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Credit Card Applications » News » Other » Credit Cardholders Rights

Credit Cardholders Rights

February 26, 2008 | Updated on February 26, 2008
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The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

It Is about Time for Your Credit Cards Rights Protection

We talk much about credit card education as we believe it helps us avoid all those numerous traps set up by self-profit credit companies. Once you learn about the regularities and laws, you feel like a specialist, able to read and understand the fine print and make analytical comparison of credit offers in search of a better one.

However, credit education alone does not always give efficient support for your rights as a cardholder. What happens de facto? You know what the "any time, any reason" interest hike or universal default mean. You know about the too high and unsound penalty fees and double cycle game. But does your factual knowledge protect you when all these things come to affect you?

Not much, without the proper and long-waited-for legislation.

The Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights Act of 2008 is expected to change the situation. Introduced into the House of Representatives on February, 7, the new bill seems to have already come in force. We have already known of cases when some banks and companies eliminated the practice of raising rates relying on the credit score alone.

There is still more to come, and if you feel that you have the legal ground to make practical use of your credit education, read on and be sure you can call your bank and inform them about your new rights and support.

O, what are the provisions of the bill?

No more disheartening rate hikes. Now a card issuer cannot change credit terms or raise rates for an inadequate reason (a drop in credit scores or a default on a credit card not in question). You will need to fail in paying on a certain credit card only to be imposed higher rates and fees as a penalty.

You can safely notify your lender of that when you suspect a higher rate coming.

No more misleading fees. A customer can legally be imposed over-the-limit fees after 3 consecutive periods. Cardholders can also require the lender to set a "fixed limit" option so as to be denied in making over-the-limit purchases.

Turning down billing-cycle games. From now on, mail billing statements should be sent to the customer 25 days before the date due. No double-cycle billing, that unfairly charges interest on a part of debt paid the previous month, should legally be applied.

Guaranteed disclosures and notifications. If interest rate increase is still to come (due to the company's policy changing), you are to be notified of it 45 days before the increase. It is your legal right to pay off your current balance at the initial rate, so you do not have to make a balance transfer or close the account.

Now, on reading the article, you are not only aware of the existence of such terms as double-cycle billing, over-the-limit fees, "any time, any reason" rate increase... you can also operate them and you know how to use them for your credit consumer rights protection.

Do not hesitate to contact your issuer if you feel your rights are abused. You are faithfully supported by the new Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights Act of 2008.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
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