The Card Act of 2009 is Really of 2010

by Kevin on May 22, 2009

As we discussed earlier in the week, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009 was passed by Congress. It is being sent on to President Obama for his approval.

I thought there was one last small yet huge point to make concerning this new legislation.

The Act Won’t Apply Until 2010

The changes within the legislation all sound decent to me (government intervention aside).

However, the act is not going to go into effect until at least February 2010.

Why?

To give the credit card companies time to adjust and react to the changes. I’m guessing they’ve had lobbyists and are fully aware of what is coming toward them.

Yet they still have more time to adjust.

What Will Credit Card Companies Do?

I suppose this makes sense — you would throw a fit if your industry faced massive changes and you had to react instantly.

Yet I can’t help but wonder what they’ll do in the meantime. Jack up all of the rates now (since they won’t be able to as easily increase them in the future)? Flush out all of their poor accounts before the act goes “live” as a law?

It’s tough to tell. I’m glad I use my credit cards wisely. If I were in credit card debt right now I would be very, very nervous about potential changes coming my way.

It’s all for the better, I suppose. Short-term pain (the next 9 months or so) to get long-term gain (better credit card terms all around). Let’s just hope the cornered industry executives don’t think of something that much more “evil” to combat the changes.

{ 3 comments }

Ashley @ Wide Open Wallet May 23, 2009 at 10:02 am

I got a letter from my credit card the other day saying that in Jan 2011 my interest rate is going from 9.99% to 21.99%.

Notice this is happening in 2011…. they are getting a jump on the bill.

Diane May 23, 2009 at 12:56 pm

I don’t think giving the credit card companies time to ‘adjust & react’ is a good idea! I am concerned about what evasive action they will take in the meantime.

Many recent articles have stated that this will result in penalizing good customers with annual fees, loss of grace period on purchases, higher interest rates, loss of rewards programs. I hope that’s not true, but I’m afraid it may be.

I’m also glad that I have no credit card debt. I have the option of closing or not using cards. I will not charge anything I can’t pay for when the bill comes, unless in case of extreme emergency. I’m hoping that won’t happen, since I do have an emergency fund.

I could live without the rewards program, which would just reduce my monthly use of the card. I will also reduce use to 1 charge per month if the grace period is removed. I have 3 cards now, and if all go to an annual fee I will definitely close 1.

At least I have options…

Kevin May 27, 2009 at 8:25 pm

@Ashley: Wow that is … really weird. Talk about planning ahead!

@Diane: I’m not fond of it either, but I think it is only “fair” … imagine if your industry had a bunch of forced changes… it takes a time to integrate the new changes into the massive corporate organizations (additional training, changing IT systems, etc.)

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