Whether due to the economy or the impending regulation enacted within the Credit CARD Act of 2009, credit card companies are taking the opportunity to raise interest rates and minimum payments. This is perhaps an unintended consequence of increasing regulation. These changes affect consumers with manageable debt, but others who are trying to get out of debt or living paycheck-to-paycheck are harder hit by these changes.
Issuers’ actions come as a growing number of consumers lose their jobs and default in record numbers on their credit card debt. The industry is also preparing for restrictions to take effect in February 2010… The banking industry says Congress has no one to blame but itself for higher rates and fees because banks had predicted that restrictions on pricing would lead to higher costs for everyone…
Yet some critics say that issuers are taking advantage of a loophole in the law to bolster their financial conditions… In a statement Monday, [Senator Charles] Schumer slammed issuers for trying to “wring more dollars out of their customers.” Some of the changes in card terms, Schumer says, are “against the spirit of the law and … just plain wrong.”
Is credit card reform — the Credit CARD Act of 2009 (Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights) — a mistake or are issuers just using the fear of losing future profits as an excuse for bilking customers now?
Consumers hit again as some banks raise credit rates, fees, Kathy Chu, USA Today, June 30, 2009