Consumers Must Watch for Unregulated Credit Cards

Publication: The Associated Press

Author: Eileen AJ Connelly


05/18/2011 - The sudden interest-rate hikes, high fees and steep penalties that last year's credit card regulations were designed to eliminate are still lurking in one segment of the credit card market: cards designated for businesses.

As a result, consumers who don't carefully read the fine print on card applications may learn the hard way that when it comes to such practices, "It's just business, nothing personal."

The credit card law that took effect a year ago has been deemed successful at making personal credit easier to understand, while saving consumers millions in interest charges, late payment penalties and over-the-limit fees. But the law that restricts the way banks can change rates or charge fees doesn't apply to cards labeled for business or commercial use.

A study released Wednesday by the Pew Charitable Trust's Safe Credit Card Project says that consumers are still vulnerable to these practices, because more than 10 million offers for business cards are sent to U.S. households each month.

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Read the full Associated Press article Consumers Must Watch for Unregulated Credit Cards on The New York Times' 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Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Safe Credit Cards Project on PewHealth.org.

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