New rules for credit card issuers

Bob Moon Aug 17, 2009
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New rules for credit card issuers

Bob Moon Aug 17, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: Some new rules for credit card issuers go into effect later this week. They’ll have to give you more advance notice of when the bill comes due or a rate hike is planned. Here’s our senior business correspondent Bob Moon.


Bob Moon: The new the Credit card Act is short for “Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure.” It doesn’t spell out who needs to be more accountable and responsible, but there’s no doubt who the new disclosure provisions are aimed at: the lenders.

RUTH SUSSWEIN: Credit card issuers will now have to send the bill 21 days before the bill is due, which is about a week better than it was.

Consumer Action’s Ruth Susswein says card issuers will also be required to give 45 days’ notice — 30 days more than before — if they decide to raise rates or make other significant changes in terms.

Susswein says lenders are trying to get ahead of the new law. They’ve already been raising rates and imposing various new fees, and there’s nothing to stop them:

SUSSWEIN: They have the freedom they always had.

Until most of the new rules go into effect next year, she says card holders need to be more alert than ever.

SUSSWEIN: We suggest that consumers read every piece of material that their card issuer sends, and be on the lookout for these kinds of changes.

Card issuers say the new rules will make it harder to get credit, and they’ll have to raise rates, even for their most credit-worthy customers.

In Los Angeles, I’m Bob Moon for Marketplace.

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