The following page provides education on credit card, debt and credit related laws.
Credit Card Laws Include:
1. The Credit Card Act of 2009
2. The Truth in Lending Act (TILA)
3. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
4. The Fair Credit Reporting Act
5. The Federal Fair Credit Billing Act
Credit Card Act of 2009
Since 2009, credit card companies have had new credit card laws to follow that benefit the consumer, and they are described below.
Changes in Rates or Fees
Your credit card company cannot increase your rates or fees or make serious changes to the terms of your account without informing you first. You must receive written notice from your company 45 days before the changes take place.
Credit Card Disclosures
If you are only making the minimum payment on your credit card account, your company is required to inform you of how long it will take you to re-pay the balance in full. Your company must also tell you the amount you would have to pay each month to re-pay the balance within three years.
Interest Rate Increases
Your credit card company cannot increase the interest rate on a new account until at least 12 months have passed. This credit card law does not apply under the following circumstances:
– Your credit card has a variable interest rate
– Your credit card has an introductory rate that lasts at least six months
– You are delinquent in your payments by at least two months
– You came to an agreement with your company but you failed to follow through
An increase in your interest rate can only apply toward charges you make after the increase goes into effect. If you have a balance at the time of the increase, your credit card company cannot apply the new rate to those charges under the new credit card laws.
Your credit card company cannot automatically allow you to make charges that would take you over your pre-determined credit limit. However, you can tell them that you would like them to allow over-the-limit charges. The company will only be permitted to charge one over-the-limit fee per billing cycle in these circumstances. If you do not ask your company to allow over-the-limit charges but the company authorizes this type of charge anyway, the company must not charge you an over-the-limit fee.
If your credit card company charges annual or application fees, these fees must not be more than 25 percent of your credit limit.
The Underage Credit Card User
Applicants under the age of 21 will not be able to obtain a credit card without a co-signer unless they can prove that they are capable of making their monthly payments. Furthermore, in order to increase your credit limit, you will have to have written permission from your co-signer.
The Truth in Lending Act (TILA)
The Truth in Lending Act is a law that “gives consumers the right to cancel certain credit transactions that involve a lien on a consumer’s principal dwelling, regulates certain credit card practices, and provides a means for fair and timely resolution of credit billing disputes.”
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) & Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
The FDCPA and the FCRA when combined, equal your consumer rights in regards to credit and debt. The FDCPA focuses on protecting consumers from abusive debt collectors, while the FCRA ensures that a person’s credit report illustrates accurate information. Here is an excellent video and summary of the FDCPA, and here you can learn about the FCRA.
The Federal Fair Credit Billing Act
The purpose of the Federal Fair Credit Billing Act is to “protect consumers from unfair billing practices and to provide a mechanism for addressing billing errors in “open end” credit accounts, such as credit card or charge card accounts.”
The Federal Trade Commission does a great job explaining this law in detail and teaches folks how to exercise their rights pertaining to this law here.
Additional Resources (if you found this page helpful, then we recommend that you check out the following pages)
1. Free Budget Analysis & Cash-Flow Tool (A great tool that allows you to organize your income and expenses, then getting a visual of your cash-flow)
2. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (Stay protected from debt collectors)
3. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (Ensure your credit report is accurate)
4. Credit Card Relief Programs (Learn about hardship debt relief programs designed to help consumers with paying off debt)
Golden Financial Services can further assist you with ensuring that creditors abide by these laws. To get a free consultation with one of our most experienced representatives simply call 866-376-9846.