In the News: Credit Card Complexities

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Credit Card Complexities

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Some elements of the Credit Card Act of 2009 will benefit cardholders, such as generous time for delivery of credit card bills, 45-day advance notification of changes in accounts and policies, and required cosigners for those under 21 if they can't prove they are able to make payments.

However, the Credit Card Act is also likely to negatively impact some consumers. In order to pay for lost revenue from the above policies, some companies will impose mandatory yearly fees and printed statement fees, among others. Interest rates will also be changed from fixed rate to variable in many cases (Amber Dakar, "Credit Card Changes Looming for 2010,", Jan. 22, 2010).

Having a credit card in your name is an important responsibility. Credit cards aren't free money. If you are going to use a credit card (some financial advisers recommend not using them because people tend to spend more with a credit card than they do with cash), always be sure to pay off the entire amount every month. With the new changes in policy, check out a potential credit card company very carefully and know beforehand exactly what you will have to pay.