Are you aware of the enforcement of new credit card rules set by the US Federal Reserve? For your information, effective from 22nd February 2010, there will be some major changes on credit card rules. The changes will cause some impacts on both card providers as well as card users.
Let’s look into the rules in detailed:
- Once the new regulations are enforced, the card providers are required to inform their clients 45 days before they can make any change to the terms of the cards, for instance, increasing of interest rate. At the same time, they must provide option to their clients to cancel their cards before they make the change. If the clients opt to terminate their cards, the card providers can request their clients to pay a higher monthly payment. Although it seems like increasing the burden of the cardholders, in actual fact, it helps to speed up the debt elimination process.
- Under the new rules, the format of the monthly bills will be changed. In the near future, detailed information about the duration of the debt repayment will be stated clearly on the monthly statements. At the same time, the card users will be informed about the exact amount they need to pay monthly if they want to clear off their debt completely in 3 years time. With all the necessary information stated in black and white, the cardholders will be able to manage their debts in a more appropriate way.
- You need to bear in mind that the credit card companies are not allowed to increase the interest rates for the first 12 months, only applicable for new clients. In another words, the new cardholders are not required to bear high interest rate for the first year. However, for those card users who are still “enjoying” the introductory rate at the moment, they have to take note. It will take at least 6 months before the new rate takes effect.
- Under the amended rules, the cardholders will definitely gain benefits if they make more than the monthly minimum payment on their credit card bills. This is because the creditors are required to apply the excess amount to the balance with the highest interest rate. If the debtors pay more every month, they will be able to save a lot of money.
- Many card users always need to bear the over-the-limit fee. Under the new rules, if the cardholders do not opt for this particular transaction, the card providers are NOT ALLOWED to charge any extra fee if they approve the transactions.
- After the new rules are enforced, there is no more double cycle billing. Credit card companies can only impose interest charges on the balances in the current billing cycle.
As a cardholder, are you happy with the amendments? I am sure you are able to reduce your outstanding balances in an easier manner.