¶There are new restrictions on when credit card companies can increase the interest rate on balances you have already run up. The bill says that banks generally must wait until you are 60 days late in making the minimum payment before applying a penalty interest rate to your existing debt.
¶Card companies will have to give 45 days’ notice before raising their interest rates.
¶Banks must send out your bill no later than 21 days before the due date.
¶If the card company gets your payment by 5 p.m. on the due date, it’s on time. Also, no more late fees if the due date is a Sunday or holiday and your payment doesn’t arrive until a day later.
¶If you are paying different interest rates on the debt on a single card — one for a cash advance, another for a balance transfer and a third for new purchases. Now, when you make a payment over the minimum balance, banks will have to apply it to the highest-interest debt first.
¶Banks will need your permission before allowing you the “privilege” of spending more than your credit limit and paying a fat $39 fee for that privilege.
¶Students will find it more difficult to get a credit card. No one under 21 will be able to have a credit card unless a parent, legal guardian or spouse is the primary cardholder. However, students with their own income can submit proof and ask for an exception to the co-signer requirement.