As part of the CARD Act, there were several new rules that went into effect on Sunday. They are:
• Reasonable penalty fees. The new fee can’t be more than $25 unless you have been late within the last six payments, in which case it can be up to $35. I fail to see how this is going to motivate people not to be late.
• No more inactivity fees.
• No more multiple fees for the same transaction.
• Rate increases must be accompanied with an explanation.
• Rate increases must be evaluated every six months to see if a lower rate is appropriate.
I saw a commercial today for a company that made the claim that “debt settlement is YOUR RIGHT,” and that people can “drastically reduce” their balances. This kind of stuff gets on my last nerve. I think that people should have to dump most of their material possessions first and THEN the balance can be reduced to whatever acceptable level (this still bugs me but at least people wouldn’t be getting off too easily). Of course the glitch in my idea is that not all credit card purchases are for material goods.
Anyway, overall, I think these changes are okay. I never liked inactivity fees. Late fees are totally okay by me. If you don’t want a late fee then pay your bills on time. It’s not that hard to figure out.