New credit card rules in effect - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

New credit card rules in effect

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    Tuesday, June 23 2009 12:21 PM EDT2009-06-23 16:21:11 GMT
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WASHINGTON. - A swipe of relief is in store for millions of credit card holders as new lending and interest rate laws kick in Thursday.

They're designed to protect card users and give them more control over their accounts.

The rules give users more notice when changes are made to the account and tools to say 'no' to rates and fees.

Banks are now required to mail statements 21 days before the due date, instead of just 14 days, giving customers a better chance to pay their bill on time.

If a payment is missed, users have more options if companies raise interest rates and late fees.
Card holders have to be alerted 45 days before any adverse changes and that notice has to tell you how to cancel the card and avoid paying the increased fees and penalties.

Consumer advocacy groups say credit card companies and banks are also making changes to counter the new laws by raising interest rates and fees across the board, even for customers with good credit.

Lenders say it is the rising cost of doing business.

More key provisions of the legislation will go into effect next year, including limits on the rates companies can charge on existing balances.
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