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Credit Card Applications » News » Other » Federal Reserve Rephrases Terms in Credit Contracts

Federal Reserve Rephrases Terms in Credit Contracts

December 31, 2009
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Federal Reserve is helping consumers understand the agreement they entered with credit companies by rephrasing terminologies in plain language.

Jeanne Hogarth, manager of a division of the federal agency, said they found out in their studies that there are terminologies in the contract, especially when it comes to interest rates and fees, which are incomprehensible to cardholders.

She said the agency's website and other credit companies are now taking measures to explain terms clearly.

Hogarth cited the word "grace period," which only few of the consumers understand that this is a period allowed to pay debt without penalty.

Consumers will be properly informed about the contract, interest and other fees that could be exacted from them through paraphrasing the terms.

Hogarth added that making card holders understand the contract by simplifying words used therein will help them be cautious in using credit cards.

She said credit card firms or companies are also including the explanation in solicitations, clearly discussing interest rates and annual fees involved.

Hogarth encouraged cardholders to carefully read mails that will be sent to them by credit card companies or firms this coming December, when the Credit Card Reform Act is implemented. She explained that banks and lenders will enclose a new payment plan, which will give details to consumers or card holders the length of time they have in order to fully pay balances. It gives consumers an option with regards to the duration they prefer in paying debts off.

Choosing the long period of time to settle the debt is cheaper, but if it is summed up, consumers or card holders will incur more interest. The short-term payment has higher monthly fee, but less interest will be charged to card holders.

According to Hogarth, this newly-enacted credit card reform act has prompted banks and loan companies to rewrite and revise their policy, especially rules on interest rates, annual fees and other policies.

Banks and loan companies' power to increase interest rates and fees will be restricted once this new credit rule is implemented.

Congress, in passing this credit reform act, gave consumers and card owners the right to decline rate increases that will be imposed by banks and card issuers.

However, Hogarth clarified that such privilege only applies to consumers who are paying off their balance and not using the card.

The law also allows increase in interest rates if the borrowers are 60 days late in their payment. If the debt was paid within six months, the initial interest rate shall be applied again.

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  • Larry
    With the Virgin / Barclaycard signature offer, there seems to be some consumer deception or maybe even outright fraud goin on.   I decided to jump on this offer..  read all the info on it..  was approved for their platinum card, paid the fee, then was only awarded 10,000 points instead of the advertised 20,000.   When i inquired about the less than advertised bonus points, Barclaycard claims only Signiture Visa cardmembers get the 20,000..  as a platinum cardholder, you don't qualify for that level of bonus, so you get 10k instead.   Well, in their current ongoing promotions, it states plain as day that....    Applicants approved for the Visa Signature or Platinum Card with $49 annual fee will receive 20,000 Bonus Points awarded to your Virgin America Rewards Account at the close of the first billing statement in which you make your first purchase or balance transfer (that is not returned or rescinded) and have paid the Annual Fee on the account (and such fee is not rescinded). They don't mention anything about a separate program for platinum cardholders..  However, trying to get someone to resolve this issue with either Virgin or Barclaycard seems to be rather impossible.. Seems to me they're simply drawing people in with the fraudulent offer, then simply saying, oh, we're sorry you don't qualify..  but thanks for signing up for our garbage credit card with insane fees..   
  • CreditLandCom
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We have reviewed this offer and you are correct, nowhere it is mentioned that 20,000 Bonus can become a 10,000 Bonus all of a sudden... We will mention this in our review of this card so others can make an informed decision. Another way to get Virgin miles is to get an American Express charge card: The Business Gold Rewards Card® now offers 50,000 Miles, though you do have to spend $5,000 in the first three months of card membership to get it. It also has $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175. http://www.credit-land.com/details/the-business-gold-rewards-card-from-american-express-open.php Premier Rewards Gold Card now offers 25,000 Miles, though you do have to spend $2,000 during your first three months of Card membership. It also has annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $175. http://www.credit-land.com/details/american-express-premier-rewards-gold-card.php While we do not know If any of these offers make sense to you, we are at least sure that you will get advertised bonus in full if you decide to get them... Conversion rates for Virgin America are: 100 Elevate Points = 200 Membership Rewards® Points All the best.
  • Deborah Ellsworth
     would very much like to start a new credit history  by making payments on time I would tohave a credit card that is NOT PREPAYID! I don't need a card with a high limit just something to start a new credit history. Thank You Deborah Ellsworth
  • Deborah Ellsworth
    I would very much like to start a new credit line to get back on track. I DO NOT WANT A PREPAID CARD!! This new credit card if I am approved does not have to hace a high limit just something for me to start over again and prove myself ThankYou. D Ellsworth
  • Miss Edna
    there is a huge problem with the RFIP chip: it is easily compromised. There are already 'readers' in the form of what looks like a cellphone in a case, that scans all the info in the chip by merely walking near a person -- this 'reader' penetrates leather, cloth, spandex, etc. The only thing it will NOT penetrate is METAL. Perhaps one has seen commercials touting metal credit card cases. Here is my hint for a free fix: cut a piece of aluminum foil or use the foil that is used to keep foods fresh, like coffee. Cut it so that when folded once, it forms a sleeve for your credit card. place the credit card in the sleeve, then place the sleeve in your wallet.
  • Robin Parks
    I am looking to apply for the AARP Visa signature card from Chase that offers $100 after spend $500 in first 3 months, no annual fee and 0% interest first year; I don't want to mail in offer because of having to write in Social security #. Can you direct me to the proper on-line site?
  • CreditLandCom
    The Chase bank cards are not currently available at Credit-Land.com, but you can consider applying for the Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card - $100 Cash Back. The cards has similar terms and cash back program.
  • Becky
    This is Becky Now what do I do just waqit for acard to come to me?
  • CreditLandCom
    Once you have applied, you should receive a letter within 10 business days letting you know if you were approved and when your card will arrive. If you did not receive any letter or notification from the issuer, you should contact them directly. Also, you should contact the issuer if you’ve been waiting for your credit card longer than 30 days. Since we are not a bank and don’t issue credit cards, we cannot give you any information about your application or credit card.
  • SavingStar
    Thank you for posting about SavingStar. Just to clarify one sentence in your article, we have over 5 million members (not 500). Thanks, Josh
  • CreditLandCom
    Sorry for the misprint. We’ve corrected the sentence. Thank you for noticing that.
  • Eric
  • John Stifler
    I think almost all people that familiar with internet, will hardly fall to these scams, but for now, I think people that use computer but don't familiar with internet things, and they has a phone line at their home, they should be warned more than internet users. I think senior people usually got scammed by these kind of "tech support" scams. Found so many reports about them since years ago at complain board sites like http://callercenter.com. We as younger, and know more about this stuff, should help and share information to they who needed it, especially older people.
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