Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Credit card companies on a roll

I got this email yesterday from Consumers Union (non-profit that publishes Consumer Reports). I fell for a scam, I guess -- the variable-rate credit card. Be very wary of any offers your bank (or whatever) is making at this time.

Dear [MOI],

It was unbelievable the first time the credit card companies jacked up our interest rates, doubled minimum payments and tacked on huge fees to try and beat a new February law that will help end many of their abusive ways.

Now, they're at it again, and getting even more creative. But with your help, we can stop them cold!

Just days ago the House passed a bill to freeze interest rate hikes on your card balances, and give you new protections starting Dec. 1 – just in time for the holiday season. House members read your emails and listened to your complaints, and acted quickly. Now, we need the Senate to do the same – a vote could come any day!

Call your Senators right now to stop the rate increases--we can't afford to wait!

This continued attack on your wallet is no accident. A major credit card reform law that you helped pass goes into effect in February. The card companies begged Congress to delay its implementation so that they could “update their systems” to comply with the new law.

But instead, they’ve spent the time hitting us with new tricks – like a fee for paying off card balances each month. Or variable rate cards that only “vary” if interest rates increase, but don’t give you the full break if they drop in your favor.

If the companies can retool their computers to accommodate these tricks, there’s no reason they can’t abide by the new rules right now. After last week's bipartisan House vote , we have real momentum. Now the Senate must hear that we can’t afford the card company tactics, especially with the holidays approaching.

Call your Senators right now to stop the rate increases--we can't afford to wait!

After you email the Senate, please forward this to anyone you know who is fed up with these tactics. We have immense power when we band together – let’s put the pressure on now!

Gail Hillebrand
A project of Consumers Union
1535 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103-2512

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