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Credit Cards

A comprehensive credit card law is now in place that will help end the tricks that trap consumers in high-cost credit card debt. You can learn more about these key rights below. Click here to see when different provisions of the law go into effect.

The new credit card law includes these consumer protections:

Restricts all interest rate increases during the first year
Restricts interest rate increases on existing balances
Increases notice for rate increase on future purchases
Preserves the ability to pay off on the old terms
Requires fair application of payments
Provides sensible due dates and time to pay
Protects young consumers
Restricts issuance fees on fee harvester cards
Requires enhanced disclosures
Places limits on fees and penalty interest
Requires banks to review rate increase every six months
Establishes gift card protections

Click here to read a full summary of the Credit Card Legislation.

Read the Federal Reserve Board’s Tips on the new Credit Card Law.

Publications

Press Releases

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Blog Posts

  • Consumer Guide to Credit Cards

    The Federal Reserve Board just put up a great site to help you navigage credit card offers and contracts. It also contains lots of easy to understand information about the post-CARD Act credit card marketplace.

  • Tips for the new credit card marketplace

    The CARD Act goes into effect on February 22nd. But you should still watch out for tricky practices. Here are some tips to help you navigate the new credit card marketplace.

  • Watch Out! Here’s what’s not covered by the CARD Act

    Although this law is a great step in the right direction, there are some practices that consumer will have to continue watching out for after the February 22nd effective date.

  • Clearing up some misconceptions about the Credit CARD Act

    Trying to summarize the 1100 page Credit Card Rule is tough. Here are some clarifications.

  • Federal Reserve Board Issues New Credit Card Regulations

    Federal Reserve Board Issues New Credit Card Regulations

  • Paper statement fees?! Credit card issuers’ latest trick

    From Guest Blogger: Suzanne Martindale

    As consumers brace for the additional protections of the CreditCARD Act to go into effect on February 22, credit card issuers are finding more and more inventive ways to squeeze extra money out of their customers. This time, the joke is on consumers who use credit cards affiliated with retail stores.

  • Dangers Of Debt Contest

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    DefendYourDollars.org wants you to show us what the Dangers of Debt mean to you. Winner receives $1,000 and a years subscription to Consumer Reports Online!

  • Consumers Protest Makes National News

    Consumers who shared their story about not using their credit cards is featured on ABC Nightly News

  • Tips Of What To Look Out Next From Credit Cards

    Read about the ways credit card companies can still rip you off. Hint: There is more than one.
    Also, in order to really reign in the lending industry we need a game changer in reform.

  • The Power of Putting Your Card In Your Pocket

    No charging ’til they change their ways!

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News Articles

  • Study: Credit card late fees much higher

    Unfair or confusing credit card practices take advantage of working families

  • Guest Opinion: Have you had your identity stolen yet?
    Source: Billings Gazette (Saturday September 16, 2006)

    Montana consumers will have a way to stop thieves from opening fraudulent accounts using stolen information if state lawmakers pass a security freeze law.

  • Anti-ID theft measure lets consumers freeze credit accounts
    Source: Arizona Daily Star (Saturday March 11, 2006)

    Consumers Union says Arizonans would pay too much for the proposed “security freeze.”

  • Editorial: Credit protection
    Source: St. Petersburg Times (Tuesday January 17, 2006)

    The Florida state legislature should create an optional security freeze so Floridians can protect themselves against identity theft and credit card fraud.

  • Connecticut Governor signs ID theft law
    Source: Insurance Journal (Sunday July 10, 2005)

    Under a new law signed by Governor M. Jodi Rell, consumers in Connecticut will have the right to put a security freeze on their credit files to prevent identity thieves from opening new credit accounts in their names.

  • States scramble to protect data
    Source: Washington Post (Saturday April 9, 2005)

    Lawmakers in numerous states around the country are considering bills to give consumers the right to put a security freeze on their credit files to keep identity thieves from opening new accounts in their names.

  • Editorial: Freeze identity theft
    Source: Seattle Times (Tuesday March 15, 2005)

    The Seattle Times editorializes in favor of legislation to allow Washington State residents to put a security freeze on their credit files to thwart identity thieves.

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