NASE Blogs

Credit Card Companies Driving You Crazy? Have No Fear, President Obama is Here! [Commentary]

Aug 24, 2009

Posted by Kristie Arslan- Are you fed up with the credit card companies? Are you sick of unexpected rate increases, late fees, and those Terms & Conditions pamphlets you get in the mail with the font so tiny and the language so confusing you need a lawyer with a magnifying glass to comprehend it?!  Well have no fear, President Obama is here! 

Last Thursday, August 20th, the first consumer protection bill signed into law by President Obama went into effect and the White House is celebrating.  This law, the Credit Card Bill of Rights, protects consumers from a number of burdensome, unpleasant practices that the credit card companies have perfected over the years.  According to President Obama, "consumers will have more time to understand their statements; Companies will have to mail them 21 days before payment is due, not 14. And this law ends the practice of shifting payment dates. This always used to bug me -- when you'd get like -- suddenly it was due on the 19th when it had been the 31st."

Additionally, new rules require more disclosure by the credit card companies on statements regarding balance pay off and interest accrual if consumers only make minimum monthly payments.  Retroactive rate hikes will no longer be allowed, and credit card companies are required to provide consumers with 45 days notice for any changes to the terms and conditions of their credit card.

This is all good news for the self-employed who are often forced to use credit cards to finance much of their business.  Now all we need is for the President to fix the credit crunch and create a functional loan market for micro-business so that entrepreneurs wouldn't need to use their credit cards to fund their business in the first place.