Monday, new, common-sense rules will go into effect that protect credit card holders from a wide range of unfair practices, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) reminded constituents today. Key protections outlined in the Credit Card Holders Bill of Rights, passed by Congress last year, will ensure credit card companies provide reliable, transparent information so consumers have the tools to make smart, informed decisions about their personal finances.
"The unfair and confusing practices used by some credit card companies have contributed to the massive debt our families now carry, and these new rules will empower consumers to reverse that problem," said Himes. "These balanced regulations are good for consumers and good for the economy."
Some of the key changes credit card holders can expect include:
* Credit card companies must give at least 45 days notice before increasing your interest rate, changing certain fees, or making other significant changes to the terms of your card.
* Credit card bills must provide information to clearly explain how long it will take to pay off the balance by making only minimum payments.
* Credit card companies will be restricted from allowing over-the-limit transactions without the card holders' knowledge.
* Interest rate increases will, in most cases, be prohibited during the first year of the life of an account.
* Any changes to your billing will require a statement detailing those changes at least 21 days before the payment is due.
For more detailed information on the new consumer protections for credit card users, visit The Federal Reserve's Consumer Information website.