Credit cardholder protection laws to take effect
The first wave of new credit card rules go into effect Thursday. They?re designed to protect cardholders from interest rate hikes and give them more time to pay their bills.
Under the new laws, cardholders can reject rate increases, but must close their account and repay the balance within five years. Companies will also be required to give 45 days notice before they can increase rates, instead of 15 days. Credit card bills will also be mailed 21 days before the due date instead of 14.
Consumer advocates say companies will try other ways to raise revenue, so they?re advising cardholders to beware of credit limit cuts and new fees.