Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dodd Seeks to Freeze Credit Card Rates

In a new move against the credit card interest rates, Senator Christopher Dodd introduced new legislation attempting to freeze credit card rates. It seems that many card companies are attempting to increase rates before the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act goes into effect (see Dodd Bill and Dodd Pushes). The banks argue that the freeze would require them to cut back on lending.

Consumers are justifiably mad about the rate hikes (See Debtors Revolt). The Debtor's Revolt has a new youtube video where she calls Chase Bank for raising her interest rate to 21% and closes the account. While I applaud her "revolt" response to bank's raising rates without good cause to do so, consumers need to be cognizant about the effect that closing accounts has on their credit scores. This is particularly true when it is a longer held account (in the Debtor's Revolt Chase incident, it appears to be a newer account as she mentions an introductory rate). Having received one of these rate increases in the mail myself recently, it reminds us all to read these stock letters from the card companies. While paying off credit card debt has historically been a good thing, the changing strategies of banks raising rates, closing accounts and reducing credit lines may force consumers to be more cautious than ever with card companies (See Suzi Orman, Change in Credit Card Strategy). Let's see if Dodd can plug this hole.
See here for the video:


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