While most of us grow weary of reading news about what Congress is voting on, the new credit card bill now under consideration may be worth paying attention to. Anyone who carries a credit card will be affected – hopefully in positive ways – by this latest effort toward government bank regulation to ensure that consumer credit card terms and practices are not taking undue advantage of cardholders.
Most legislators have vowed that in order for the credit card bill to pass and get approved with their vote, it will have to include some key components. For one thing they are pushing for more transparency regarding consumer credit card rules – which basically means that they want the new credit card bill to require plain English in plain sight, versus complex legal lingo buried in small print. They also want to make sure that credit card bill statements are sent out in a timely manner, something that has already started to happen under the new White House administration. Additionally legislators will push for tighter government bank regulation over interest rate hikes, so that the number and size of consumer credit card hikes is more reasonable and justified.
Americans are angry over the way they have been treated by card companies who have frequently added unwarranted charges to credit card bills while arbitrarily raising interest rates and fees and cutting lines of credit. In response to their upset voters the members of the House of Representatives and Senate – many of whom face upcoming elections and need votes to stay in office – is determined to pass a comprehensive credit card bill through Congress within the coming weeks.
To try to pacify lawmakers and appear to be proactive and cooperative about treating consumers fairly, banks have already started to do conspicuous things to make themselves look good – like introducing cards with built-in budgeting features. But they are still raising rates, so it looks like Congress needs to pass laws with teeth to stop the abuse by big banks of their consumer credit card customers.
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