On Monday, Feb. 22, 2010, the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, otherwise known as the Credit CARD Act, went into effect. It’s supposed to protect credit card users from such actions as credit card companies suddenly increasing interest rates or changing fee amounts or any action that puts the consumer at risk for being taken advantage of by credit card companies.
However, unless you work in banking or are really astute when it comes to comprehending the language in legislation passed in Washington, chances are you may only know the highlights of the Credit CARD Act but not the details of how it can really help.
That’s why a new web site by the federal government is a handy “cheat-sheet” in knowing not only the new rules laid out in this Credit CARD Act but learning how to responsibly use credit too.
Though 42 percent of Latinos surveyed in November 2008, as part of a study by Experian Consumer Research, said that they don’t like the idea of being in debt, nonetheless, of those with credit cards, debt is all too familiar.
In a separate study by Demos.org, 79 percent of Latino households carried credit card debt, compared to 54 percent of white households.
To help Latinos better understand how to evaluate any new credit card offers they might receive or even how to improve their credit scores, the Federal Reserve Board created a website dedicated to credit cards.
Featuring information like the new rules for the Credit CARD Act, how to read the new credit card statements, understanding the vocabulary used by credit card companies or tips on how to get the most from a credit card without falling into debt, the site’s focus is making people smart about using credit — and in these times when too many people are living paycheck to paycheck, it’s a lesson that everyone needs to take to heart.