Credit CARD Act: The Next Generation

June 18, 2013  
credit card news

The Credit CARD Act of 2009 helped to curtail consumers' penalty fees and surprise interest-rate increases, but the law may be due for an update already due to new consumer complaints. While bankers contend that the consumer protection law reduced available credit for many people, the Center for Responsible Lending and other watchdog organizations say there are still plenty of credit card-related problems that need to be corrected. Some groups point to the dangers of deferred interest cards, which can help finance large expenses but have complicated contracts. One Denver resident says that she and her spouse were hit with more than $1,000 in surprise interest on a deferred deal when they made their final payment a month later than they thought they were supposed to, causing them to be charged the full year of accrued interest. Other consumers have complained of high levels of credit card interest in an otherwise low-rate economy. The American Bankers Association blames the CARD Act for the higher rates and also claims that fewer subprime borrowers are able to get credit cards, driving them to payday loans and other higher-cost financing alternatives. Consumer groups say the rates on card balances are the same as before the act but that advertised rates have increased because lenders cannot keep them artificially low by adding on fees. When developing new safeguards, the biggest problem may be the consumer protection bureau's already busy schedule.
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