New credit card rules could hurt consumers - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

ConsumerWatch

New credit card rules could hurt consumers

By Zaneta Lowe  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - "At the time, I did not have anything on the card, so I had a zero balance!"

However, that didn't stop Jeannie Smith's credit card company from raising her rate.

"I received a notice that my rate was going up and I noticed that it was almost tripled," says Smith.

Smith's interest rate went from a little over 3% to 11.99%.

"Why would you go up on somebody that has never been late with a bill," asks Smith?

It's a question many consumers have raised, and one that will hopefully be answered with a new bill signed into law that's supposed to protect consumers from abusive credit card practices.

One notable change, the legislation bans retroactive rate increases.

"Now, what that means is if you have a balance and a credit card company increases your rate, in the past, that increased rate applied to your existing balance, with the act, the increase in the rate will only apply to new purchases," says Dr. Norman Godwin, CPA and Director of the School of Accountancy at Auburn University.

The legislation also states a customer has to be 60 days late before penalties hit, and if you start to pay on time and in full, there's a chance you can get your old rate back.

Another positive, added disclosure.  Credit card companies have to make it plain.

A move some experts say gives consumers no excuses.

"I think if you see plainly how much a particular purchase, say a $200 purchase is costing you in interest and fees, you may think twice about purchasing that product or you may certainly pay it off faster," says Dr. Godwin.

That's the good.  Here's the bad, credit card companies could lose money with these changes, so who do you think they'll get it back from?

"I would imagine that the credit card companies would raise rates for all consumers just to recoup some of their ability to generate revenues, also some of the reward programs that they have may be scaled back," adds Dr. Godwin.

Smith is one of millions that's received a letter from her credit card company recently.  She says the new changes are a start, just too little too late for her.

"You know you think you're doing the right thing, and even still, your rates may go up too."

Some experts say the best way to get a lower interest rate from your credit card company, is to simply pick up the phone and call.  Negotiate for a better deal, especially if you have offers from other companies

.

  • LocalMore>>

  • Veterans and volunteers help feed families in need

    Veterans and volunteers help feed families in need

    Saturday, June 23 2018 7:15 PM EDT2018-06-23 23:15:35 GMT
    East Alabama, veterans and volunteers with the Mission Continues welcomed members of other organizations to help feed the hungry across the Chattahoochee Valley. (Source: WTVM)East Alabama, veterans and volunteers with the Mission Continues welcomed members of other organizations to help feed the hungry across the Chattahoochee Valley. (Source: WTVM)

    From serving our country to serving the community in East Alabama, veterans and volunteers with the Mission Continues welcomed members of other organizations to help feed the hungry across the Chattahoochee Valley. 

    More >>

    From serving our country to serving the community in East Alabama, veterans and volunteers with the Mission Continues welcomed members of other organizations to help feed the hungry across the Chattahoochee Valley. 

    More >>
  • Columbus Police arrest man on rape and battery charges

    Columbus Police arrest man on rape and battery charges

    Saturday, June 23 2018 6:04 PM EDT2018-06-23 22:04:49 GMT
    Suspect was arrested for rape and battery charges. (Source: Columbus Police Department)Suspect was arrested for rape and battery charges. (Source: Columbus Police Department)

    The Columbus Police Department arrested Leslie Bey Baskinbey on multiple charges.  Baskinbey was arrested on charges of rape and battery.

    More >>

    The Columbus Police Department arrested Leslie Bey Baskinbey on multiple charges.  Baskinbey was arrested on charges of rape and battery.

    More >>
  • Top Stories on 9: Week in review

    Top Stories on 9: Week in review

    Saturday, June 23 2018 3:05 PM EDT2018-06-23 19:05:55 GMT
    Jordan Jenkins is a current NY Jets linebacker and former Harris County High School graduate. (Source: Jordan Jenkins Twitter)Jordan Jenkins is a current NY Jets linebacker and former Harris County High School graduate. (Source: Jordan Jenkins Twitter)
    Jordan Jenkins is a current NY Jets linebacker and former Harris County High School graduate. (Source: Jordan Jenkins Twitter)Jordan Jenkins is a current NY Jets linebacker and former Harris County High School graduate. (Source: Jordan Jenkins Twitter)

    There were a lot of interesting stories that happened nationally and also some things around the local area that you might have missed. Also, an NFL player from Harris County returning to town to give back to the community  Here is what you might have missed: 

    More >>

    There were a lot of interesting stories that happened nationally and also some things around the local area that you might have missed. Also, an NFL player from Harris County returning to town to give back to the community  Here is what you might have missed: 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly