President Obama signed into law today credit card reform that was long overdue (no pun intended). The legislation had bipartisan support in the House and Senate and President Obama has been pushing it for a while. The legislation passed despite opposition from the credit card industry and I’m glad it did.
These credit card companies are taking advantage of consumers and just plain not treating them right. But if people didn’t get into credit card debt in the first place, so many Americans wouldn’t need this legislation.
Now the legislation doesn’t take effect until February 2010 which is not soon enough in my opinion.
Here’s how it protects you:
It makes it harder for anyone under 21 to get credit cards.
It bans rate increases until you’re more than 60 days late and restores the original rate after 6 months of minimum payments.
It forces credit card companies to post credit rules on the Internet.
It mandates a 45 day advance written notice of any interest rate hikes.
It forces them to apply payments to the highest interest rate first.
It bans universal default, where credit card companies can increase rates if you’re late on payments to any lender.
Well, here’s how you can protect yourself between now and February 2010 when all this takes effect. Get out of debt! You can’t pay any penalties if you don’t have any credit card debt. You don’t have to wait for the government to help you. Help yourself! God bless.
P.S. Did I just notice that President Obama is left-handed? I wonder how many left-handed presidents we’ve had.