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Photo of Beehive Money Expert Mary Hurlburt

Credit Card Changes Have Begun

The official change in credit card rules began August 20. New provisions will make paying credit card bills easier but in today’s economy many will still find paying down credit card debt is a huge challenge.

Is your credit card company complying?

  • Bills must be mailed 21 days before the due date. The former rule was 14. This should prevent a large number of consumers from having to pay late fees.
  • There will now be a 45 day warning before terms can be changed instead of the current 15 days. This buys consumers time, but there is no provision that sets a limit on rate hikes. The good news is that consumers can reject the changes.
  • Rejecting Changes. Be aware that rejecting changes in the terms to the original agreement includes closing your account. Closed accounts will have to be paid off within five years. Families struggling to make minimum payments may find that their new minimum payment may be more than they can afford.

All the new rules will be in place by August of 2010. In the meantime consumers must continue to be alert. The next changes are scheduled to be in place by February, 2010.

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