We have all heard that Credit Cards are changing but what does that mean?

I just read a great article by Suze Orman regarding a breakdown of the changes for our credit cards, full article link is below for more details but figured I would pass on the big points for ease of reference for you.

1. “If you pay your bills on time, the interest rate on your existing balance cannot be raised.” Hence why I have seen all my tremendous low rates disappear in the last 4 months….I never pay late so they couldn’t gauge me…..

2. “The rate on a new card can’t be raised for the first 12 months. But after that, it is fair game for the issuer to raise it as long as you are given 45 days notice. (The higher rate would not apply to existing balances, only new, unpaid balances.)”

3. “If you are ever 60 days late with a payment, the credit card issuer can raise your rate regardless of how new a client you are. That said, if you then make on-time payments for six months, you will be eligible to have your lower rate reinstated.”

4. “Your payments will now be used to pay off your highest-rate debt first.”

5. “No more double-billing cycles, and no more universal default. Universal default, credit card issuers can no longer use the fact that you may have a late payment on another account—such as utility bill or a cell phone bill—as an excuse to raise your credit card interest rate. ”

6. “Your card issuer can’t automatically let you charge more than your credit limit and then charge you an over-the-limit fee.” More embarassing declines for people but better for everyone.

7. “Your kids under the age of 21 will be unable to get a credit card on their own unless they have verifiable income.”

8. “We are also already seeing a huge and troubling resurgence in credit card annual fees” Make sure you pay attention to your credit cards.

If something isn’t clear, feel free to comment below or go to the link and read more about what Suze has to say about the changes.

http://www.oprah.com/money/Suze-Orman-on-the-New-Credit-Card-Law/1

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~ by debt2dreams on March 5, 2010.

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