Safe Credit Cards Project

Is there an oxymoron in somewhere that tile? 😯

If you’e one of the millions of Americans holding a credit card, this isn’t necessarily news: Credit-card issuers are hiking interest rates, penalties and fees in full force ahead of stringent new laws that take effect in February.

In fact, 400 credit cards from the nation’s 12 largest bank issuers — accounting for 90 percent of the $889 billion in outstanding consumer revolving credit — are still using most of the same tactics that the Federal Reserve has called “unfair or deceptive” and that will be outlawed in fewer than four months, according to a new report from the Pew Health Group’s Safe Credit Cards Project.

[…]

Credit-card companies recognize the pain they are inflicting on many consumers. “We understand that customers don’t like price increases, especially in difficult economic times,” Citi said in a statement. “However, these actions are necessary given the doubling of credit card losses across the industry from customers not paying back their loans and regulatory changes that eliminate repricing for that risk.”

[…]

The Pew study also doesn’t include key changes that became law Aug. 20. Card issuers must now alert customers 45 days ahead of any increases and allow them to opt out, moves that eliminated the hair-trigger repricing and gave consumers the choice to say no.

In recent weeks, many cardholders have received those notices, some with pages of explanations. They’ve also been informed of new fees coming as card issuers look at ways to offset the loss of the hefty revenues streams they have long enjoyed from upping interest rates “at any time, for any reason,” as the disclosures generally stated, as well as late and transfer fees.

There’s a lot more at the full article here: Credit-card countdown: Banks gouge consumers ahead of new law

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