Little Rock, AR (PRWEB) August 19, 2009
A recent poll conducted on consumer education site CardRatings.com found that the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act has many people worried. Approximately 80 percent of poll respondents believe the new legislation will lead to higher interest rates for both current and future cardholders. One industry insider and credit card expert agrees.
"Credit card rates have been rising as of late, and the two new provisions of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act that go into effect this month will likely result in unintended negative consequences for consumers," CardRatings.com founder and CEO, Curtis Arnold said. "I predict that average rates for credit cards will reach 15 percent by early next year."
Signed by President Obama on May 22, the CARD Act seeks to protect consumers from card-issuer practices deemed unfair by many. The bulk of the bill aims to guard against retroactive rate increases, short-notice rate hikes and quick payment requirements. Although most of the Act won't roll out until February of 2010, two key provisions take effect this week:
1. Credit card companies will be required to mail bills at least 21 days before payment is due, instead of the 14 days that has become the industry norm.
2. Card issuers must give 45 days notice before raising interest rates or changing a card's terms significantly. However, no notice is required for variable-rate cards with increasing benchmark rates.
Despite these protective measures, the onus remains on cardholders to keep a close eye on their credit.
"Consumers should be ever vigilant in managing their credit," Arnold said. "They should closely monitor their account(s) and watch closely for any changes in terms and conditions. Despite the down sides, I do think there are some silver linings for consumers and for the card industry, as well. For one thing, I'm optimistic that the new law will help slowly restore consumer confidence in the credit card industry."
CardRatings.com has been educating consumers about credit cards since 1998 and has been featured by hundreds of media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, The New York Times, and The Today Show. Thanks to consumers, CardRatings.com has become the most comprehensive free source for comparing credit card offers and has helped over a million people find the best credit cards for their individual needs.
Curtis Arnold is available for interviews on this topic and others relative to the changing trends in the credit card industry.
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