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New Credit Card Laws 2010

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new-credit-card-laws-2010A new set of credit card rules for 2010 took effect on February 22, 2010. The new credit card laws offer credit card consumers a new set of protections from what was deemed unscrupulous credit card practices.

The new credit card rules in 2010 include new rules on how and what credit card companies have to tell you about your credit card bill. There are also new rules on credit card rates and credit card fees.

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New Credit Card Laws 2010

  • If you make more than the minimum credit card payment any month, your credit card company must apply the excess amount to the balance with the highest credit card interest rate.

  • They must tell you how long it will take to pay off a credit card if you only make the minimum credit card payments.

  • They must also inform you 45 days in advance if they will raise your credit card rate, change certain credit card fees or make other significant changes to your credit card account. However, credit card companies do not have to tell you 45 days in advance if you have a variable rate card or if you have an introductory rate credit card whose introductory period has expired.

  • Your credit card company cannot increase the credit card rate for the first 12 months of opening your account. The exceptions include variable rate credit cards, introductory rate credit cards and if you’re more than 60 days late on a credit card payment.

  • If your credit card rate does increase after the first year it will only increase for new purchases and not existing balances.

  • You now have to opt-in for over-the-limit credit card transactions.  If you don’t, you cannot be charged an over the limit fee though your credit card transaction might be declined. If you do opt-in you can only be charged one over-the-limit fee per month. You can also opt-out at any time.

  • Your monthly credit card bill will now include information on how long it will take you to pay off your credit card balance if you only make minimum credit card payments. Your credit card statement will also tell you how much you would need to pay each month in order to pay off your credit card balance in three years.

  • If you are under 21, you will need to show that you are able to make credit card payments, or you will need a cosigner when applying for a credit card in order to open a credit card account.

  • Credit card companies are now required to limit fees and they cannot total more than 25% of the initial credit limit. For example, if your initial credit limit is $500, the fees for the first year cannot be more than $125. Late credit card penalty fees are not included.

  • Credit card companies must mail or deliver your credit card bill at least 21 days before your payment is due.

  • Credit card companies cannot double cycle bill, they only impose interest charges on balances in the current billing cycle.

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Author: Jason P. Jones
March 4th, 2010