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Outlawing Retroactive Interest Rate Changes

Written by admin - 3 Comments

According to a recent report, Maryland could become the first state in the country to outlaw retroactive changes in credit card interest rates. The propose legislation would “prohibit card companies that change their rates from applying the new rate to debt a consumer already has incurred.”

Card issuers often adjust (i.e., increase) interest rates in response to missed payments or negative changes on your credit report. Unfortunately, even if the cardholder objects to the increase and cancels their card, they’re still on the hook for the higher rate on their existing balance.

Assuming that the Maryland bills passes, it will go into effect this summer, a year earlier than federal legislation that’s aimed to do the same thing. Not surprisingly, the Maryland Bankers Association has vowed to fight the legislation.

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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. I consolidated a few credit cards with a visa promotion via US Bank. I got a decent interest rate and have been treated fairly by them in the past. My rate was 11%. Not great, but much better than what I had. After nearly two years, I got a notice that the rate would be raised unless I decided to not use the card anymore. I did not understand the statement and ended up using the card one more time. My rate was immediately raised to 19% for all existing balances including the promo balance. I asked why it happened and was told there were various sources they use to change rates and if I wished I would be sent a letter explaining. I have been waitint for quite a while now. I know there is no issue with my credit and my financial situation has not changed at all. I need help to get the rates decreased or transferred to a bank/company that will not do the same thing in a year or so.

    Comment by Ed — May 6th 2009 @ 2:30 pm
  2. I just noticed that my credit card company – HBSC Bank – has been using a higher ammount than my actual current outstanding balance in order to calculate interest charges. And I noticed that this wasn’t a one time thing.

    Once I noticed it on this month’s statement I pulled out statements going back to March and discovered that my interest charges have been going up insntead of down despite the fact that my balance has been going down. My balance on this card is about 2,550.00 but they are using an ammount of 2,600.00 for cash advances and 400.00 for purchases in order to calculate my interest charge. Is this legal??? What kind of accounting practice actaully allows for this robbery.

    Shouldn’t the ammount used for calculating my interest charges be reduced with every payment I mail in???

    I am wondering if this is legal and if not, should I consult an attorney and file a lawsuit for fraud against HBSC???

    Comment by Rob — Jun 21st 2009 @ 10:59 pm
  3. I have very good credit rating, pay more than the minimum on time everytime and CHASE just raised my interest rate 3 percept ON MY OLD BALANCE as well as new purchases. If I opt-out, even though I can repay under old terms, the account will be closed and my credit score will be significantly penalized! This is grossly unfair. How can it be legal?

    Comment by Janet — Jun 23rd 2009 @ 2:44 pm

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