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Raining MoneyEven though I rarely use credit in the check out line, credit card debt is part of my life. I can’t say that I completely understand my monthly statement (I just pay it) but hopefully the next one will make more sense. I’m optimistic because new Federal Reserve Board rules that require credit card companies to be clear with consumers go into effect today.

In May 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility,
and Disclosure Act of 2009 (also called the Credit CARD Act).
The law is considered to provide the most sweeping changes in card
protections for consumers since the Truth in Lending Act of 1968. Some of the new law went into effect in August.

Among the rules that start today, credit card companies have to notify you 45 days in advance of increasing your interest rate, changing fees (which now have caps), or whenever they plan to make any other significant changes to your card agreement. Companies cannot increase the interest rate of a new account for the first year and these increased rates can only apply to new charges. There are a few exceptions to these rules, such as introductory interest rates that expire in less than a year and revert to previously disclosed rates. The Federal Reserve Board has set up a website to help consumers choose a new credit card.

What do you think of these new credit card rules?

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