The Senate and Congress passed a bill that would finally give us some credit card fee relief. Well, it’s about time the average person got some relief help. Up to now, all the help has gone to the banks and auto industry. Very little help has come to us who are supporting the failed banks and car industry bail out. This is a step towards stopping the gouging by the credit card companies.
Credit card companies relentlessly think of innovative ways to tap into our funds. Some ways are quite imaginative. The ones I like are increasing your interest rate without telling you and for no apparent reason. Credit cards companies are known to increase interest rates when the consumer has met all their obligations timely. And if you’re savvy enough to call them, they will sometimes decrease it.
Then, there’s the dialing for dollars scheme. The card companies will allow us to pay our bill by phone. Then they charge fees as high as $10 to do so. How is that a help to us. It really hurts those who do not have Internet and want to avoid the ever high late fees. Yet, there are even companies who charge fees to pay by the Internet. The excessive and exorbitant late fees and over the limit fees are really where they get us. Once upon a time, there were no such fees.
Well now they will have to notify us two months in advance and give us a reason if they want to raise our rates. And no more dialing for dollars to pay our bills by phone or on the Internet. And as for raising our rates if we are late in paying, they will have to lower once we’ve paid timely for 6 months.
These provisions go into effect in February, 2010. The business relief went into effect immediately. So I’m not sure why the relief to us isn’t quite as swift. These things will help. But Mr. President, we still need so much more.