04/24/2009 - President Obama pledged Thursday to support legislation that protects credit card borrowers from unfair rate increases and cracks down on issuers who engage in deceptive lending practices.
Obama said that while credit cards are an important source of liquidity for consumers and small businesses, "The days of any time, any reason rate hikes and late fee traps have to end."
As credit card issuers grapple with ballooning loan losses, they've raised rates and fees for millions of consumers. From March 2007 through February 2008 alone, about 70 million credit card accounts — nearly one in four accounts — had their rates raised, costing consumers at least $10 billion in additional finance charges, estimates Pew Charitable Trusts, a public policy group.
Read the full article Obama Gets Tough on Abuses by Credit Card Industry on USA Today's Web site.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Safe Credit Cards Project on PewHealth.org.