees from customers (among other practices) can make up an enormous amount of a bank's profit, but also hurt consumers. In fact, U.S. banks charged customers more than $38.5 billion in over-the-limit fees for debit and credit cards last year, a record. The banks called these fees a service to their customers, saving them the embarrassment of having their card denied. Consumer advocacy groups call it abusive behavior aimed at the most vulnerable.

With the introduction of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act, Washington has listened and put some strict guidelines in place to help protect consumers. These new rules will also hurt the profitability of credit cards for banks.

Many banks are using loopholes to make up for lost income that consumers need to know about. In fact, in the months leading up to these new rules, many went ahead and raised everyone's interest rate and fees, sometimes with no real reason, in anticipation of the new restrictions.

So how do you protect yourself? By being informed on the new changes. We'll go through all of the regulations enacted by the Credit CARD Act, and what exactly they mean for you, and your wallet.

1) More Time to Pay You may have noticed there's a little more cushion when it comes to paying your bills on time. Since last August, card companies have been required to send billing statements at least 21 days before the payment is due. In addition, banks were required to standardize their payment dates. Now, your due date will always occur on the same day of the month (no earlier than 5 p.m. -- another change), and if the payment due date falls on the weekend or a holiday (when banks don't process payments), you will have until the following business day to make your payment.

This is confusing because I was just informed that on Saturday and Sunday Chase bank still processes payments although my small bank does not, Chase says theirs does!?!?!?! BEWARE! you may want to verify this with your credit card company before assuming you can pay on the following business day if your scheduled payment is due on a weekend day.

In addition one of my credit card companies is now requiring you recite your social security number in full, on the phone before you can even talk to a customer representative. I called them because according to their crediting of payments terms they are not open or processing payments on the weekend and it does not state that the payment can be made the following business day. MORE LOOPHOLES! (when banks don't process payments) This should say if the credit card company bank does not process payments on the weekend.

Last edited by peaceandlove; 03-05-2010 at 03:18 PM.
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