Freezing Credit Card Rates; About Time
The latest news is that Connecticut Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat, proposed Monday that there be a freeze on the interest rates and fees on existing credit card balances until the new credit card law takes effect. This follows a proposal by the House to move the new regulations up from February to December 1st.
Not that we haven’t talked about what the credit card companies have been doing to all of us often enough, but it’s sure nice that it’s finally getting some attention in Congress. It’s too late, even if it passes, to save many of us from what’s already taken place, including canceling our cards, but maybe both of these moves will slow down the rush of what’s been going on, because many people are victims to this change, and they didn’t do anything wrong. I’m wondering if some senators have suddenly seen their credit cards jump as well; you know they’ll always go on the attack when someone is trying to take their money.
Something else about this credit card thing is that it’s not just happening here in the United States. Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom announced plans to make credit and store card operators “clean up their acts” by trying to stop not only credit card solicitors jacking up rates, including payment rates, but issuing unsolicited credit card checks and a couple other things.
And it’s not only there. Canada, the Philippines, and many other countries are also finally saying they’ve had enough from these credit card issuers and are looking at ways to stop the assault on consumers. We don’t always think about other countries when things like this are happening to us, but this proves misery loves company.
Of course, the credit card industry isn’t staying silent, although there may not be anything they can do about it. A representative from a group called the Financial Service Roundtable said they oppose the freeze, stating that interest rates aren’t going up because of the impending law, but because banks are in trouble because of the unsteady economy and people defaulting on credit card payments. Oh course, he didn’t address the reality that most of the people who are experiencing these high interest rate increases aren’t people who have been missing payments, so that argument holds little water.
Keep your eyes and ears open; this could be a good thing for us all if Senator Dodd can push it through.