How New Credit Card Reform Affects You

Consumers gain rights with new provisions

Key Components:

–Prevents credit card issuers from increasing interest rates on cardholders in good standing for reasons unrelated to the cardholder’s behavior with respect to that card
–Requires payments to be applied first to the credit card balance with the highest rate of interest, and to minimize finance charges
–Requires credit card statements to be mailed 21 days before the bill is due rather than the current 14
–Requires cardholders to be given 45 days’ notice of any interest rate increase
–Prohibits issuers from charging a fee to allow a credit card holder to pay a credit card debt, whether payment is by mail, telephone, electronic transfer, or otherwise

Source: White House and Sen. Chris Dodd

Key Dates:

February 22, 2010:

Most provisions of the credit card bill go into effect.

August 20, 2009:

The following provisions go into effect:
–45 day notice requirement for rate
–21 day statement mailing requirement

November 22, 2009:

Federal Reserve Board to issue guidelines on the following provisions:
–Establishment of a toll-free credit counseling phone number
–Report to Congress on financial literacy programs

August 22, 2010:

The following provisions go into effect:
–Interest rate reduction consideration requirements
–Reasonable and proportional penalty fees
–Gift card protections

February 22, 2010:

Federal Reserve Board to issue a final rule on the following provisions:
Interest rate reduction consideration requirements
Preventing deceptive ads for credit reports
Gift card protections

May 22, 2011:
The following provisions go into effect:
Review and report on consumer credit plans and regulation


(Black Enterprise Credit Card Checklist)

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