Today a law goes into effect that could actually help your financial profile.  The credit card reform laws are designed to protect consumers, and they may in fact do so.

  • A newly opened account must keep the opening interest rate for 12 months; if it changes after the first 12 months, it is only for future purchases, not the balance you may be carrying for your first year’s purchases. Delinquencies on the account, hardship arrangements on past dues may be exceptions, so pay those bills on time.
  • College kids will find it harder to get credit (HOORAY). You’ll probably need a co-signer or a job that will pay enough to support your bill.
  • Over-limit fees are out of the ballgame unless you opted to have the protection and consent to pay for it.
  • If you don’t like the new terms on your credit card, opt out of the contract. They can close your account, but you will be given options regarding paying off the debt.
  • Changes to the terms of your agreement must be given to you 45 days in advance, instead of the previous 15.
  • Your bill is now due on the same date every month. No more calculating billing period from month to month!
  • Universal default, raising your interest rate on one card because you were late on other bills, is out the door.
  • Statements must be mailed 21 days ahead of the due date.

These are very positive changes to the way the American Consumer has been treated in the past. Use the assist wisely!