March 23rd, 2011

Wednesday Roundup: Debt & Cracking Down on Credit Card Regulations

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Things are looking up for consumers when it comes to credit cards. The Federal Reserve has stepped up to clarify some of the regulations put into place with the CARD Act, USA Today reports. But what do these clarifications mean for you?

Here we outline the three specific amendments, which will go into effect on Oct. 1.

  1. Card issuers can assess an applicant’s ability to repay debt using individual income or salary, instead of household income.

    The term “household income” has been deemed too vague. This new process will help keep banks from issuing cards to consumers who can’t pay off their debt, but it could also unintentionally target stay-at-home moms, who share income with their spouses.

  2. Fees charged in the first year of the account max out at 25% of the credit line, including any fees charged before an account is opened, such as application fees.

    This will keep first-year fees under control, but it might also open the door for credit card issuers to begin charging higher application fees.

  3. Card issuers are prohibited from raising or revoking promotional interest rates, including the waiver of interest charges.

    The only exception to this regulation is when an account becomes more than 60 days delinquent. Could this new clarification mean that credit card issuers become even more cautious when approving applicants?

Bottom line: Just as with any new credit card rules and regulations, be sure to understand what it means for you. These amendments don’t go into effect until the fall, but it’s important to understand them now and prepare accordingly, especially if you’ll be in the market for a new credit card soon.

Read on about the newest technology in credit cards, the best gas credit cards, the little-known baseball debt crisis, and much more!

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June 16th, 2010

5 Great Changes To Your Credit Card… 5 Predictions Of The Industry’s Backlash

More changes are coming to your credit card, but at least this time, these changes won’t cost you in interest rate hikes or credit limit cuts. The Federal Reserve announced new rules regarding credit card fees, in effect August 22nd, as the final set of changes to the CARD Act. These reforms tighten up some […]

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March 10th, 2010

Wednesday Trends in Credit Cards & Debt

Consumer credit levels have up and down results at the start of 2010. On the one hand, overall consumer credit increased 2.4% in January (as compared to a 2.2% decline in December) and showed $2.45 trillion in consumer credit outstanding, reports But, the good news is that revolving consumer credit has consistently decreased every […]

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January 6th, 2010

Wednesday Trends in Credit Cards & Debt

Every penny counts today as the value of the dollar continues to decline in the new year. The blog, “Dual Income No Kids Finances,” posted this picture of what a dollar buys to see just how much American money has depreciated in comparison to world currencies. If you’re keen on paring down debt, consider the […]

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December 31st, 2009

79.9% interest rate hike?!

First Premier Bank’s, a subprime credit card issuer, latest 79.9% interest rate hike has likely set a record as the most exorbitant interest rate ever in the credit card industry. It isn’t out of the norm for issuers to be enforcing rate hikes and new fees; it has become a normalized practice in the industry […]

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December 30th, 2009

Wednesday Trends in Credit Cards & Debt

Do you think you could live happily on 75% less money? MSN Money poses this question as the Great Recession spills over into 2010 and challenges consumers to do more with less money. Is living a happier, more financially-fit lifestyle on your list of resolutions this year? Read ahead for debt reduction tips and credit […]

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December 16th, 2009

Wednesday Trends in Credit Cards & Debt

Swiping your credit card virtually anywhere will soon be possible with a dongle, a phone case that swipes credit cards. The dongle swipes the card and accompanying application which runs the transaction through your iPhone. This high-tech application will make it temptingly convenient to charge to credit anywhere and anytime. Useful gadget or just more […]

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December 3rd, 2009

Bank Of America Introduces Credit Card Clarity

In a move that echoes the spirit of the CARD Act, Bank of America launched its Credit Card Clarity Commitment program, which gives BofA cardholders a one-page summary of easy-to-understand terms and conditions for its credit cards. Bank of America, the nation’s largest credit lender, is currently mailing out its single sheet of need-to-know card […]

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December 2nd, 2009

Credit Scores Rise With Uptick in Retail Card Balances

Consumer credit scores are on the rise at the start of the busiest spending season of the year. Credit Karma user data from October reveals that retail credit cardholders are doing something right: while the average credit score of Credit Karma users with retail cards we follow increased 5 points to 698 in October, the […]

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December 2nd, 2009

Wednesday Trends in Credit Cards & Debt

The hottest consumer topic, besides the “It” toy craze of the year the Zhu Zhu pet hamster, is the question of whether shoppers should charge credit or pay cash for holiday purchases. The credit squeeze, as the Eagle Tribune calls it, has pushed more shoppers to use debit card, gift card, or cash for Christmas […]

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