New Credit Card Statements: Coming Soon

If knowledge is power, consumers are about to get a lot more powerful. Thanks to the Credit Card Accountability and Responsibility Act of 2009 (better known as the CARD Act), starting next month you’re going to have new rights, credit card companies will have fewer, and it’s all going to be spelled out in language that’s a lot easier to understand.

Here’s the story I did that shows off the new statements. Check it out, then meet me on other side for more.

To recap those statement changes:

  • Your entire statement should be formatted so it’s easier to understand. In other words, fees and interest charges should be highlighted, not buried. And all information should be presented in a logical way.
  • There should be a box that shows you how long it will take to pay off the bill if you only make minimum payments and how much interest you’ll pay in doing so. There might also be examples of how much you’ll save by paying more than the minimum. For an example of what it might look like, check out New Credit Card Rules from the Federal Reserve.
  • There should be a toll free number you can call for no-cost credit-counseling assistance.

Banks aren’t required to comply with these new regulations until July 1, 2010, but many have said they’ll start sooner. You might also be receiving a Statement of Account Changes from your card companies that detail other alterations in your account, courtesy of the new law. If you get one, read it. Already trashed it without opening it first? Not to worry. I’ll be laying out the details in a future post.

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Comments & discussion

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  • Carrie

    All this credit card act is doing is hurting my credit. I had bad credit for years and finally went back to school to get a better job. I have been repairing my credit for the last six and a half years. Right before the credit card act went into effect, the credit card companies started raising interest rates. Despite the fact that they insist I have an excellent record with them, my oldest credit card company, Capital One, raised the interest rate on both of my cards. Then, when they realized that the disclosure notice (how long it would take to pay off my card paying only the minimum payment) would read “forever”, they cancelled my card and put a “restricted” notice on it. When I called to find out what was wrong, they insisted that I had called them earlier that day and “opted out” and cancelled my card. This was a blatant lie. The opt out deadline was long past. I know because when I received a notice months before that the interest rate was going up (without receiving an opt out notice prior to that), I called to opt out and they wouldn't let me. Their practices are not only deceptive; they should be illegal.