The credit card trap

Source: New York Times (Free Registration)

It’s only fair. The federal government is doing everything it can to restore the nation’s banks to health. In return, Congress should require those banks to give their credit card customers a better break. As the credit card business boomed in recent years, too many lenders added tricks and traps that have ensnared and infuriated millions of their customers. Interest rates spike even when a consumer meticulously pays on time. Fees appear out of nowhere; banks can change their complicated rules at any time or for any reason. Responding to thousands of complaints, the Federal Reserve Board issued new rules last December to help curb unfair and deceptive practices. But those protections will not take effect until July of next year. Congress now has an opportunity to move far more swiftly.

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