On May 22, 2009, the Credit CARD Act of 2009 was signed into law by President Barack Obama. The first of the changes enacted take effect August 20, 2009 — today! Other provisions of the act take effect February 2010.
Although both consumers and credit card companies are discovering and attempting to take advantage of ‘loopholes,’ some new rules should help consumers manage credit.
Key provisions of the CARD act:
- — Prohibits retroactive rate increases unless the cardholder is at least 60 days behind in paying the bill. If a person does fall behind and the rate on past buys is increased, lenders must restore the lower rate after six months if the cardholder has paid monthly bills on time.
- — Requires lenders to post their credit card agreements on the Internet.
- — Requires that customers receive 45 days notice before rates are increased.
- — Requires anyone under 21 to prove that they can repay the money before being given a card, or have a parent or guardian promise to pay off their debt if they default.
- — Prohibits over-the-limit fees unless a cardholder elects to be allowed to go over a limit.
- — Requires lenders to say how much time it would take and how much money in interest would be paid if only the minimum monthly payments are made.
- — Requires that gift cards remain valid for five years.
- — Bans “pay-to-pay” fees, which are charged when someone pays the bill by phone or on the Internet.
- — Includes unrelated provision that would allow people to carry loaded guns in national parks and wildlife refuges.
Here’s an article that ran in the local Wichita Eagle.
End of public service announcement. 🙂 What do you want to talk about?