Credit Card Bill of Rights

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New legislation introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) seeks to abolish “major industry abuses that unfairly hurt consumers while fostering fair competition and free market values.” According to Maloney’s press release, the key components of the bill are that it:

- Protects cardholders against arbitrary interest rate increases
- Prevents cardholders who pay on time from being unfairly penalized
- Protects cardholders from due date gimmicks
- Shields cardholders from misleading terms
- Empowers cardholders to set limits on their credit
- Requires card companies to fairly credit and allocate payments
- Prohibits card companies from imposing excessive fees on cardholders
- Prevents card companies from giving subprime credit cards to people who can’t afford them
- Requires Congress to provide better oversight of the credit card industry
- Contains NO rate caps, fee setting, or price controls

Maloney goes on to argue that:

“A credit card agreement is supposed to be a contract, but in recent years cardholders have lost the ability to say no to unfair interest rate hikes and fees. This balanced, moderate bill simply levels the playing field between card companies and cardholders while fostering fair competition and free market values.”

It’ll be interesting to see how this develops.

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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. “Empowers cardholders to set limits on their credit”

    Cardholder’s can already do this (within reason). I have a card that the limit kept going up on. I eventually called the company and asked them to lower the limit back to the original issue limit of $500, the best they could do was $1,000. At the same time, I asked them to lock in the limit and it has been there ever since. I got the card in October 1998, and put in this request sometime in 2000 or 2001.

    Comment by Nathan — Mar 18th 2008 @ 9:22 am

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