The Federal Reserve Board approved the second set of new rules as part of the Credit Card Accountability and Disclosure Act of 2009, which will go into effect February 22 of this year, in an effort to protect consumers. The act amends the Truth In Lending Act ("Regulation Z"), the Federal Trade Commission Act, and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act. The following are some of the changes to look out for with your credit card company. There are exceptions to all of these new rules and regulations, which you should read about at www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/wyntk/creditcardrules.htm.
- If your credit card company changes certain rates and/or fees, they must give you 45 days notice before doing so.
- Your credit card company may not increase your interest rate for the first 12 months after you open your account.
- Only new charges will be affected by an increase in your interest rate.
- Your credit card company will not allow you to spend over your credit limit, unless you have given them permission to do so.
- Potential credit card holders under 21 may need a cosigner or to show proof of their ability to pay.
- The consumer may only be charged fees on their current billing cycle.
- The credit card account holder must receive their bill 21 days prior to its due date, which must be the same day every month.
If you would like more information about the new credit card rules, visit the consumer informational site at www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/wyntk/creditcardrules.htm or the Federal Reserve at www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/bcreg/20100112a.htm.