Credit card reforms coming, eventually

A window sticker advertising Visa and MasterCard credit cards in San Francisco

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: The Federal Reserve is expected to approve credit card reforms today.
They'll be good changes for customers. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait a while to see them. Marketplace's Janet Babin reports from North Carolina Public Radio.


Janet Babin: The changes will put an end to rates that just go up, whenever -- and they'll prohibit one credit card company from changing your terms just because you might have paid late on another card. But the reforms aren't supposed to go into effect until 2010.

Burt Flickinger with Strategic Resource Group says until then, credit card companies will actually charge consumers more in fees and fines, while they still can:

Burt Flickinger: Two million consumers will probably go down during that time, where the economy and the country can't afford to have any more consumers going down because of higher interest rate levels on credit card debt.

The American Bankers Association says the reforms will be a challenge to the credit card business that's already struggling with record customer defaults.

I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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