The importance of the “Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights” is significant for two reasons. First, it will stop banks from raising interest rates at will; and second, it would mandate that banks cannot arrive at an interest rate that is based on more than a month’s balance.
You may have received a disclosure notice in the mail recently that stated your interest rate was going up. Or you may have received a notice from your credit card company stating that your credit line has been lowered.
These despicable practices have been on the upswing as banks are, according to one representative, “trying to reduce risk.” The truth of the matter is not that they are seeking to reduce risk, but trying to find whatever means possible to obtain additional revenue from their credit card customers.
After receiving billions of dollars of bail-out money from the Federal Government, it’s hard to justify the legitimacy of their actions.
Thanks to Representative Carolyn Maloney, who not only sponsored this bill but heard from consumers across the spectrum that they were being preyed upon by banks and other credit card companies; there is renewed hope that the Senate will pass this legislation as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, once the bill is passed it may not take effect until next year.
What can you do if you have paid your bills on time; have a good credit score; and have been a customer for a long period of time?
o Call the bank and ask if the interest rate can be lowered.
o Compare and contrast other credit card companies to determine if it is within your best interest to switch companies.
o Send a letter to your representative at both the House and the Senate.
At a time when the economy is at its worst and most people have lost their jobs, it has become necessary to buy food, prescription drugs, and other necessities with credit cards.
It seems incomprehensible, then, that banks are using this economic downturn to utilize deceptive practices. Not only have the banks been given billions of dollars, but they are bleeding us dry as well.
It is time to take a stand by contacting your state’s representatives. Let them know that you, as a consumer, need as much relief as the banks. Tell them we cannot wait a year; that the “Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights” must become effectively immediately.