Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Ways to Tame Credit Card Debt

Mind Over Money by Beth Kobliner (March 2010, Redbook Magazine)

Here are some things credit card companies can and can't do with the new rules and regulations:

1. They can't raise interest rates on debt you've already racked up. One exception: They can hike rates on these existing debts if your payment is more than 60 days late.

2. If your card charges you different interest rates, they must apply your payments to the debt carrying the highest rates first.

3. They can't raise your rates if they find out you've been late on other credit cards or loans.

4. You can no longer go over your credit limit- and be charged the subsequent fees- unless you notify your credit card company in writing that you'd like to spend more than your limit. But you may not want to opt for the right to go over your limit as it will cost you!

5. They will tell you- on your bill- how long it will take to pay off your debt and how much it will cost you, including interest, if you pay only the minimum each month. Get ready for a reality check!

6. Those under 21 years old won't be able to get a credit card unless they show proof of income of get an adult to cosign.

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