Happy holidays indeed. If you’re a credit card company.
According to this article in the Denver Post (“Credit Card Rates Soar Just Before Shopping Season“), credit card companies have been raising rates on unassuming consumers. The credit industry is preparing for the major reforms on the unscrupulous practices they have been getting away with for years.
In some cases, according to the article, notices of rate increases have even been disguised as junk mail with the obvious hope of enticing the consumer to throw it away before reading the notice.
Why is this happening now? Because Congress passed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (conveniently nicknamed the “Credit CARD” Act) to protect consumers. The law is set to take effect in February 2010, and of course credit card companies are doing everything they can to squeeze every last dime out of their customers before their wily ways are curtailed.
The important take-away from all of this is: Know the terms of your credit card. Don’t assume that everything’s the same as it has been. Make sure to check:
- Your current interest rate. It may have been raised. It may be tied to a variable rate that fluctuates.
- Your monthly minimum payment. Credit card companies have raised these as well.
- Your credit limit. The one thing credit card companies have been lowering, of course.
If any of these have been changed without your knowledge, you could end up being on the hook for significant additional fees and charges. Something you certainly do not need these days.
If you’re concerned about your credit cards and/or credit card debt, or if you’re contemplating bankruptcy filing in Connecticut, please contact me for a free initial consultation. I’ll be happy to answer all of your questions and help you get back on the straight and narrow, financially speaking.
Credit card companies have their weapons and strategies, but the bankruptcy law gives average Americans, including Connecticut residents, special protections as well. So get in touch if you’d like to learn more about them and how to make sure you receive their full protection under the law.