Credit Card Act Passes Senate

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act passed the Senate today by a vote of 90 to 5. From Sen. Mark Udall (received by e-mail, no link):

The 90-5 vote for the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act culminates four years of work by Senator Udall to clean up the fine print and bring fairness and common sense to the credit card business. Udall was a co-sponsor of the Senate Credit CARD Act, and as Congressman, he authored the bill in 2005, which became the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights and passed the House of Representatives last month. The House must now take a second procedural vote on the Senate bill before the final legislation can be sent to President Obama for his signature.


“All along, this battle has been like the story of David versus Goliath, and today, David finally won,” Senator Udall said. “Today’s vote in the Senate is a victory for consumers who play by the rules and who just want to see some fairness and common sense brought to the credit card business. Consumers shouldn’t be subject to constantly changing terms or rate agreements printed so small you need the Hubble telescope to read them.”

What the bill does, below:

The Credit CARD Act bars the use of “universal default” clauses – provisions that allow card issuers to impose a new, higher interest rate on a credit card account based on financial activity unrelated to that account. The bill requires advance notice of interest-rate increases and requires that cardholders be able to avoid paying a higher rate by cancelling the card before that rate takes effect. If a card is canceled before a rate increase, the remaining balance will be subject to the terms and conditions – especially the lower interest rate – that applied at the time of cancellation.

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    I coulda saved Udall.. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by kdog on Tue May 19, 2009 at 12:56:32 PM EST
    4 years a work...just cut the mofos up!  When the moneychangers run out of suckers, the terms magically get more palatable...no congress required.

    Of course (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by eric on Tue May 19, 2009 at 01:15:34 PM EST
    the bill does nothing about the real problem with credit cards:  usury.

    Of course not (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by tokin librul on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:43:37 PM EST
    That was the quid-pro-quo for this "victory" for the people.

    Obama needs these kinds of 'victories' and he buys these cosmetic "fixes" at the expense of 'real' transformation/change. But it looks good (if you ignore the fact that the credit card predators can still extort usurious interest rates if they announce 'em...


    Interesting (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue May 19, 2009 at 01:22:04 PM EST
    Don't see any rate caps, though......

    Halfway measures are nice, but couldn't the Democrats who own the Senate, the House and the Presidency have come up with something that doesn't get near 100% approval from the Republicans?


    and you won't. (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by cpinva on Tue May 19, 2009 at 03:19:11 PM EST
    Don't see any rate caps, though......

    that provision was resoundingly defeated, 67-33, which means democrats voted it down as well. according to the CC industry, they need usurious rates of interest, to make up for all their losses from write-offs.

    of course, if they didn't insist on giving every troll living under a bridge a CC, their losses might not be as high............


    I have to say that I once had to allow a credit (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by of1000Kings on Tue May 19, 2009 at 07:41:54 PM EST
    card to be discharged/written off...

    I also must say that I would have been more willing to work with the issuing company if they were not trying to bend me over with all the fees they were charging and the absurd rates they (the loan sharks they are---no doubt about that and no way around it) tried to make me pay...

    that was in college, when they used to hand you a 2000+ credit limit card with your textbooks at the bookstore...whether you had a job or not...

    obviously it was still my decision to sign on the line, which is why to this day (7+ years since first entering college) I won't pay credit for anything...don't have a car payment (saved and paid cash), mortgage or a single credit card...
    the mangled money-changers won't get a dime from me (at least not directly, lol, the government will still give it to them)...


    Beautiful (none / 0) (#23)
    by NYShooter on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:34:21 PM EST
    Comment should replace whatever Webster uses as a definition for "Redundant."

    "Democrats, who own the Senate....."

    LOL, just beautiful


    I don't quite understand (none / 0) (#26)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:39:12 PM EST
    what you mean...just tell me if it was a compliment or an insult ;-).

    Oh, I'm terribly sorry (none / 0) (#53)
    by NYShooter on Tue May 19, 2009 at 05:38:25 PM EST
    For being such a dunce head and not being more clear.

    Of course it was a compliment, silly.

    It's just that the frustration so many of us have with the "Democrats having Congress and the Presidency" that they seem so timid and fearful most of the time.

    It's like, they have all this power, power WE gave them, and they don't seem to know what to do with it. They wet their pants (or panties) worrying what the big bad Republicans will think, instead of what WE, the people who sent them there, think.

    I don't know, your post, in a lot fewer words than I could ever do, just struck that cord.

    Again, Beautiful.......thanks.


    I think you meant Oxymoron (none / 0) (#57)
    by ruffian on Tue May 19, 2009 at 07:05:51 PM EST
    The juxtaposition of 'Democrats' and 'in charge' is seeming more contradictory every day.

    You're right, and (none / 0) (#61)
    by NYShooter on Tue May 19, 2009 at 08:30:28 PM EST
    oxymoron is also correct. But I replied to what seemed like a tongue-in-cheek question.

    It's ridiculous that a consumer has to cancel (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Joelarama on Tue May 19, 2009 at 01:27:17 PM EST
    a card to avoid the new rate.  You can't get good credit unless you have tradelines with a long history.

    I thought the bill provided that any new rate would apply only prospectively, and new payments would be applied to pay down the debt with the highest rate.

    Sounds like the bill has been watered down.

    I don't get the prospectively part at all (none / 0) (#42)
    by me only on Tue May 19, 2009 at 03:39:44 PM EST
    Credit cards are revolving lines of credit.  In reality you get a "new loan" every month.  This is unsecured credit.  That is the way almost all unsecured credit works.

    Well, it's so cut and dry. (none / 0) (#63)
    by Joelarama on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:45:54 PM EST
    Credit cards have different interest rates for all sorts of categories of funds (debt) on the same trade line:  one APR for balance transfers, one for purchases, one for cash advances.

    So, it's not at all unusual for issuers to assess different interest rates based on how the debt was created.  It's no fundamental shift to expect banks to apply an interest rate as disclosed when the debt in question was created, and apply any newly disclosed, higher rate only on new debt.


    Correction: (none / 0) (#64)
    by Joelarama on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:46:16 PM EST
    NOT so cut and dry.

    You are right on both fronts (none / 0) (#56)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Tue May 19, 2009 at 06:01:53 PM EST
    New rates only apply to charges made after the rates went up.  Payments beyond the monthly minimums have to go to the debt with the highest interest rates first.

    But I read that the new statute (none / 0) (#65)
    by Joelarama on Tue May 19, 2009 at 10:47:50 PM EST
    requires only that the credit card companies offer a cancellation in lieu of a higher interest rates on outstanding balances.  Am I totally misreading?

    No (none / 0) (#71)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Wed May 20, 2009 at 10:01:24 AM EST
    That is what the companies are doing now.  The bill prevents retroactive interest rate increases.  For prospective rate increases, you can argue with them or cancel.

    People who voted for (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:05:03 PM EST
    a credit card interest rate cap:

    Burris, Durbin,  Sanders, Feingold, Schumer, Lautenberg,  Webb, Dodd, Casey, Merkley, Conrad, Dorgan, Gillibrand, Harkin, Inouye, Kerry, Klobuchar, Levin, McCaskill, Menendez, Reed, Reid, the two Udalls, and Wyden.  Grassley was the only Republican to vote yes

    32 Democrats, 1 Republican.

    Kinda moots Mr. Obama's reasoning for not voting for a cap a year ago...that the cap was too low....

    Now they have big majorities in Congress, now they can win on capping interest rates ... if they really want to....they don't.

    Roland Burris, (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by KeysDan on Tue May 19, 2009 at 05:38:46 PM EST
    We have not heard much from or about him lately.  But, he does vote right.

    regulation, who needs regulation (none / 0) (#17)
    by of1000Kings on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:07:50 PM EST
    the financial industry is perfectly capable of regulating itself..

    okay, almost had a straight face when I said that...


    If the House can't strip the gun amendment... (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Joe Steel on Tue May 19, 2009 at 03:02:46 PM EST
    The Senate added an amendment to the bill allowing firearms in national parks and recreation areas.

    If the House can't strip the gun amendment, the bill should be voted down or Obama should veto it.

    Probably it will be yanked in conference (none / 0) (#35)
    by andgarden on Tue May 19, 2009 at 03:09:35 PM EST
    Yeah right (none / 0) (#37)
    by Steve M on Tue May 19, 2009 at 03:14:58 PM EST
    An amendment that passed 67-29?  Who is going to yank it?

    Um, the conferees (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by andgarden on Tue May 19, 2009 at 03:34:40 PM EST
    At least, that's what the Republicans would have done. The Democrats, of course, are completely spineless.

    Sometimes (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by eric on Tue May 19, 2009 at 04:00:40 PM EST
    they would even change the bills without getting both houses to approve the change.  LINK

    After conference, they should just take the gun stuff out and send it to Obama.  


    That was Don Young's game (none / 0) (#48)
    by andgarden on Tue May 19, 2009 at 04:09:10 PM EST
    Of course, the House leadership could simply report a new bill out of the Rules committee and avoid a messy conference.

    Oh (none / 0) (#43)
    by Steve M on Tue May 19, 2009 at 03:48:23 PM EST
    If that's really how the Republicans behaved while in the majority, yanking amendments that passed by an overwhelming majority and were supported by a majority of their own caucus, I'm not sure that's something to be proud of.

    I don't see what having a "spine" has to do with it.  Half the Senate Democrats supported the amendment.


    It's not insidious in this case (none / 0) (#47)
    by andgarden on Tue May 19, 2009 at 04:07:48 PM EST
    The Amendment was passed by one body but not the other. And I can pretty much assure you that a majority of the House majority would not support the amendment (though a majority of the House sadly would).

    There is nothing for the Republicans to be proud of as far as policy is concerned, but they were very good at getting their agenda passed.

    Meanwhile, the Speaker says:

    "I'm the Speaker of the House," Pelosi told reporters. "I have to take into consideration something broader than the majority of the majority in the Democratic Caucus."

    I would like to think that's a lie for public consumption. The evidence of the past Congress shows that it's not.


    Once again, spineless Pelosi (none / 0) (#77)
    by andgarden on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:57:47 PM EST
    a sucker born every minute? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue May 19, 2009 at 01:07:32 PM EST
    now its more like every nanasecond.  as long as there are stupid people and poor people they will never stop exploiting them.
    I am interested to see how their new plan of soaking the high end customers is going to work out.

    It's another taxpayer subsidy! (none / 0) (#44)
    by uspoverty on Tue May 19, 2009 at 03:51:57 PM EST
    That's what I just concluded on my blog: that charging "responsible" card holders more just subsidizes the excessive profits these banks have gotten used to...Same bailout, different packaging.

    I doubt this. (5.00 / 5) (#49)
    by Joelarama on Tue May 19, 2009 at 04:18:47 PM EST
    The banks of course will try to charge what they get away with across the board.

    But the people with good credit, who do not create charge-offs, will always be in demand.  Smaller banks and credit unions will compete if the big banks try in a coordinated way to increase annual fees.

    It's the people with marginal credit I worry about. Banks will find new ways to stick it to them because they have fewer options.  And consumer protection needs to keep up with them.  

     If anything people with poor credit are the ones who have subsidized the no-fee, high rewards cards for the people with good credit.  Same with all banking services, down to interest checking, for people who can afford to maintain high balances at all times.

    Its' expensive to be poor in America.


    Indeed it is (none / 0) (#50)
    by andgarden on Tue May 19, 2009 at 04:21:49 PM EST
    I was just saying the same thing myself. (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by uspoverty on Tue May 19, 2009 at 08:09:35 PM EST
    A month ago now.

    Wish I had as big a readership as WaPo!


    It's indeed expensive to be poor here (none / 0) (#59)
    by uspoverty on Tue May 19, 2009 at 08:08:24 PM EST
    I don't disagree. I'm just skeptical that competition will keep rates down.  Only 6 banks account for like 80 or 90% of all credit card accounts.  That's not a market, that's an oligarchy.

    Sorry, but (none / 0) (#66)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue May 19, 2009 at 11:43:12 PM EST
    people who can afford to pay their credit card bills on time and in full can afford an extra, what can they charge, 50 bucks a year or something, for the privilege of having the card.

    The credit card companies for decades have given credit to anybody with a pulse, knowing they could soak them if they got behind.  That has to be over, and the banks now have at least some incentive to do due diligence on the people they extend credit to.

    There may be only 6 biggies now, but if they raise their fees for good customers, a lot more smaller outfits who aren't in it now will get into it with lower rates to get those customers away from them.

    Live by the sword of capitalism, die by the same sword.



    It's an interesting question (none / 0) (#67)
    by andgarden on Tue May 19, 2009 at 11:45:19 PM EST
    Could I profitably operate a "don't be evil" bank issuing Visa cards?

    Hey, I'd sign up (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed May 20, 2009 at 04:06:02 PM EST
    There are lots and lots of smaller banks that don't operate on the principle of screwing the customer out of every dime to fund their derivatives trading and fraudulent mortage loan business.  My bank, Citizens, treats me like a human being, allows me a no-fee, no-minimum checking account, doesn't charge me a cent for debit card transactions, etc.  They also encourage their branches, however small, to operate like independents, and their employees at the good branches reflect that.

    As far as I know, Citizens manages to make a modest profit.

    It's entirely possible to do business and make a decent living without screwing your customers.

    Lemme know if you open a bank, Andg.  I'd sign up.


    Citizens is actually RBS. (none / 0) (#80)
    by andgarden on Wed May 20, 2009 at 04:35:56 PM EST
    Not a little guy.

    Didn't say it was a little guy (none / 0) (#81)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu May 21, 2009 at 12:22:16 AM EST
    but if anything, it goes to prove my point, that you can run a business, even a pretty big one, without looking to wring every possible last dime out of the customer, or your employees and/or suppliers (a la the cursed Wal-Mart).

    Citizens is no local bank (like the two-banch bank headquartered in the next town from me, whose old brick building is labeled in large letters just "Bank").  But it's not a mega-behemoth in the same class as BofA or Citi or Chase.


    Like David and Goliath (none / 0) (#4)
    by ruffian on Tue May 19, 2009 at 01:17:01 PM EST
    If David did not slay Goliath until the nation was razed.

    In other words, way too late for this to do any good.

    The Word Is (none / 0) (#7)
    by CDN Ctzn on Tue May 19, 2009 at 01:27:51 PM EST
    that the credit card companies will start passing the expenses on to the holders of good credit by re-instituting and in some cases increasing yearly fees and also by beginning interest from the time of sale. They always find a way of keeping their profit margins high.

    That is their plan (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by sangreal on Tue May 19, 2009 at 01:55:55 PM EST
    They are quickly going to realize that those of us "Sterling" customers (as they are referred to in the NYT article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/19/business/19credit.html?_r=2&hp ) will drop them like the bad habit they are if credit loses its advantages over cash. If we needed them, we wouldn't be sterling payers in the first place.

    This is an empty threat -- they will continue their current practice of increasing your limit until they finally catch you biting off more than you can chew.


    The word, yes -- it's on the (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Joelarama on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:01:19 PM EST
    front page of the New York Times.

    I suspect the NYT is once again playing the stenographer and this is the American Banker's Association playing scare tactics.

    People with good credit will always have options, and there will be banks and credit unions who will continue to lure them with rewards and no-fee cards.


    Well (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:37:44 PM EST
    they'll be slitting their own throats with that one. I have an excellent credit rating and I will cancel them. At least with this bill, the consumer has some leverage other than bankruptcy.

    And the word was (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by me only on Tue May 19, 2009 at 03:35:29 PM EST
    that when Obama was elected Gitmo would be closed and we would leave Iraq and and and...

    We'll see if any of the banks actually try to institute these changes.  We might see annual fees, we might see a few other items, but I suspect that most of this was rhetoric.


    hopefully they'll feel some backlash (none / 0) (#8)
    by of1000Kings on Tue May 19, 2009 at 01:39:11 PM EST
    from those consumers...

    I always hate the 'pass on the cost' arguments...
    just like with cap-and-trade...

    it's such a childish way of going about things...
    but I guess if you look at the way a lot of large businesses are run these days (especially in the financial sector) you'd probably think the companies were run by children anyway (no foresight for one, just like a child; and then there's the whole 'I'm taking my ball home or else' attitude like with the 'pass on the cost' arguments)...

    the Aristocratic classes in all societies (and ours, anyone who doesn't think we have one is kidding themselves) have never proven to be any more intelligent than your average person, just learned how to 'work' the 'game' in a little moral fashion...


    less moral (none / 0) (#9)
    by of1000Kings on Tue May 19, 2009 at 01:44:28 PM EST
    that is...

    (at the end of my post)


    That's easy for me (none / 0) (#10)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue May 19, 2009 at 01:52:08 PM EST
    My entire reason for having cards is the convenience.  I pay them off every month.

    Now, I'll just work in cash....that's fine, especially right now when interest rates are practically nothing.

    But the people who have to incur debt would just be screwed.  Who knows?  The banks might do better under this "protective" law than they did before?

    And I go back to my old statement...still no caps.  Cancel your card, shop for a new one and the new card issuers will just say, sorry, we have to charge the high rate too, because you're a risk...


    I use a (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by eric on Tue May 19, 2009 at 01:55:19 PM EST
    Visa check card/debit card.  Works everywhere a credit card does.

    Are you sure (none / 0) (#15)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:06:24 PM EST
    they won't attach yearly fees to your debit card too?

    Besides, I don't know what your liability is if the debit card is stolen, do you?


    It if is lost or (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by eric on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:09:59 PM EST
    stolen, you are not responsible for the charges.  

    Sure, it might be possible for them to start charging for the card, but I doubt they will, as there are tons of other banks that will give you a free check card.


    But, I haven't found a bank (none / 0) (#27)
    by NYShooter on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:40:16 PM EST
    that doesn't charge $.50, $1.00 on each transaction. They give you the first couple for free, then the charges start adding up.

    What bank doesn't charge any fees for debit cards?


    I use (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by eric on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:44:04 PM EST
    US Bank, and it doesn't charge me anything.  Everybody I know has one of these from either US Bank or Wells Fargo.

    Here's a link to mine: LINK

    BTW, I am the last one to advertise for US Bank, but this card does work well for me.


    Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by NYShooter on Tue May 19, 2009 at 05:46:29 PM EST
    (for the linK) and thanks to all below too.

    My bank, a small local/regional one, doesn't charge to use it's own ATM. But, if you use it to purchase stuff in stores, and they don't have the credit/debit option, and after the first few free transactions, they do charge a fee.

    Guess I gotta go shopping for a new bank.


    No Charges For My Debit Card (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by daring grace on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:51:51 PM EST
    which doubles as an ATM card.

    The only charge is when I access another bank's ATM, which I never do.  But for 'charging' things on it, none at all.

    This is from Keybank which is annoying in lots of other little ways.


    Some vendors (none / 0) (#36)
    by jbindc on Tue May 19, 2009 at 03:10:26 PM EST
    will charge you to use your bank card as a debit card instead of a credit card.

    I never use the debit option. It's all the same to me - comes out my checking account.  I'd rather the retailer pay the fee to VISA than me.


    You mean at your own bank (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by ruffian on Tue May 19, 2009 at 03:52:12 PM EST
    they charge you an ATM fee? Mine does not do that - Regions.

    Mine (none / 0) (#51)
    by nycstray on Tue May 19, 2009 at 04:46:27 PM EST
    I've been using nothing but my debit card for several years. I'm with a smaller community bank. They are close by so I don't rack up fees at the ATM either. I always have access to my cash and can use my card everywhere (and have!).

    I do get charged $1 for using non-bank ATMs, but that's hardly an issue. I usually take money out at the ATM at the bank before I go anywhere and it's right next to the subway :)  My monthly maintenance fee is 1.50. That's it.


    You do not have the same fraud protections (none / 0) (#16)
    by Joelarama on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:07:03 PM EST
    with a debit card as with a credit card -- credit cards are better in this respect.  I urge you to look into it.

    I do credit counseling pro bono, and it's something of a sideline passion for me.  I always tell people that if they are able to spend within their means (and that's a big IF for some) credit cards are always the better option, especially no-annual fee rewards cards, again IF they are able to pay in full and not pay interest.  It builds credit for the future, and provides a cushion for a rainy day.

    Beyond the added fraud and warranty protections, using credit cards often and responsibly is the best way to build credit, and good credit will save you many thousands of dollars when you finance your cars and home.


    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by eric on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:20:52 PM EST
    that there is any difference between my check card and a credit card.  It is from US Bank and they have a zero responsibility policy for fraud.  I think most major banks probably have this also.

    With regard to building credit, my credit was burned down a long time ago.  No going back.  So I won't be buying a house or a car on credit.


    There's always a way to recover (none / 0) (#24)
    by Joelarama on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:36:19 PM EST
    with credit.  You'd be surprised.

    Well (none / 0) (#32)
    by eric on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:50:09 PM EST
    maybe there is hope, then.

    There is. There is a great (none / 0) (#41)
    by Joelarama on Tue May 19, 2009 at 03:37:39 PM EST
    website and online community that can help.  Go to CreditBoards.com.  Go to the credit forums and spend some time looking at the "newbie" materials.

    It's a public forum, so rely on info at your own risk.  But there are many knowledgeable people who participate there.  And there are many ways to fix and strengthen your credit -- legal ways.


    I have an account (none / 0) (#79)
    by Bemused on Wed May 20, 2009 at 04:34:18 PM EST
     specifically for making routine incidental purchases and I use my debit/ATM card exclusively. It makes it much easier to keep track of things than paper checks or cash purchases.

     I always maintain a small balance and the account is not linked to my general account. If it were to get stolen,  no one would get much money. There are no fees except for withdrawing cash at  ATMs belonging to other banks but that's only a couple of bucks and I do that  maybe twice a year.

      I have a business line of credit and a personal credit card but really those are just in case of an unforseen disaster.



    Well, you do and you don't (none / 0) (#19)
    by andgarden on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:10:22 PM EST
    You typically get the same fraud protection. But when a  debit card is stolen and used, you're out the money until the bank decides to replace it. With a credit card, it's the bank's problem.

    In other words, a credit card is a good layer of abstraction over your checking account.


    I have done enough of these cases (none / 0) (#20)
    by Joelarama on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:19:02 PM EST
    to disabuse me of the idea that debit card users have the same protections.

    In many cases you have to fight the bank tooth and nail to get your money.  I just finished up an identity fraud case with Bank of America (they are the worst, in my experience) involving thousands in ATM and debit withdrawals from a fraudulently created account.  

    My client is out several hundred dollars -- and we just had to give up for a number of reasons.  And I was doing this pro bono.  Imagine hiring an attorney.

    What you say is correct, but not always reality.


    Fair enough (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:33:20 PM EST
    Which is why, in practice, I use a credit, not debit, card.

    I used to specifically request a vanilla ATM card, instead of a debit card, but that never seemed to stick. (After the next acquisition, I'd get a Visa branded debit card).


    The consumre (none / 0) (#28)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue May 19, 2009 at 02:41:55 PM EST
    advocated Clark Howard says to never use debit cards for certain purchases. They are fine for restaurants, grocery stores but dont use them for a major purchase. He said that if you do, you may NEVER get your money back and like you said with a credit card that's the bank's problem not yours.

    I also use my debit card (none / 0) (#52)
    by MO Blue on Tue May 19, 2009 at 05:27:41 PM EST
    instead of a credit card. Works just fine for me too.

    "people who have to incur debt" (none / 0) (#74)
    by Ben Masel on Wed May 20, 2009 at 01:48:57 PM EST
    are already screwed, or they wouldn't "have to" incur debt.

    Word from whom? (none / 0) (#68)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue May 19, 2009 at 11:51:16 PM EST
    That sounds like wingnut fantasy to me.

    They can and will, and probably should, increase or institute yearly fees.  But charging interest from the time of purchase?  Oh, don't make me laugh!

    The sole reason people have credit cards is to avoid paying cash on the spot.  If they try to charge interest from the time of purchase, only total deadbeats and morons will use credit cards.  The rest of us will pay by debit card or check.  Total nonsense.  There's zero point to using a credit card that way, and the banks know it.

    Not to mention new competitors will jump into the business, start from scratch and only offer cards to people who are credit-worthy, and take every last bit of business away from any outfit that tries to charge interest from time of purchase.


    It's a bluff (none / 0) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 20, 2009 at 07:01:32 AM EST
    and not even a very good one.  We don't need them.  They need us because they are charging retailers about 6% on everything we purchase with their card.  If I didn't have a credit card though it wouldn't change my life much.  I few things I would have to adjust how I go about doing but nothing painful.

    My husband figured out (none / 0) (#62)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue May 19, 2009 at 09:44:07 PM EST
    what they did...

    The tiny benefits Congress gave credit card holders give the credit card companies free license to give no grace period on charges and add annual fees.

    Card companies say, "see!  We had to do it because the government was so HARSH!  (wink-wink-nod-nod).

    Nytimes (none / 0) (#72)
    by CST on Wed May 20, 2009 at 01:27:19 PM EST
    has a pretty good write-up of what the bill does.  I like almost every provision except one - which just seems glaringly wrong to me.

    "No one under 21 can have a card unless a parent, legal guardian or spouse is the primary cardholder. Students with their own income can submit proof and ask for an exception to the co-signer requirement.

    The senators, in an apparent endorsement of helicopter parenting, also require written permission from the parent, guardian or spousal co-signer for any increase in a card's credit line."

    I get it - they are trying to protect young people from themselves.  But 18 is legally an adult.  You can kill people in the army and vote without parental consent.  You should be able to get a credit card.  

    I think we're moving to a place (none / 0) (#73)
    by andgarden on Wed May 20, 2009 at 01:43:37 PM EST
    where we really believe that the majority is 21, and not 18. Otherwise, I agree, 18 should be the one age.

    I admit that I have some conflicted feelings on the subject.


    Well (none / 0) (#75)
    by CST on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:33:20 PM EST
    my initial reaction was a lot worse, but once i realized you could get a waiver if you have an income it's not so bad.  Not everyone goes to college.  Some people start working early, and want/need to build credit early.

    As for the 18 vs. 21 debate - I think it's pretty silly.  I am fine with 18, I just think it should be consistent across the board.  Sure, not all 19 year olds are responsible adults, but the later you push the age at which people are considered adults, the later they will actually grow up.


    I think that's probably right (none / 0) (#76)
    by andgarden on Wed May 20, 2009 at 02:36:15 PM EST
    21 to drink has some good public policy justifications, but it's also pretty insulting and unfair. (Not to mention that it promotes irresponsible behavior).