Once enacted, the credit card bill will only make it harder even for non-delinquent consumers to apply for a credit card, said the American Bankers Association. ABA claims that the legislation will only limit citizens options towards financial freedom at a time when credit cards can be of great help to Americans survive the volatile economy.The ABAs plea was not heeded by Senate as proven by the fact that the credit card bill is now already in the hands of President Obama for signing. On the other hand, the arguments presented by the banking industry should not be taken lightly. If you analyze the repercussions of passing such a bill on the credit card market, there is truth to the claims of ABA. Due to such restrictions on interest rate increases and retroactive interest rate penalties, card issuers would be forced to charge higher interest rates upon the activation of the card. It is also possible for banks to lower credit limits and restrict reward systems. Penalties on late payments are said to also increase by 30% in a couple of years. In the midst of all the debate, cardholders are the ones experiencing the heat. An example of which is the issue with a major credit card issuer, Advanta Corp. Just this May, the bank announced that it will cease lending 1 million of its small-business cardholders due to bad debts. Even those cardholders who pay on time are experiencing the credit card crunch. Leading banks in the US are already cutting on credit limits depending on the holders history of card use, purchases, and payments, making it harder to apply for a credit card. Credits of consumers who live in states hardly hit by the mortgage dilemma were also cut back, even if these holders are making the payments right on the dot. Such measures implemented by card issuers are no surprise. They are sure to make all the necessary preparations before the legislation hit them full throttle. According to Robert Hammer, credit card company adviser and RK Hammer Investment Bankers, the onset of the credit card bill will only make the availability of credit card scarce, and that with or without the legislation, banks will still raise interest rates. The credit card bill is all about upholding consumer rights and protecting American cardholders from the abuses of banking institutions. On the other hand, there is no such thing as a perfect legislation. There are still some loopholes in the master plan to save American citizens from the drowning economy. Now that the bill is already brought to the fore, Congress should do everything in its power to make sure that the fight to pass the bill will not be in vain. Constant coordination with banking industry should also be made in order to protect and help those who want to apply for a credit card at this critical time of the economy to get the best deals without being taken advantaged of by issuers.
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