08/20/2009 - New credit card restrictions are set to take effect today that will give consumers more information but only limited relief from high interest rates and fees.
Credit card issuers now must give consumers 45 days notice before changing interest rates or fees. They also won't be able to count a payment as late unless the bill was sent at least 21 days before the due date. The requirements are a product of legislation signed in May by President Obama.
Today's changes "give consumers important new rights," says Nick Bourke, manager of the Safe Credit Cards Project at Pew Charitable Trusts, partly because they "will make sure people have enough time to pay their bills."
The most significant provisions of the new law, however, don't hit until February 2010. These include restrictions on rate increases for existing card debt and on how issuers apply credit card payments and market to college students.
Read the full article Part of New Credit Card Law Kicks in Today 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Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Safe Credit Cards Project on PewHealth.org.