By now you probably already have received notices of changes from the various credit card companies that you do business with. I received one last week in fact from one of the hold outs. Below are a few of the highlights and you can always go to the Fed’s website to learn more as well. CLICK HERE
Interest Rates and Fees
o 45 Day Notice: Companies must now give you 45 day written notice on fee changes. (Good)
o No Arbitrary Rate Increases in First Year: If you are a responsible card user the card companies can’t increase your rate. (Good)
o Balances Treated Differently: If your rate were to increase and you have purchases on balance from the old lower rate, your monthly rates are based on the rate of the original purchases. (Good)
o Over-Limit Fees: Now you will have to opt in for the fee if you would like the card company to allow you to make a purchase knowing you’ll be over limit. (Good and Bad)
o Fee Caps – Non Penalty: You cannot incur more than 25% of your credit limit in fees. (Good)
o Statements Enhanced: Statement will now show more info such as how long it will take to pay off a balance if you were to only keep paying the minimum. (Good)
o Payment Dates: You must have at least 21 days to pay the bill once it’s mailed and if the pay date falls on a holiday it is due the following business day. Cut off times for payments can’t be earlier than 5PM of the due date. (Good)
These are the major changes that I wanted to call out. However, one of the biggest changes is if you are younger than 21 years old you will now have to prove you can pay back a credit card before it is issued. A cosigner will be needed if not.
As always use your cards wisely and stay tuned to Your Personal Worth to learn more key strategies to keep yourself credit worthy while at the same time striving to thrive in the world “Debt Free”! You’ll hear more about this in future posts.