April 21st, 2009
05:00 PM ET

How would you regulate the credit card industry?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Something else to add to President Obama's ever-expanding to-do list: regulating the credit card industry. The president and his chief economic adviser, Larry Summers will meet tomorrow with executives from some of the top credit card issuers. The administration has vowed to crack down on high interest rates and predatory lending practices it says contributed to the economic crisis.

New measure would call for clearer labels on credit card offers - similar to food nutrition information labels.

Many lenders have raised credit card interest rates significantly as the recession drags on; which means defaults and delinquencies have shot up. Consumer groups are especially critical of companies who raised rates on existing card holders while they were getting federal bailout money.

Meanwhile the House Financial Services Committee is looking at a bill that would call for clearer labels on credit card offers - almost like what's used for food. In the Senate, Chris Dodd is calling for stricter federal oversight that would say when lenders can raise rates and would prevent rate hikes in certain instances.

The Federal Reserve passed new rules that limit some credit card rate increases this winter, but they won't go into effect until July 2010.

It's no surprise that the banking industry is pushing back; they want the White House and Congress to wait until the Fed's new rules go into effect before taking any other action. And that's more than a year away. Lobbyists for the credit card industry argue that if the measures are too tough they could end up restricting the flow of credit to consumers and blocking the economic recovery.

Here’s my question to you: How would you regulate the credit card industry?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Marin writes:
The credit card companies are hurting the consumer rather than helping. The interest rates skyrocketed for everyone, even for long-term customers like me who have always paid on time. The only option they have left me with is that I have stopped using my cards.

Rich from San Clemente, California writes:
Jack, There's way too much fine print in all the offers. Take the ability to arbitrarily raise rates away from the companies. The card balance is a "loan" and should be dealt with as such: a fixed-rate loan with a definite term. Or, the government should open a national citizens’ bank and issue national credit cards that have fixed low rates and no arbitrary adjustments.

Gareth writes:
Only in America would you have contracts where one party can alter the terms to suit themselves at any time for any reason. They all operate out of South Dakota which legalizes usury, a den of thieves. Get a rope!

Richard from Colorado writes:
Encourage people to go to the nearest pair of scissors and destroy all of their cards and pay cash for everything except their home and possibly a car. This is only common sense.

Diana from Monroe, Michigan writes:
Make the banks that issue the credit cards pay the same rate of interest on customer's savings accounts that they collect on that customer's credit card.

Mark from Voorhees, New Jersey writes:
I would reinstitute the usury laws. What happened to them, anyway? They seem to have disappeared during the Bush administration. I just borrowed ten grand from the mob because their rates were cheaper than my credit card company.

Filed under: Economy
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Elmorr

    In a word – Revolt.

    April 21, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  2. Joe

    Simple, unless they stop their predatory practices, let's start charging them 30% interest and late fees for all the TARP funds we've given them.

    April 21, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  3. Bob

    Simply limit all credit card companies to a maximum percentage rate they can charge. Say, 10% on balance due. And outlaw all overdrafts, late fees, or other shenanagans they try & pull, etc.. Percentage on the balance due is all they can charge for, period!

    Of course, the federal goverment could take a cue from this and have a simple flat income tax, with no dectuctions or exemptions at all. Or, since there are so many illegal immigrants in this country, who don't pay taxes, simply have a national sales tax.

    But that would just make sense, and that's not how goverment operates. The government works for the companies that pay them to get elected, not the people they are supposed to represent.

    April 21, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  4. Sheliah

    The credit and banking industries are ALLOWED, legally, to REGULATE and RELEGATE....TAXPAYING consumers to various "credit worthy" levels (with a "point system" attached. Thusly, our credit can be RUINED for ever or we are unable, FINANCIALLY, to repair our reputations.

    Yet, the FAILURES of the banking and credit card companies are NOW.... not be REGULATED and RELEGATED by consumers (AKA...the bailout specialists) are NOT ALLOWED to have LEGALLLY...parallel system for the credit and banking industries? I am talking about LAWS with "teeth"...not just a DUMB consumers bill of rights...or something stupider than that......

    I want to know why? Credit card companies and the banking industries should ALSO have a method "whereby" consumers can rate them...and it mean something...include THOSE COMPANIES...going out of business!

    April 21, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  5. Adrian: Pierz, MN

    Credit Cards should have been regulated long ago! Credit Cards are the reason for this economic situation. They borrowed and borrowed money to people and eventually they borrowed people so much money that "we" the people could no longer afford the payments. It comes down to greed and maybe the Obama administration should force their CEO's to resign as well much like the auto industry. Credit Cards should be doing the same thing as the banks are doing to stimulate the economy and be lowering rates instead of raising them! They are actually hurting the economic situation more by raising interest rates making it even more impossible to get ahead. We should sue them!

    April 21, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  6. Don W.

    Cardholders must understand what they're getting into, and card issuers must not be able to sneak changes by their cardholders. But we mustn't hamstring market mechanisms to do it. So: (1) Terms and conditions must be written in plain language (8th grade English, for example). (2) If the terms and conditions allow changes to be made by the card company, then (2a) such changes must NEVER apply to transactions occurring before, or balances created before, the change; and (2b) the company must get explicit cardholder consent to each and every change of terms before it can be effective - with the caveat that the issuer can decline further charges if the new terms aren't accepted (but not declare a default solely on that basis). And, no, using the card after a change doesn't constitute consent - the new terms must be physically or electronically presented to, and signed by, the cardholder before they're effective. (3) Penalty interest rates and other punitive actions must last no longer than till the end of the billing period following when the default was cured. In other words, if I miss a payment, once I'm current again, I should get my regular rate back by the end of the next billing period. (4) Cardholders must be able to specify what balances a given payment is to be applied to if different parts of their balances carry different rates, terms, or conditions. Absent such specification, payments should apply first to the oldest balances; if there are multiple charges at different rates on the same day, the higher-interest charges goes first.

    April 21, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  7. Jim

    All the laws brought about by lobbying, or in plain english bribeing, should be repealed immediately. The public is not stupid, just powerless to change things. It is about time someone with the power to do so, stopped the usury. Before the lobbiests did their thing, people would go to jail for charging the interest rates that the banks charge every day.

    April 21, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  8. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: There needs to be ursary standards with the credit cards companies similiar to what some states require. There needs to be come oversight committee that sets maximum rates that can be charged and also regulate fees that can be imposed. Very importantly, these instructions needs to be in readible print so that grandma and the teenager can both understand what the rules are.

    April 21, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  9. Mr. Seeking Advice Omaha NE

    Please help. My family of 4 is overloaded in credit card debit and now facinga potential bankruptcy situtation. We have never been late on a payment nor ever exceeded our limits yet the companies have raised our low rates (most under 9%) to new levels which make it almost impossible to pay the bills while still putting food on the table. I recognize the debt is our fault for living beyond our means combined with home reparis, a failed EBay business attempt and vetrenarian bills. I've called some of the companies (Capital One and MBNA) myself to seek assistance but they wouldn't do a darn thing. I've called non-profit credit counseling and they recommended bankruptcy due to our high credit card debt ($95k+). I don't want to do this but I feel I may have no choice as we've already changed our budget. I want to be responsible and avoid the "B" word, but I feel the companies have left me with little choice. Is there any other advice you can give me? Thank you.

    April 21, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  10. Scott Hines; Janesville WI

    There should be truth in lending requirements that force these companies to make their interest charges and other fees painfully obvious to all aconsumers. Force them to provide examples that illustrate just how much they are truly charging their customers so people truly understand what they're getting themselves in to.

    Other than that, leave it alone. If people are stupid enough to bury themselves in credit card debt, they get what they deserve. Let them file for bankruptcy. If these companies don't learn to manage their riks, eventually it will drive them under. Which is as it should be.

    April 21, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  11. Alice J.

    It's a two parter. We charge what we can't always afford, much less pay off, and the credit card companies are giddy with their willingness to prosper from this behavior. We need to charge less, they need to reward us with lower rates for paying on time. We do not need another "CZAR" to oversee this no brainer.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  12. kyle evans wa,

    You mean to tell me that the U.S Government is finding it easier to regulate the internet than to impose regulations on credit cards debt seems to be an easy way to suppress free speech .

    April 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  13. joaquin cruz

    The credit card industry is ussing the excuse that if tough federal measures are implemented, the flow of credit to comsumers would be restricted thus blocking the economic recovery.

    What are they taljking about, the retriction of credit to consumers has been steadly going on for the last 3 or 4 years. They have been raising the interest rates and lowering the credit limit on consumers wheather you pay on time or not. This is the main problem thatis causing the economy to spiral. Consumers are only able to pay the minimum and not able to buy goods.

    We need the rates brought down under ten percent or lower and not punish consumers that pay on time and are good customers.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  14. Jason from NC

    Jack- Have you ever considered that rates are rising on credit cards because people are defaulting, not the other way around? Didn't the government require fast food joints to post calories for their meals, and don't we still have an obesity problem in the USA. We need to educate people in this country that access to credit is a privaledge granted those with good credit, not a right of every citizen. Responsibility is a virtue this country is quickly removing from our vocabulary.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  15. Mark

    They are already restricting the flow of credit raising interest rates, reducing limits, and cancelling cards thereby blocking the economic recovery. Small borrowers have been abused for too long. People are fed up and if governement doesn't step in and do something now who will. Why in the world should banks be charging $50 late fees and limit fees as well as charging 33% interest. Cap the amount of fees and interest they charge along with minimum payments. Force them to play fair or don't play at all.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  16. Lorraine Mancuso

    Why are credit cards companies permitted to incorporate in states that have no cap on interest charged and then charge holders of those cards in all states anything they can get away with? If I were to charge 29% on a loan I would probably be in violation of some law...The Federal Gov't needs to set a cap. The high interest rates are paralyzing many American families who need to use credit for expenses that can not be put off.

    We all need to learn to live within our means but sometimes it just isn't possible and the outrageous interest charged makes getting out of a hole just about impossible.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  17. Cory from Laurens, SC

    As consumers we can all regulate the credit card industry by spending less than we make. When people live within their means they have no need for credit cards. If they have to use them, people should pay off the entire balance every month. If everyone followed those simple rules the credit card companies could raise their rates all they want and we wouldn't have to pay a dime of it.
    Everyone in this country has been drowning in debt for years now thanks to credit cards. Now that the economy is tanking people are no longer spending money they don't have. Interest rate hikes are just a symptom of an industry pitching a fit because no one is using their product anymore.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  18. Joe Ferrara

    i would write a law banning all lobiast.
    I would Nationalize all credit card companies.
    Limit all interest rates to 5% maximum
    I would arrisr and convict everyone involved in gouging citizens.
    There must be laws put in place that blend
    socialism and Capitalism. both a haver a place in society in the free world.
    Joe Ferrara

    April 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  19. Matthew Zarazua, Bay City, MI

    Was there ever a time in human existence when it was frowned upon to make money simply by having it? It doesn't seem right to me to allow this fractional reserve system to exploit lower class citizens all at the cost of, well, the lower class. Banks get bailed out by the government, and then in return raise interest rates extremely high. I went from an interest rate from BofA of 7.9% to 19.9%. I've been late one payment in the last 4 years I've had the card, and that was due to an online banking update that didn't carry over auto payments in my profile....another long story. I carry a balance on the card for most of the year, pay it off, then repeat the process. I'm a good card holder. I work hard and I am responsible. I make less than 50k a year. What will I do now. Nothing. I will think twice about using the card. I will only use it now when I can pay it off before accruing any interest. I know what I won't do. I won't use it much. It's sad that today, money isn't worth anything except more debt. Money equals debt, and debt equals money. Bankrupt the banks, and let the rich learn a lesson. Have the bailouts helped anyone on "Main Street"? It hasn't made a difference on my street. I want Obama Bucks too!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  20. Michael Kline

    If you are near your limit and a fee comes in- annual fee, interest charge, late fee, etc- that takes you over the limit then you are also charged an overlimit fee. If you cannot pay the balance down before the next billing cycle, which may be only days away, you incur another overlimit fee. Overlimit fees continue to accrue until you can pay the balance under the limit, and that amount keeps growing. If you cannot pay that whole amount you accrue late fees as well adding to the problem. This can push someone who is already struggling into default. I would put limits on fees. Banks will initially think this reduces their profits, but they will have fewer defaulted accounts. They only get about 5 cents on the dollar when they have to sell a defaulted account to a collection agency.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  21. Buck Henry in Tejas

    1. Fixed interest rates remain fixed for the duration of the cardholder's account, not until the credit card company feels like raising them.

    2. Accounts cannot be cancelled by the company unless the accountholder fails to make a payment after at least 90 days past due.

    3. Fees for ATM cash withdrawals on credit cards are eliminated.

    4. Fees for late payment are eliminated. The interest added to principal is penalty enough.

    5. All legal and financial disclosures are simplified, written in plain English (not legalese) and printed in larger type for easy reading.

    6. Fees for minimum levels of account activity (card non-use) are eliminated.

    Jack, the credit card industry is absolutely out of control with deceptive and usurious, "gotcha" practices. The industry is highly unethical and needs broader, stricter regulatory controls to protect American citizens.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  22. RUFUS

    Do not get me started. This industry is out of control and with the fat cat lobbyists, nothing will change and maybe this is a good thing. You see, the next bailout request will be due to credit cards and Congress and us folks are so fed up with wasteful spending that there will be no money for this bailout and the clowns that run these companies may actually have to regulate themselves since the consumer may do the unthinkable–cut up there cards and pay for what they NEED by paying CASH.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  23. Wingnut in Santa Fe

    I see nothing wrong with the CC companies getting the same sort of dry humping that we have all had to take over the years. Seems only fair to me.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  24. Karl from SF, CA

    Has the term usury evaporated from our vocabulary? If it did it was no doubt during the past eight years along with most other banking regulations. We need to limit the maximum interest on cards, or any loans, as well as the amount of any incremental increases in interest or decreases in spending limit, baring a drastic change in the customer’s circumstances. Just changing it “because” doesn’t wash.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  25. Ryan

    The problem isn't the credit card companies, it's the people who use credit cards. Don't use them......ever!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  26. T. Alden

    EZ! Just make it a law if you don't pay your bill in full at the end of the month.....you lose your credit card!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  27. Fred

    I suggest to prohibit raising interest rates on existing balances. Banks should be permitted to reduce credit limits and otherwise restrict further use. Seems to me a win-win for banks; consumers who lose employment or otherwise suffer a lower credit score still need some credit, but will reign-in credit use if 1) further use limited and 2) higher interest on new loans. But they still will need some credit until getting back on feet and are thus more likely to continue payment of minimums for existing balances.

    Credit card companies may also assist consumers to use cards more responsibly during these stressed periods by allowing use selectively; to buy food, gas, etc. but not jewelry, etc.

    Lastly, and perhaps more controversially, initial credit card scores, updated from time to time, should be used to create “refund groups” which may share from a reserve fund banks have against bad loans (and for which they get tax relief.) If the reserve is hit lightly, all members of that group get maximum “bonus.” If the reserves are more strongly impacted, the bonuses may be less. Encourages everyone involved to want to work on improving credit scores and discourage others from misuse of credit.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  28. Kim

    Regulations may help, but they'll be too late. In the meantime, the credit card industry is going to destroy itself. I recently received a notice that my finance rate is doubling on one of my few credit cards, but I was able to reject it. I will also close this account, pay off my balance, and never have another credit card with this bank.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  29. michael armstrong sr.

    dear jack its simple I would AUDIT THEM TWICE A YEAR !

    April 21, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  30. Doug

    Sure – regulate the credit card industry, banks, brokerage houses or any institution that handles the almighty dollar. What's next, there's a snowball stand around the corner from my house that has high school kids dispensing change to unsuspected consumers – maybe we should call for congressional meetings on standards and best practices for authorization to access the register in order to dispense said "change". By 2012 I fully expect to pay over 50% of my income in taxes and still be considered unpatriotic, have the healthcare I receive, the car I drive, the money I try to save or invest and the utilities I use be controlled by 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. I also didn't realize signing up for "change" meant changing the country I lived in.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  31. Rick

    First of all I've actually canceled 2 credit cards in the last 2 months because they all the sudden send me notices that the rates are going up. I make my payments and I don't have even 20% of the credit limit being used. The last notice I got was from Bank of America...and we know they got gov handouts, the way the notice was worded was so complicated Albert Einstein wouldn't have been able to figure our what they were going to charge. It was like a percentage plus what ever the prime rate was and then it was going to be the highest of 3 months prior or something like that. Who comes up with these rate definitions? What gives them the right to charge me the highest rate of 3 months prior. I don't get it, and I didn't understand it, so I opted out.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  32. Kevin ,Florida

    Limit the outrageous interest rates. Second, prohibit student soliciting, because credit companies know that most will default driving rates thus higher. Finally eliminate all "hidden fees". Honesty and Transparency must be demanded of all American Business.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  33. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    I would not allow any interest rates above 10%, any rate above that is nothing more then loan sharking, and loan sharking is illegal!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  34. Jim F

    How about not allowing them to raise interest rates on current balances? I can't think of any other situation where it's legal to change the terms of an agreement after the fact.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  35. Double N

    Forgive my ignorance, but isn't it already mandatory for credit card offers to have a federally regulated sheet? I don't have a degree in Economics, but I know that an introductory offer of 0% and a regular rate of 17% belongs in my shredder. Maybe this money would be better spent on a public education campaign instead; you know, stop the problem at the source.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  36. Dan

    While magnified "fine print" might help, how about simply regulating ourselves? Credit Cards aren't a problem until you apply for and use one.

    Logan, Utah

    April 21, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  37. James

    I strongly believe that all credit card rates should be capped at a percentage above prime. This should be reflective of what it costs the banks to borrow money. There should be a mortorium on raising of rates on customers in default or deliquent in payments. The interest rate may need to be minimized and then a set period of time of payoff to be established and then close the account or do not allow it to be used until the balance reaches a certain level or is zero. Only a bank or an idiot would think raising interest rates or charging $35 per month late or over limit fees is going to make the customer pay back quicker. They just throw the towel in and make no efforts because to them it is a losing game they cannot win and get ahead in paying off the debt.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  38. Daniel

    Banks that have recieved TARP funds should not be allowed to cut limits or raise rates. These institutions are cutting thier own throats by trying to squeeze more revenue from card holders. This cycle will lead to more write downs when card holders are unable to make payments, not to mention hits to their credit scores. The cutting of balances may seem like a good idea on paper. Common sense would say cutting balances would lead to less money being spent with these cards. The dangerous side of this move would be lowering someones credit score, since debt-to-credit limit is used in the FICO system. This could cause a person with a good credit history to fall below the minimum score needed to qualify for stricter loan standards. Punishing card holders for a banks mistakes is robbing Peter to pay Paul, it will not work and will cause the banks even more problems.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  39. fwalker

    Freeze the interest rate at 18%, not 29% or more. Make the credit card companies give rebates to the holders when they pay on time for 6months. Average card holder will never be able to pay off card because of the awful interest.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  40. Jo


    Most credit cards are issued by banks and other financial institutions which are already regulated, just get the regs changed or tightened for fees. penalties and usuary rates. Don't add more rules. Getting Delaware & South Dakota to adopt usuary rules would be good too There is a reason card companies issue their cards from those two states.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  41. R B Smith - Austin

    I would make them practice what they preach. First I would cap the interest rate they could charge. As their cost of borrowing money has gone down they have continued to steadily incrase the rate they are charging consumers. If the credit card company has been given TARP funds then the cap would even be lower as should any late fees or other charges. (Imagine charging penalties to the people/taxpayers from whom you just borrowed money.) I would get rid of the concept of universal default. It is preposterous that becuase you might be late on a credit card company with one firm then another one can use that as an excuse to increase your rate. (Thank God restaurants don't have the same policy.) Let the government set us a regulator specifically for consumer credit such as this. Lastly offer them incentives to hire higher quality people for their call centers and incentives for having their call centers in the US.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  42. Christopher Long

    We need a federal usury law. Credit card issuers are charging rates that would have been considered loan sharking decades ago. And if it slows the flow of credit to consumers, then so be it. If a person is so risky that a bank has to charge 35% interest to loan them money, then they have no business getting a loan and the bank has no business giving it to them. Isn't loaning money to people who couldn't afford to pay it back what got us into this mess in the first place?

    April 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  43. Tony Kassebaum

    Well, the credit card issuers can do whatever they want for the present. I have excellent credit, and have recently gotten notices of interest rate increases. I have opted out and paid off many of my cards recently. The rate of return they receive is adequate. The rate these banks pay on CD's or other insured investment vehicles, is well disgusting, almost nothing considering the rate of inflation. As far as the stock market goes, I would trust the casinos in Nevada before I would trust Wall Street. At least the casinos in Nevada are regulated. They have to have enough cash on hand at all times to cover their bets. I think that the rules concerning the credit card industry that go into effect in 2010 should go into effect now. I am not to happy with all the "BAILOUT" money the banks have received. All that is doing is prolonging the inevitable, these bank's failures, as well as all of us who are creditworthy, paying for these banks stupidity, and carelessness in their business practices. If you really look at the big picture, we who are still creditworthy, by these entitys raising interest rates, well, we are the ones who will be repaying the TARP money that came from us, the taxpayers initially, that we the taxpayers loaned the banks. What a way to run a business.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  44. Mike

    From Burlington, Vermont.
    No one has mentioned that if people get into trouble with their credit cards the companies will assess a late fee that can cause an overlimit penalty. They force a positive feed back loop which in addition to jacked up penalty interest rates they add their own penalties which helps to feed themselves even faster.
    they've gone far enough in my opinion.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  45. Chris, Seattle WA

    Making regulations that don't go into effect for over a year is just ASKING for card issuers to abuse cardholders for the next 16 months.

    How about enacting change NOW?

    No raising rates on existing balances. No raising rates for late payments on other bills. No double-cycle billing. And some kind of limit on default rates. 35% or 40% is ridiculous.

    Oh, and how about realistic limits for people with bad/no credit? There's no way college kids should have cards with a $5k or $10k limit. Critics who talk of restricting the flow of credit really SHOULD limit the flow of credit to unworthy borrowers.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  46. Jeff Canuck

    Interest rates should be set, and if the bank wants to increase them, the bank can only change on new debt (after 30 days), not on existing debt. That seems fair. But I'm just a Canadian, used to rational banking.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  47. emma,NYC-NY

    How can we regulate credit cards when we can not regulate the media when they make Dick cheney look like a hero?

    April 21, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  48. bob williams

    Today I got a phone call from Capital One saying they had lowered my credit limit by $8500. I have FICO of 780 and have never missed a payment in my life. Most months I pay off the balance in full. The effect of lowering my limit will lower my FICO score (since it's partially based on the amount of unused credit you have). Why are they doing this?

    April 21, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  49. Darren

    I would regulate the credit card industry by:

    1. Issuing clear cut laws on what rates the companies can charge based on a card holder's credit rating. The credit card issuers can then sort out who and how they want to market and issue credit too, instead of everyone paying for the poor credit risk's defaults. This would probably mean that high risk borrowers will not be issued cards, which is probably what should have happened in the first place.

    2. Also, the original interest rate can never be changed per card holder until the balance is paid off.

    3. Late fees would be capped at $15.00 and would also not be allowed in the computation of interest owed on outstanding balances.

    4. Available credit lines would be strictly tied to cardholders' IRS documented taxable income.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  50. Rene Salazar

    The credit card industry as a whole if run by shameless mercenaries. I got a 33% interest rate raise this past October, and I´ve always been on time with my payments, which are always at least twice the minnimum due. I´ve talk to this company, and asked them not to punish me for paying on time. They wouldn´t do it. Seems to me they just want people not to pay their debts and go into default. I´m upset by this, but otherwise OK, and it will take me longer to pay, but I will pay. I sure hope they don´t receive bailout money, and if they did, I hope the government will not give them any more money, so these dumba***s drive their business to the ground. They don´t deserve to make a profit like this.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  51. Harold, Phoenix,AZ.

    This is a big one. Educate the user, establish the attitude of never paying
    interest. After setting it up, practice the policy. The consumer is in control, walk away the companies will beg for suckers.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  52. bobwhite, Ks

    Interest rates that are set by the regulators, not the credit card companies. No add-on fees allowed. Credit limits for any customer can be established at which point no additional credit will be allowed by the credit card company. I suppose that my rules would immediately cause the credit card companies to refuse to issue or extend credit which might be the best thing that could happen. But as things exist, now, the credit card companies are simply licensed to steal from customers. That must end!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  53. Rahn Hasbargen New Brighton, MN


    We should regulate them like we are doing every other major financial institution in this country: Give them taxpayer paid bailouts (whether they need it or not), use the "bailout" as an excuse for the federal government to take over the credit card company, then have the federal government run the company. After all, fair is fair.....

    April 21, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  54. Chris Wells

    Credit card interest rates need to have a maximum limit of no more than 15%, one of my cards is at 27% interest even though I've never missed a payment and have always paid more than the minimum! Interest like that is bordering on loan-sharking!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  55. Ann in California

    It is an insult to US soldiers for these methods to be used. They are dying to protect American principles and values and the Bushies were busy perverting them. For all those who do not think that these methods are illegal and immoral, what standing would you have to protest similar treatment of US soldiers if they were captured by a foreign and hostile entity? Would you argue that such treatment was against the Geneva Convention?

    April 21, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  56. Laurien DuTremble

    If you owe a thousand dollars and just pay the minimum payment due each month it takes you 30 years to pay it back. The 30% interest rates are criminal. These people need a bailout? Please!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  57. Ben, Albany, NY

    Move their lobbyists out of Washington DC.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  58. CommonSense

    Predatory practices are totally out of control. Teaser rates can change almost overnite once a large purchase is made.

    Some remedies:

    Interest rates should not be determined by which state the card is issued but rather which state the credit card holder works or lives.

    Credit card interest rates should only adjusted on an annual basis and tied to well-established indexes.

    Credit card companies should not be able to manipulate the FICO scores that can result in higher interest rates based upon these scores.

    Credit card companies should not be allowed to raise rates based upon payment history of other accounts or insurance claims.

    Those that regulate the industry should not be allowed to receive loans and credit lines that are not available to their constituents.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  59. Ron

    Well, we know where a lot of this credit card abuse started. It started with our buddy Ronald Reagan, when he eliminated the "usury regulations" on such things as credit card interest rates. Lest we forget, there was an upper limit of about 17%, or so, at that time. Now the SKY is the limit. People can have their interest rates raised for no real reason, except by the whims of the greedy credit card companies. At times, it could become 29.99% (or more). Even if no payments whatsoever are late or missed, they do it anyway for some obscure reason. Waiting until July, 2010 is sure not of any help. We will be so deep into them by then, it won't matter if anything is done. The stupid part of it all, is that as the interest rates go up, the late and missed payments also go up. Is that supply and demand?? This country is screwed. We are taking it in the shorts from every direction.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  60. Jonathan Wolf


    As a Libertarian-leaning-Democrat, I have to ask: why would we WANT to regulate the credit card industry? Without risk of calling our elected officials the dreaded "S" word (Socialist), I have to say that I'd feel much better if our elected officials would stay out of our piggy banks and stop trying to screw with our financials. Yes, credit cards jacking up interest rates are a problem, but here's a better solution than the government interfering with the free market: STOP USING YOUR CREDIT CARDS, AMERICA! Just because our elected officials can't seem to keep the national debt under control doesn't mean that we have the right to live way out of our means.

    Jonathan Wolf
    Pulaski, TN

    April 21, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  61. Ken in NC

    Credit card companies should be regulated in the following manner. They may raise interest rates or other fees as they see fit provided they give each affected card holder a 45 day notice. Use of the card beyond the 45 day notice would constitute acceptance of the increased fees and or rates. If the consumer chooses not to accept the increases he/she shall cut the card in half and return it to the company and the company shall then be compelled by law to forgive the outstanding customers debt.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  62. Max--Oklahoma

    Jack, i've had this happen to family members and co-workers when rates were raised from single digits to the mid 20's -no late payments and more than minimum payed. The opt out is available but many people don't catch that or are unable to be without this line of credit no mater the cost. One company was called and a supervisor, who probably was more truthful than the company would admit or support said that because of so many not paying, they had to collect revenue from those that were. Again it would appear that those that do the "right thing" are getting stuck. Is it no wonder that the middle class is getting frustrated, even mad! It seems that we're giving blood out of both arms at the same time. The solution is not rocket science, charge what's offered unless there are late payment/defaults. Quit offering "come on" rates and do some truth in advertising. Restricting the flow of credit????? I thought it was this kind of credit that got us in this mess.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  63. E

    1. Cap interest rates credit card companies can charge.

    2. Cap interest rates credit card companies can charge.

    and finally, the most important step,

    3. Cap interest rates credit card companies can charge.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  64. Tom Jones

    1. Ban any form of double cycle billing.

    2. Ban any form of interest rate adjustment, for any reason.

    3. Cap interest rates at 18%, and eliminate entry or acceptance fees.

    4. Reduce fees charged to vendors for credit card transactions by 25%.

    5. Require credit card lenders to fork over 5% of their annual profits to be equally divided among the nations childrens hospitals and cancer treatment centers.

    And last, but not least, spray liberal amounts of malathion on all members of congress, in order to rid them of all the credit lobbying ticks that are so deeply buried in their backsides it might take a flamethrower to get them off!

    Medford OR

    April 21, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  65. faith

    By waterboarding the credit card ceos.....

    April 21, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  66. Ralph

    They should charge no more than 5% above what the banks charge. After all wasn't it greed that got us in this mess?
    Beckley WV

    April 21, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  67. John Pizzolato

    Credit Card companies can raise your interest rate to upwards of 29% if your payment is received only one day past your due date. How can our government allow this? This is one of the biggest travesties of the Bush administration and a Republican Congress, Why can't this practice be stopped now? They make it impossibe for people to meet their financial obligations, much less get out from under their debts.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  68. Marco

    Aren't there laws against usury? How come credit card companies can charge rates that would be considered usury in other situations? The solution is simple, cap rates that credit card companies can charge, say 12%. when you are borrowing at 1%, you can still make really big bucks lending at 12%.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  69. Bob Lipsett Sr. North Attleboro, MA. 02760

    Instuite the "USUARY LAW" any charge over 21% is "LOAN SHARKING and is penalized by jail time. These crooks have had their way for far to long. Jack remember when the USA was the Largest Creditor nation, Reagan took care of that, now the largest debtor nation

    April 21, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  70. Monica Zanardi

    Bank of America holds 45% of my credit card debt . I requested them a home line of credit in order to reduce my interests from 33 to maybe a 7 / 8 % , changing my credit from unsecured to secure debt. The answer was no , your 702 credit score is not good enough. Was Bank of america's score good enough when they got a bunch of MY bailout money? shouldn't i get teh same treatment they did?

    April 21, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  71. Mike Farmer

    There should be a reasonable ceiling on credit card rates tied to the Fed Funds rate, or some other benchmark rate, which reflects the true cost of the funds to the banks. To allow max rates of 28% is a throw back to the late 1970's and early 1980's when consumer interest rates were unreasonable high on all loans.

    I just had one credit card company double a rate of 10.5% to 21% when there was never a late payment or other default–I cancelled the card.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  72. Dave Smith, Oklahoma

    Well, i'd change the mindset on how financial companies "Punish" common citizens for late or missed payments.
    I'd definitely limit rate increases to 1% annually to a max rate of 17%.
    The penalty for missed payments should be to reduce credit limit, and/or if habitual, cancel charge account priviledges and no new charge accounts should be allowed until that person pays off the existing balance under a mutual agreed payment plan.

    The current policy is to skyrocket the rates and fees, to levels that make a person incapable of paying it off or 'fixing' the situation, and all the while they often dont decrease the user's limits, or stop their charging capability..why? so they can get into worse trouble financially, and that seems to boost the CredCard companyies' bottom lines at the expense of usually poorer consumers trying to survive.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  73. Rick Medina,OH


    These are 'fair-weather' friends. About a year ago, I was getting 5 – 7 'pre-approved' solicitations from these guys every week. It was just insane. They all ended up in the shredder. Now, I get maybe 1 – 2 a month.

    A few months ago, I got a letter from a card company I've been with since 1977, telling me my prime + 5 rate (about 9%) was being raised to 28.99%. I was never a day late with them or anyone else, and my FICO score is 795. You cannot put on the air what I said to their representative on the phone, and you cannot share where I told them to put their card. I just paid them off. Unfortunately, there are many others who are not a position to do that.

    A contract should be exactly that - a contract. Unless a consumer defaults, the rate should remain the same on the unpaid balance. They can change the rate on future use ... and nothing else.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    April 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  74. mwita06

    Remember when there used to be laws against loan-sharking. The Bush Administration did away with those regulations. Now credit cards, payday loans, and banks can charge what ever interest / default rates they like. Don't you just love free market ideals?

    April 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  75. Jon H.

    Denver, CO

    I wouldn't. I don't need government to protect me from the evil credit card companies. Maybe consumers should read the fine print and before swiping the card.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  76. joseph fontanez

    Maybe they can get on banks that use predatory payment practices such as HSBC. It seems far fetched to me that in order for an online payment to post to my account I have to put in this payment 2 business days in advance. On the flipside if my billing period falls on a saturday or sunday then it's 4 business days in advance. Yet if I pay an extra $15 the payment can miraculously post to my account on the same day. I find it hard to believe they do not own the technology to post same day payments to one's account, and not have me pay a fee in order to do so. Yet if I make a purchase with my card the amount is deducted immediately. Seems like legalized extortion that not only puts consumers in a bind, but is also a way to make extra capital be it through a late fee or rush payment fee.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  77. LJB

    The credit card industry needs to be regulated by the government to prevent them from "sharking" the average person and business owners. They should have to show "intent" by the holder before raising any interest rate. They also need to be prevented from raising rates on all or any card just because someone else raises interest rates. Credit Card companies need to be forced to update the holders file immediately and to credit all payments recieved to the account even if the payment is received one day before the so called cycle. I had to argue with GE CardServices because they received a payment they said was one day to early and were trying to charge me with a late fee even though I made the payment before the due date. These are the types of illegal and immoral business ethics that has brought this country down and they will keep "sharking" the people for every penny they have, since the credit card companies do not care about you at all. THEY ONLY CARE ABOUT GETTING AS MUCH MONEY OUT OF YOU AS POSSIBLE AT ANY COST TO YOU.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  78. Dave (Port Washington, NY)

    Throw that crook Chris Dodd out (and I'm a Democrat)

    April 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  79. Peter Berk from Atlanta, GA


    I think the credit card industry should fund an educational program designed for all first-time credit card applicants. Many credit card users do not realize the harm of credit card debt before it's too late. All applicants must pass an exam before they can get a credit card.
    Our schools no longer teach basic economic/life skills – this is part of growing up and using credit wisely.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  80. Bob

    With a pair of scissors.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  81. Gareth Harris

    Only in America would you have contracts where one party can alter the terms to suit themselves at any time for any reason. They all operate out of South Dakota which legalizes usury, a den of thieves. Get a rope!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  82. Sarah

    My credit card limit was recently reduced to $10.00 over the current balance without any notice (so I now have a whopping $500.00 limit, which is useless). I discovered this when I went to rent a U-Haul and my card was declined. If I hadn't discovered this, the second the finance charges hit, I'd have been over the limit. I emailed the company and was just told "sorry." When I finally got the letter from the company citing the reasons for this reduction, which was almost 2 weeks later, the reasons stated were: (1) not enough transactions on other revolving credit accounts (this was my only credit card, the remaining "credit accounts" are for stores to which I shop infrequently) and (2) I don't have any mortgage equity. Apparently the fact that I don't have a mortgage is now detrimental to credit score. Frankly, there reasons are absurd and violate the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing implied with all contracts. I think the government needs to regulate, at a minimum, the notice requirements. They shouldn't be able to change the terms and conditions AND THEN notify the consumer after the effect.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  83. D.JOOF

    I think it needs to be requlated. There is absolutely no earned value or risk for a consumer to pay 28% interest rate. It is only greed and the same greed that lead us to the current crisis.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  84. Dianne from Paducah

    I agree with you Jack, If you can not pay cash for it, then you don't need it.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  85. Mark... Voorhees, New Jersey

    I would reinstitute the usury laws. What happened to them, anyway? They seem to have disappeared during the Bush administration. I just borrowed ten grand from the Mob because their rates were cheaper than my credit card company.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  86. David ......Michigan

    Simple.....Make them stick to the contract that was originally agreed to!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  87. Anthony...Swedesboro, NJ

    There should be a cap on interests rates at about 15% and restrictions on availability only to those who demonstrate the ability to pay. This is not rocket science. Plastic should be treated as a loan only to those capable of paying back. We all saw what happened when mortgage companies gave out money like candy.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  88. Robert

    I would limit cc interest rates to 2 percentage points over what the parent bank pays in interest on a interest-bearing checking account.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  89. MoneyedPoliticians

    I'd require that they send me an email every time a charge is made to my card. This would alert me to fraud, which they apparently profit from. Or they'd do this themselves.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  90. Bob O

    I am in financial difficulty like the banks. I did not loan to poor risks, I just got credit from banks who did. Now those banks want us good regular paying customers to bail them. I have a solution, all cardholders pay the very minimum for the next 6 months and by then the banks that are crooks will be gone, along with the debt they created.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  91. rippedoff2much

    regulate them the same why you do loan sharks because thats what they are!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  92. Marvin Bloomquist

    If the credit card companies were were required to charge reasonable interest rates, say 5% above prime, they would be more careful who they loaned money to. That's the way it used to work. With the current interest rates as high as 30% the credit cards are willing to take on any sucker who signs up. Folks charging those those interest rates used to be called loan sharks.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  93. John

    It's real simple. Re enact the state Usury laws. Ohio had such a law until the Stagflation of the late 1970s. The law simply said that the banks couldn't charge more than 5% above the prime rate.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  94. eric

    They don't need regulation, the people with the credit cards need some self control. How about letting the credit card companies post a sign of your balance on your lawn when you are delinquent.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  95. Jon from Tempe

    I would regulate the interest rate they can charge and I would repeal the bankruptcy reform laws that the Bush Administration put into effect. When a credit card company issues a line of credit to someone they need to understand that they are taking a risk and that someone may declare bankruptcy. If they understood this I think there would be a lot less credit cards issued. Wouldn't that be nice to make America less of a debtor nation!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  96. Adam in New Jersey

    This doesn't seem like rocket science to me. A credit card company should be locked into the interest rate it offers a customer for the duration of the card holder's membership with renegotiations when individual cards expire. While there should be a penalty for missing a payment, the fee should be a one-time nominal payment, not an interest rate increase.
    As for credit card companies restricting the flow of credit; let them. They'll be doing consumers a favor. These days, many, if not most vendors allow an ATM card to be used to charge a payment, so the need for a credit card is somewhat mitigated. Also, Americans in general need to be less reliant on credit anyway, and having diminished access to it will help them along on living within their means.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  97. Trevor S. Markett in Indiana

    I would do away with them,but I am 65 and recall when people lived without easy credit.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  98. ronald squires

    How about regulating the interest rate based on the rate that the banks charge now. and as the fed reserve changes it it changes. Should make them money plus keep us out of trouble and able to spend more. But then we are still looking for pot of gold that have locked up

    April 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  99. Fred

    I got a notice from a credit card company yesterday that they were raising their rate to 17.5% and their cash advance rate on all those checks they try to get you to use to 35% 35%? I can probably get better rates from the local loan shark. Congress needs to undo the deregulation of the credit card industry.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  100. Ryan

    If you don't want to restrict credit, I would consider minimal further regulation. You could put a usury in place for Federally regulated institutions and prevent lenders from changing rates. However, we have to remember that if we prevent lenders from charging high rates, lenders will respond by withdrawing credit from riskier borrowers. Market forces/economics will work their magic and their is plenty of competition in the credit card market to drive rates close to an equilibrium level.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  101. Pete Xander

    Cap interest rates charged to the prime rate plus a REASONABLE amount - maybe 9%? Why should credit card companies charge 26% when the prime interest rate is less than 1%? Add in the fact that the SOBs got hundreds of BILLIONS in free money from the taxpayers, and you have a usury situation. Cap the rates and ENCOURAGE consumer buying.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  102. Kevin

    Reinstitute Usery laws! Stop them from changing the deal at their leisure! They give you a contract, when you sign up. They should not be able to screw you over at will!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  103. Joel

    Jack, It has been the opinion of more than one person that you're almost as likely getting the same raw deal with either credit card companies of the mafia. Almost one-in-the-same...

    April 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  104. Bob

    I saw your comments on the credit card industry. I am a senior citizen and looking for a job. I retired 10 years ago and since then have not been able to catch up on my credit card. The interest keeps building and its impossible to catch up. Can you help me or recommend a solution. I have American Express and Visa.
    Thank you:
    Bob S.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  105. Dawson, Minnesota

    Grow up. Credit card companies are out to make money. Consumers need to regulate themselves first. Read what you sign up for and know what you can afford. You can always regulate your credit card use with a pair of scissors.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  106. Max Vogt

    The government could educate the public which I think is one of it's most important functions, that is largely ignored.
    Guidelines could be suggested about how much credit you should limit yourself to based on your income. When to have a credit card and simple steps to follow to keep yourself out of trouble. If these guidelines could be extensively published and easy for the public to find, then if the public gets in trouble with credit, it's their own fault.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  107. todd

    why are we all so worried about the credit card companies what about the payday loan places they are a joke 500 to 800% apr they should get regulated or outlawed before credit card companies

    April 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  108. john christopher - saskatchewan

    First we dismantle the Federal Reserve and put the power to create and regulate money back in the hands of the people through congress.

    Get rid of credit cards and let us get back to saving what we need in our lives rather than having credit card companies tell us what we want. Unless we do this the corruption will continue.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  109. Ron Ouellette

    That's a NO BRAINER my friend. Haven't these thieves STOLEN
    enough with outrageous fees. Forty bucks for late payments and
    increasing rates to 29%?? Again its the same, old game, the
    past administration let these thieves get away with it and now
    while many Americans are up against it these thieves are in the
    process of charging them more and cutting off credit. Remember
    when you got credit card offers every day in the mail?? Now they
    are afraid they will be hurt. The best solution, in my view, is to
    DEFAULT on every single credit card you hold, what are the
    credit card companies going to do, SUE, you can't get blood
    from a stone and the jails are full anyway. Let these thieves
    EAT IT ALL!!!
    Ron – Florida

    April 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  110. Tammy Bennett

    Atlanta, GA
    I received a letter from Bank of America two weeks ago stating they were (more than) doubling my interest rate as of May 1. I could opt out of the increase; however, if I ever use the card again, the agreement reverts to the new rate for the balance on the card and future purchases.

    I called and inquired about this change since I have never been late, missed a payment, and pay much more than the minimum due each time. The response was "we are doing it to all of our customers due to the bad economic times". I told them that would really boost consumer spending and confidence.

    There are three institutions I will no longer do business with.... Bank of America, American Express, and Wachovia. All three are unreasonable, impossible to deal with, and have implemented unacceptable practices dealing with consumers.

    Just so they understand.... the economy will recover, as will the consumer, and we will remember who we can trust.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  111. Jeff s

    Jack, bring back usury laws. People already struggling to pay their bills each month can't afford 30% interest rates! This needs to be done immediately not next year as planned.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  112. Mark, Kansas City Missouri

    The best way, make it easy to get relief from your credit card debt through bankruptcy. If it is easy to go bankrupt and have your credit card debts erased then maybe the credit card companies will be a little more particular to who they give cards to.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  113. Karine in NC

    Jack- let the credit card companies charge 1-5% more on their cards than the base interest rates they pay out on savings. They are robbing desperate people blind. But if we all stop spending on credit cards perhaps that would send the strongest message.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  114. Scott F

    Until today I had an agreement with Chase Bank that my Chase Visa card would have a fixed rate forever at 9.99%, as long as I pay on time and don’t exceed the limit. Today I got a notice from Chase that on my June statement the rate would increase to the Prime Rate + 9.99%, which they said would make the new rate around 13.24%, based on the Prime Rate as of March 16, 2009. According to the notice this is being done “to maintain profitability on your account”. The notice says that I have the option of keeping the 9.99% rate by writing or calling them and closing the account. Here is what I will do: I will pay off the balance on the card to zero, then I will call Chase and close the account, anyway. I urge everyone else who gets one of these notices to do the same.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  115. Don

    Declare any interest rate exceeding 3.0 times the prime rate to be felonious usury. Violators should be Imprisoned in our abandoned prison in Thailand.


    April 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  116. B. Segal

    I would recommend a simple two-pronged approach. First, "clear and conspicous" disclosure of the terms. Most credit cards can change reates at any time to any level. Each credit card application should say that in overwhelmingly large font. The disclosure requirement should be drakonian. Something like: "The interest rate on this credit card may change at any time for any reason without notice to the cardholder. The upper limit for the interest rate on this card is 25 percent. The rate will increase if you make your payments late, carry a balance, or in other circumstances." Second, the Rule should hold credit cards to their then current rate as a contract. If you incur a charge when the rate is 8 percent and then carry the charge as balance, the rate can vary slightly, per some rule tied to inflation or cpi or some other indicator. If the credit card company wants to increase the rate higher, they may do so only on charges going forward and only with notice to the account holder. The account holder should be given choice to close the account or disable the card from incurring future charges if he or she is not willing to accept the new rate. The bottom line is that credit card companies are getting away with charging very high interest rate to people with good credit. Their return is not proportional to the risk and they are able to achieve the return by increasing rates on captive account holders. If you agree to a rate, you should pay it, but credit card companies should not be able to double your rate once they realize you have nowhere to go.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  117. Sean

    Here's a thought: stop accumulating thousands of dollars in credit card debt.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  118. Greg Burke

    HI Jack,

    I think credit cards need a big label like Canadian cigarettes. Showing pictures of single mothers and their children in cardboard boxes on the street. We have moved into a new generation of environmentally and financially aware people(THE RECESSION). We need regulations to educate the average consumer and understand the drawbacks of lending and spending within consumer means.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  119. Mike – Denver, CO

    We are asking the same people that "regulated" the bailout money to have a crack at credit cards? I admit something needs to be done, but have they not screwed up enough financial sectors for one year?

    April 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  120. Peter from NJ

    Jack I think we should lock interest rates in based on current savings account rates. If your bank is willing to give you x percent your credit card should not be able to get more then 3x that. If your interest rate was only adjustable yearly it would be easier for people to choose the right card to carry. From basic holder fees to insane interest rates its hard to understand how anyone uses some cards at all. Fees to be a member and 21% interest should dissuade people from a debt society maybe its time we all wake up.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  121. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    I don’t trust anyone with my money that stands to benefit from using it. Credit cards are only one part of the financial industry’s big squeeze on America. Look at how IRAs and 401Ks charge one undeclared fee upon another. Exactly where your money is invested is never fully disclosed and your options are usually limited to what the care-taker of your money offers, and then they get some kind of commission for that, which is also taken out of your money. Usually these monies are turned over to various mutual funds, who in turn invest in other ventures of which no one has a clue. No doubt, a huge chunk of our hopes for retirement are being invested in organizations that support activities related to supporting Al-Qaida. I think I’ll buy some gold, put it in a pot and burry it in an undisclosed location.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  122. The Realist

    For everyone paying between 25 and 35% interest on debt there needs to be a champion. Banks have made money hand over fist on what is essentially loan sharking made legal in the form of consumer debt. Credit cards have interest rates of over 30% in many cases and it is all legal because Congress has done nothing to protect the people of this nation. The same banks that charge these outrageous interest rates have taken that money, pocketed a ton, poorly invested the rest and then come crying to the federal government to bail them out. Cry me a river you thieving bastards…

    Congress could put a stop to it but they are too wimpy to do it. The solution is to put a cap on interest rates for any form of credit or lending at 20% annually with all fees except for late fees incorporated in the interest rate. There should be no loopholes and no exceptions. Monthly late fees should be capped at 5% of balance or $20 whichever is lower. After three months of consecutive non-payment the account is frozen and the debt locked in but without any expiration. Only by repayment of the debt can the lender unfreeze the account and begin again to accrue interest. Make it in the interests of the banks to get people to pay on time but don’t let borrowers wait out debt so they can steal from the lenders. Collection agencies should be limited to 10% of existing balance in collection fees and once an account has been frozen for lack of payment no additional interest can accrue. These things would make banks less eager to lend to people that they know can’t pay the bills like unemployed college students whom they have actively targeted in the past.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  123. Dawn

    Jack – I work at a credit card company, and I am getting so frustrated every time someone says "the credit card companies are raising rates even after they have accepted TARP money." This is true. However, the part everyone forgets is that the banks accepted TARP money at the same time that delinquencies and losses skyrocketed on all types of credit. So people got cards, bought a lot of things with those cards, the banks paid the merchants for those goods, and then the people didn't or couldn't pay the banks back. Usually after 6 months of the card companies calling people and trying to get the money, they "charge-off" the account and take the loss. It takes lots of good accounts to make up for one account that has to be written off. So, the card companies are trying to keep from losing money on their portfolios by raising rates and/or fees on riskier customers while they are bleeding losses. More regulation may be useful in this industry, but the real culprit is that our customers aren't paying us back. Very often it is within the first few months of the account being open that customers will charge the account up to the limit and then not pay it back. Whose fault is that?

    April 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  124. jeannie

    Back in the 1970's a person could DEDUCT the amount of interest they paid through the year on their tax return...the government stopped that...why? Most likely because the cost to the government for the high rates from the credit cards was something unsustainable...that should have told them something...like place a limit on how much credit card companies can charge...let people get out of debt just like the banks and car companies!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  125. Maneesh

    Credit card gouging has been a major problem in recent years and while its good that the Fed has made these new rules to go into effect next year - with the current state of the economy why wait till next year? I like that President Obama and the Congress are trying to pass credit card reform legislation this year.

    What can be done is simply passing new rules making predatory lending practices illegal - some new enforcement powers can be given to agencies like the SEC for investigating civil and criminal cases of credit card gouging and prosecute illegal activities by major companies in this industry.

    Credit card companies especially those accepting government bailout (TARP) funds should not be allowed to hike or jack up interest rates (raise credit card interest rates) on card holders without their ;prior knowledge - so no increases in interest rates without prior warnings should be allowed.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  126. David in Atlanta

    Boycott them! Start doing business with community banks instead.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  127. david f, ny, ny

    there was a time, not that long ago, when the states each had usury laws that regulated the industry and protected consumers. seemingly over the past decade or so, the banking industry has gotten the states to repeal those laws, allowing the credit card issuers to do pretty much whatever they wanted to.

    if either congress or the assorted legislatures could muster up any political courage or the will to serve the people, the actual regulations would be the easy part. unfortunately, since so many of the politicians are bought and paid for by the industry they should be regulating, i don't see any new restrictions any time soon.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  128. James

    Cap the interest rates. Congress could decide that rates above some level constitute loan sharking, and that therefore those who couldn't qualify for some earthly rate probably shouldn't have a credit card at all.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  129. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    What since does it make to drive up your customer's debt to credit ratios, and cut all of thier limits to almost nothing. When you know full well that your customers are either losing thier jobs or are very limited in thier extra cash, driving up your customer costs only make thier lives far worse, and forces them to leave you and or at worse refuse to pay off thier debts, only making the economy worse!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  130. DAYO

    Simple, just make it illegal for the credit card company(bank) to raise their interest rate until the economy is booming again. Since they are part of the problem; they should be part of the solution. They have no legal right to raise anyone's interest rate after they just took bailout money.Tax payers need bailout too. And Jack, credit card is part of capitalism.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  131. H. Moul

    I wouldn't go any further than to make sure that the terms of use were crystal clear to even a liberal arts major. It is up to the individual to be responsible for their use of revolving credit.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  132. David G.

    Perhaps instead of allowing the government to regulate more, we should begin actually reading contracts we enter into. A credit card, after all, is a binding agreement with a company to borrow money. It is the consumer's legal obligation to read the contract they sign. It's time for Americans to start looking after themselves instead of the government "protecting" us from the "evil" corporations.

    Nashville, TN

    April 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  133. Marsha

    The CC industry can be regualated by WE THE PEOPLE...I for one have closed every CC account voluntarily as soon as letters came in to my husband and I informing us of our new (high) interest rates...I hear the ignorance with some of the CNN talking heads about ruining your credit score..this is such a cham...so we stay prisoner to rediculous rates! Take your cards and shove them up your....I will pay off all of our CC debt and NEVER GET ANOTHER! These CEO's and Execs have ripped us off...they got rich off of us purchasing their goods and services now they want to stick it to us and take their money and run...

    April 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  134. Don Keener

    For every one of those "Your Pre-approved" letters I get in the mail, each must contain a check written out to me for $5 for having to clean them out of my mailbox and depositing them in my circular file!!!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  135. Shirley Mesquite

    President Obama should not wait til next year to regulate the credit card companies/banks. Citibank is draining us dry. Someone need to fix this situation now, not next year. All you are doing is giving Citibank more time to stick it to us. I am trying to use all cash. I will only use my credit card if I have an emergency and not enough cash. I don't know who is behind these credit card business, but they do not give a "Fat Rat" about main street. "DEVILS"

    April 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  136. Mitchell Colbert

    The best way to regulate the credit industry is to place limits on how many credit cards an individual may own. You could do this by linking a person's credit cards to their social security number, and then limiting how many cards can be linked to a social number. The quickest way individuals get in over their heads is to have multiple credit cards, because multiple cards allow them to get further into the hole.

    The proper solution to America's debt problem is to improve the standard of living for poor and working class Americans. The reason people, like my father, need a half dozen credit cards to survive is because they can't make a living wage from the jobs available. If you solve the job problem, the credit problem should work itself out.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  137. Kathy

    I think they should be regulated the same way that Power Companies are. Power Companies have to apply to the local authorities for any raise in fees. The Credit Card Companies should have to go through the same thing only on the Federal level. They have been allowed to have their way with us for too long. We have no recourse for whatever they do to us.

    Boise, Idaho

    April 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  138. Dean Chapman

    Seriously, the credit industry should have been examined before wall street. Greed is no more prevalent nor more obvious than with card companies like Capital One and others. My wife recieved a card that was already activated, and it took many letters to get them off our back. My American Express card just cut my credit, even though I am simply making maintenance payments. I have have billing mistakes by the companies raise my interest rate and it takes inhumane effort to resolve their schemes. This should have been the goverments first priority!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  139. Justin W.

    Even with an excellent credit score, the credit card companies will find a way to raise interest rates...even for faithful customers. Then you have to fight your way through a never-ending, and often looping, customer "care" department just to fight for your previous rate without compensation. The government should regulate how credit card companies determine whether someone is a risk or not...as long as records show committment to paying on time, it should be illegal to hike up the rate.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  140. Matt, Normal IL

    Just have them agree to something that sounds nice, then change the terms on them a couple months later.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  141. Jeff in Massachusetts

    Change the "usury" limit from 30% to 10%.
    Ashburnham, Massachusetts

    April 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  142. Bart in Nebraska

    Make them put terms in offers so consumers know what are in. Cap the amount of interest that can apply for a missed payment. Finally, there has to be a lower ceiling on what these companies can charge for interest. Almost all states have usury laws which cap the interest that one can charge another within that state. South Dokota has no usury laws – they dealt away with them in the early 90's so banks would come there. They all did and I have seen interest rates as high as 32%. Congress could stop this if they wanted. I'm sure our esteemed sentors and house members from South Dakota would not object.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  143. JM

    They need to have a max/cap on credit limits so that when people max out, they are obligated to pay and will not be able to continue charging. Individuals should not be able to max out one credit card and still have credit on another (particularly/specifically if they are charging non-essential items such as food). It's ridiculous that individuals can max out credit cards buying things that they can't afford and don't need (fancy clothes, etc.). Bizarre practice, society.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  144. Arie Van der Ende

    To fix the economy and keep it fixed, simply oulaw all credit cards. If someone needs to buy anything on credit, let them obtain a loan from a bank. If they are credit-worthy, the bank will lend them the money – if they are not, they should forego the proposed purchase.

    If credit cards are used simply for the sake of convenienc, let them use a debit card, which necessitates having money in the bank to pay for it.

    Arie in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  145. Theron - Lawrence, KS

    Cap interest rates! I went from an introductory 4.9%, accidentally missed my payment by less than 48 hours and Bank of America raised my interest rate to 31.75%. How is our country supposed to recover from this recession when we are practically enslaved by our lending institutions. This is nothing less than modern day highway robbery, and it is by far time the government stepped in to curtail these blood suckers' predatory lending.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  146. Rachel

    I would see to it that they are not allowed to double and triple interest rates when the card holder misses a payment, be it completely missed or only missed by deadline date. This is when they dig their greedy little hooks into people and never let go. In the past, when I was a day or two late, my interest rate went from 9% to 18% at that moment. It was if they were waiting for it to happen so they could hook into the money source

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  147. michael

    It's very easy. There should be a national usury rate law tied to the prime rate or fed funds rate. Banks could only charge 5,6, or 7% over that rate on credit cards. Right now they are borrowing money from the Tarp the Fed discount window and the Talf all sources of low interest
    borrowing that not one consumer has access to! Why doesn't the Government just lend the money directly everyone could payoff their debt and we as Americans could help each other out instead of a select few bankers who will never go into a room trying to figure out a way to make it better for someone else other than themselves. Maybe we should have a national not pay day and hold the bank hostage. Lower our rates or fid a job picking vegetables.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  148. E Rivero

    I think the first step on regulating credit card industry is to cap interest rates and percentage of increase, also some fee are to be eliminated all together. Like over the limit fee's. If the credit line is going to be over the limit on a particular purchase, simply deny the transaction. Another highway robbery is the prorating of credit even if the account is paid in full, that is legalized robbery. Also the generalization of credit in which if a user is late on any other card or credit account other credit card's increase the rate. This fee's need to be abolish is simply wrong.

    Bank's are necessary but some of their practices are not. The flow of credit wont be significantly reduced. Hello we are in the USA. Capitalism and competition. If the bank's don't want to lend. they will loose business.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  149. Judy

    I would like to see the credit limits on charge cards reduced and the "bonuses" for spending eliminated. I asked for a top limit of $3000 when I applied for a Visa Card a number of years ago. When I came close to spending that one month, my "limit" was automatically raised to $30,000 because of my payment history. Until I put a stop to the incessant mailings, I was offered all types of incentives to buy and charge all manner of goods and services. These credit card companies, their television and mail advertizing policies, unparalleled salesmanship and unregulated interest rates are one of the reasons our nation is in the economic straits it finds itself!!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  150. gary davis

    need to have the credit card groups uncover the add on crap that each contract has .. I thought lone sharking was against the law in this country. hidden costs need to be stopped .and if they give someone a credit card that can't make payments then they should eat the the loss. and not put it on everyone else . bad business deals shouldn't be cover by us .

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |

    The credit card companies should not be alowed to charge someone who pays his/her bill on time no more than 3.75% over the prime rate
    nor should they be able to keep adding fees or increasing rates just when ever they feel like it. When the Prime rate goes down then they
    should be required to lower thier intrest rates 30 days or less, when it goes up they can only increase it for the next billing period.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  152. Dana Meier

    Please research "WAMU and fraud", you will find pages and pages of compliants against this incredibly crooked bank. Not only their credit card, but everything else they do, plus they still hire people in a 3rd world country to handle their customer complaints so that you simply have no chance to ever rectify the situation. So, Chase was dumb enough to buy them out, but WAMU is the same just someone different playing the game.

    My "0"% interest rate credit card was 30.99 within 60 days, for some bogus reason even the bank manager could not justify. Every single month I was charged a $39 late fee, to fight w/ someone who does not speak English about, always promised to be credited back, but never was. Not once in over 3 years. After the bailout, and WAMU continuing to be the most uncrupulous bank on this planet, I finally gave up. I flat out refuse to pay them another dime, until they credit me back every penny they stole from me.

    Go Git 'Em is what I say!!!!!

    Dana in OR

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  153. Ted Long

    Citibank is charging about 30% interest to force people to pay up, and get off their books, in order to pay off the TARP funds. It is clear from the histories of many banks, that they could care less about their customers in these hard economic times. First, stop bailing out these predatory lenders! Second, have mandatory ceilings on credit card rates, as a function of the current GNP. Third, make it illegal to raise an cardholder's interest rates on established balances. Fourth, fine them for predatory practices and send their upper administration to jail, or make them do community service in poor neighborhoods for at least three months, so they can get a taste of life from those who they help to destroy.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  154. John

    The contract should have in a large font, the terms of the credit card, especially if rates can change. This will help people know what they are getting themselves into. The most important thing is that the credit cards, when they have good practices make money so that the big companies don't get bought by foreign countries. Keep the business in America. This poses a problem with helping people delinquent accounts, but the fault is on the people who get credit cards they can't pay. However, there should be some limitations.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  155. Wes

    Regulate the rates that banks can charge due to late payments. Often times, payments will arrive a day late to the bank (the customer is NOT withholding payment, just late in getting the check in) and the bank punishes slight lateness of payment with insane, and almost criminal, hikes in rates. Regulate interest rates to cap at certain levels. Eliminate hidden fees and charges designed to make payment as difficult as possible (I have one card that CHARGES ME $9 to pay online). Stop letting banks lower my credit limit whenever I pay off a large portion of debt on a card, so I can never improve my credit score.

    The credit card industry is one of the biggest legalized crooks around. Once my current debt is paid off I think I'm done with the stupid things.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  156. Ken Sanders, Vancouver, Canada

    Jack .. another simple solution. But 'THEY' won't do it of course. Incorporate the National Bank Of America to go head to head with the Federal Reserve Banks in all departments. Establish its Credit Card arm and starting inviting people to apply. Tell them the rate will be 6 % ( or even less ) . Then 'cash up' the new Credit Card arm and invite the new holders to transfer their existing balances they are carrying at the established banks. Thank you.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |

    the credit card companies are also to blame for the economic mess this country is in. THEY ARE IN THIS TOO! TOO MUCH INTEREST RATES, I SAY GO BACK TO THE WAY IT WAS DURING THE CARTER YEARS.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  158. Annie, Atlanta

    Treat the credit card companies like loan sharks, and expose every congress person who meets with their lobbyists. The media could help too, if only they were willing, with a regular spot of "news you can use," with facts and figures.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  159. Charles James

    Let's open up a National Bank and let's have National Bank credit cards! At least then we'd have some idea of just what fees and interest rates are justified.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  160. Joe H.

    Here's an idea Jack. To keep things fair-er why don't we have the credit card companies charge either the same rate or a few percentage points above the national prime lending rate. Then people could afford their credit cards, the companies would still make money, (not as much money, but c'mon), and the government wouldn't have to bail these companies out. Why should these credit card companies be charging 18-29 percent at all, when our prime lending rate is 3-6 percent. Bloated Fishy Credit card companies smelling rotten? .Priceless.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  161. Pamela Loving

    Ensure there are limitations to the rates that companies can charge. Many companies are currently charging rates of 22 – 29% and will not reduce rates for those who are making payments on time. In addition there are companies exercising their "right" to close accounts that are being paid on time or paid off. It's unfair to punish those who are in good standing due to fear of what is happening in the economy through increasing rates, reducing credit lines to existing balances, and closing accounts in good standing. The companies that have used TARP funds to stay in business and are penalizing those who paid to save them should be ashamed how they are repaying the American people for bailing them out!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  162. Greg

    Preditory policies at best! Credit card companies (banks) have no right to raise rates to 30% then leave them there forever. When you inquire, they say call us back in 6 months. Then when you do, they say call us back in 6 months again. And so it goes. Rates prohibit a normal family from ever get ting out of the credit card hole. Rate increases should be limited to one quarter, then reduced back to where they were if payments are on time. And "on time" should include a brief grace period like they used to. It is unfair for a payment arriving a day late to precipitate the 9% to 30% forever scenario. Obama could stimulate Main Street instantly, by either cutting all credit card bills in half...or better zero them out. We're giving the banks lots of money so they should be compensated. Then people will be able to reset and start using credit cards again...hence spending. Isn't that what we want?

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  163. Jim

    We need limits on interest rates. It is not fair to be charged high rates simply because our credit rating goes down. Things happen. Then we are taken advantage of.
    It isn't enough then there are fees. It must be one or the other not both. Credit cards need to be set in stone like other kind of loans. After all it is a loan.
    If you cant use your credit card then you cant help the economy either. CC need to be similar to other personal loans. Simple interest. Not compound! Banks dont pay you the interest you deserve on your savings. So why should they get the rates on credit cards on lending you money?
    Atlanta Georgia.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  164. Nancy Carlsen

    I just received a notice today from Discover. They are raising my rate from 7.99% to an outrageous 19.49%!!!! These loan-shark rates are going to crush comsumer spending! Can't an annual cap for rate increase be mandated???? I shutter to think of the consequences of these banks financially raping the American people. Is this what 'bailout' money does to bankers?? Thanks, Nancy from Verona, NJ/

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  165. Alex

    Credit card companies are out of control. Both my Citibank MasterCard and Chase Visa raised the rates from about 8% which I was paying to nearly 29% for no reason. I have never made a late payment and am not a credit risk. Both sent a very non-descript letter telling me that I had to "opt out" of the rate increase – WHAT?!?!?!?! Why do I need to opt out – how about I "opt in" instead? I chose to opt out which immediately closed both accounts – and as such my credit score plummeted because the cards reported no available credit and closed by the lender. Banks are criminal. First the public bails them out of their extremely poor business ethics...and then they turn around and take advantage of their customers in this way. Lock up the CEOs and other executives in jail and throw away the key. Finally pass legislation rolling back the new rates to what they were originally and refund the consumers who have all been taken advantage of.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |

    I think it is ok to charge a small fee to a person for being more than
    five days late in making a payment. To change an interest rate from say 5% to 25 % for being one day late in payment is a crime that should carry a prison term of at least 5 years. If a bank pays 2% interest on money ($2.00 per hundred) and lends it for 8% ( $8.00 per
    hundred) that is not a gross profit of 6% as most people think. That is a gross profit of 400%. Most people will subtract the 2 from the 8 and get 6 which is the wrong way. You Divide the 8 by 2 and multply by 100
    to get gross profit. If you bought something for $2.00 and sold it for $8.00, You would see that you made 400%, The bank bought the money for $2.00 and sold it for $8.00. Think about that, Jack. If a bank isn't making money at that rate of gross proffits something is wrong.
    If they pay 2% and jump the interest rate to 30%, that is 1500 % gross
    proffit. Where is the News Media, Jack? You should read my book free.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  167. Robin S

    I just received a letter in the mail from my credit card company that they will be raising my APR rates but if I write a letter by May 1st demanding they won't do it to me, they will grant it. But, the catch is, I can't use my credit card. If I do, then the new rates will be applied to my balance. I feel this is wrong. I am not using my credit card ever again just because of this.
    -Robin S
    Laguna Beach, CA

    April 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  168. Fisch

    The Credit Card Industry has run amok, more so than the Banking Industry as a whole, or even Wall Street and their get rich quick schemes. This particular industry hands out plastic to everyone, and then wants to rape and pillage while the same folks lose their jobs, incomes, homes, and family. To the cowards in Washington who turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the laments of the people for fear of losing the plastic backing for their campaigns, and to "H" with the real people who put them there in the first place, need to get a set of cojones and tell these money grubbers enough is enough. For crying outloud, every interst rate in the world is dictated by market and economic forces, so why are the credit card companies running around, and allowed to run around, setting artificially high interst rates and rules of the game. If you do not want the business, then close YOUR doors and have a good day, but do not let it hit you in the backside as you exit. These Credit Card Companies are a BIG reason we cannot recover economically in the downturn, because the consumer cannot spend and borrow from the institutions locally because they rely on what? The credit scores the plastic industry so well orchestrates the commoner into the abyss of can't get a loan to get out of from under them. It is a viscious cycle downward, as if the vehicles were in place, without penalty, to get out from the mountains of plastic debt, the average consumer would not go back to the plastic giants. However, as long as the tether to pay back through the future forever and ever, then what do they care? Wake up Senate and House, you better take action, stand up like real men, and women, and get the plastiques in line with the real world, or you will definitely suffer the revolt of the people come election, re-election, time, I assure you. The grassroot action is just starting to take seed, believe me.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  169. Sam

    My chase interest rate went from around 7% to 29.99% due to one late payment. Its criminal. I am trying my hardest to save my paychecks to pay off the credit card and destroy it. I called the company and they would not give me a break at all. People like me are not spending money so they can pay off all debt and hopefully get a credit score back up to good status. How can people be encouraged to spend money in already uncertain economy when they know if they are late one time on a credit card payment they will get hit with such huge interest rates. THERE SHOULD BE A LIMIT OF 15%!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  170. Barry Rabin


    I have no sympathy whatsoever for the credit card banks. They have been the drug pushers of this economic bubble, spewing out credit card offers like so much confetti because the returns were so profitable at such high interest rates. Now that some of the "addicts" are in treatment, they're looking to hook them again in the name of "keeping the economic recovery going." They should be ashamed!! If Congress would only have the guts to pass legislation bringing back interest rate caps (like they had years ago), these banks would be forced to extend credit a lot more judiciously. The patient may feel sick in the short run, but in the long run he or she will be much better off.

    Barry, West Chester PA

    PS – Enjoy your show!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  171. Scott

    First thing I would do is make it mandatory to have credit cards signed for and photo ID shown when delivered. Identity theft is as big a problem as predatory lending and the credit card companies are complicit in whole process.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  172. Dave in Saint Louis!

    How about people regulate themselves Jack? I am sick of people blaming others for there own stupid mistakes! If you can’t afford a credit card don’t get it…Simple. Also the same goes for a house. I don’t care what the bank tells you can have, just borrow what you can afford! How about taking a little responsibility for you? Hope that is not asking too much to ask Jack!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  173. Dave from Boca Raton Florida

    The banks now threaten us, we, the people that bailed them out. Please US government, stand up for the people and help us. Also, beside holding the maximum interest charges on credit cards, please regulate the big three credit agencies. It is silly to have the beacon score lowered for a $30 payment, late 30 days, to harm you for 7 years. They too, have huge control over the bills in our US Congress, make 5 million a year CEO pay and fly private jets. You must pay on free credit report sites to correct the information they sell about you??

    April 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  174. Dwayne R.

    They constantly use unfair business practices, from providing credit cards to non-working college students to increasing interest rates when cardholders are late. A young adult family member recently received a credit card; made any purchases but also received a $49 minimum balance Due! These and many other financial leech type practices must stop!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  175. Bob Lipsett Sr. North Attleboro, MA. 02760

    Jack, didn't the repeal of the Glass/Steagal act by Robert Rubin in 1999 and opened the doors of the Federal Reserve, FDIC and Treasury (AIG) have any effect on the credit worthy of the USA. Does Bear Sterns, J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs (Allen Greenspan, Hank Paulson, Bernanske, Giether, John Snow, weren't they all from Goldman Sachs. Just a thought Jack, never in all my 73 1/2 years have I ever witnessed such irresponsibility.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  176. Wayne D, FL

    I would start a 12 month plan in two parts-- first six months all payment due--– then the next six months to increase all fico score with all three breuer to raise scores as follow: 500-550 (20pt)---550-575 (10pts) --- 575-600(5 pts).

    April 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  177. Naturalist

    Cap interest at 17.99%, cap late charges, cap penalties. If that is done then they won't lend money to people who might default. It's easy, simple and makes sense.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  178. Robert Brown Farmington Hills

    Maybe, Congress should raise the interest on repaying their TARP loans. It is ironic how the taxpayers give them the banks money to lend money, but what we get is a increase in interest rates to punish to punish the taxpayer for their mistakes. Go figure!!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  179. Victor

    1. Prohibit Credit Card advertisement on TV – no more debt advertisment
    2. Prohibit issuing Credit Card to the person ho has bigger than $10,000 debt on already existing credit card for more than 6 months.
    3. Prohibit issuing credit card to those who has no stable income.
    4. If Credit Card company broke #2-3 rules and did not do proper credit check and person get in debt, than credit card should be liable for 50% of this debt – it will make them to do proper credit check
    5. Prohibit points and air mails on credit card – this is a misleading to trap in debt
    6. Prohibit credit card issued by stores and supermarkets. Only banks, credit union and strong financial institution should have right to issue credit card.
    7. 18% is the maximum interest that should be on the credit card.
    8. Interest cannot be increased for existing customers – they signed agreement with credit card companies.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  180. Alina Saiakhova

    Put a cap on how much a credit card company can cut a person's credit card limit by and force credit card companies to give their customers at least a 60 day warning that their limits are going to be cut if they don't pay off a certain portion of their balance. Cutting the limit on a card with a 5,000 balance from 20,000 to 6,000 without the slightest warning is ridiculous and isn't helping anybody. All it does is ruin the card owner's' credit score and destroy their confidence in credit card companies. Who is going to want to use their credit card in the future when they know that any any time, without a warning, their credit limit can be reduced by an arbitrary amount? Instead, credit card companies should, initially, only reduce credit limits to an amount that would keep the balance to credit limit fraction at, at most, 0.6. This fraction can slowly increase over time if the person fails to pay off a sufficient amount of their balance. This would send out a clear message to consumers that they can no longer be irresponsible with charging their credit cards, yet it will also send out the message that credit card companies care about their customers' ability and willingness to continue to do business with them.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  181. Dave

    In order to stimulate the Economy, I would pass Laws to reduce interest rates to reasonable levels, which should be 9% or less. The Tax payer’s bailed the Bank's out now it's their turn to return the Favor and Stimulate the Economy in doing so. Restrict fees being imposed on borrowers, plus Interest and Fees charged on top of the Fees..

    April 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  182. Max Pargament

    Regulate the crap out of it. This is the reason why a true free market will never work, because there will always be people who will feed/profit off the weak/uneducated/poor.

    I'm a college student, and I recently got a credit card through my bank. My limit is over $3500, which is ridiculous. It should be more like $1000.

    Had I not had somethings explained to me by my parents, I may have done things like made the minimum payments on my card instead of paying the balance for the month.

    The companies really do try to trick you theres no way around it. Im glad Dodd is proposing making labels similar to food for credit cards...that would be a great start.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  183. Ken-Long Island

    No individual should be allowed to borrow more than their credit rating allows. Nothing more, nothing less. The day when consumers buy beyond their means should end.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  184. Sue from California

    If you only charge what you can afford than it doesn't matter how high the interest rates are. Pay off your bill each month and it is not a problem. I have no sympathy for those in credit card debt...they think just because they want something, they are entitled to have it...and let someone else pay for it. Their debt is no one's fault but their own. No credit card company *forced* them to use the cards for goods and services they cannot afford.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  185. connie

    No other contract entered into by the consumers can arbitrarily increase interest rates, other than mortgage adjustable rates (ARMS) which is forewarned. Credit card issuers should only be allowed to do this annually at minimum, within reason, and with ample notice to the consumer. In addition, Credit scoring should be easier to understand, after all, the average citizen does not get a bailout when we have mis-judged OUR finances.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  186. Alex

    Following up on my previous comment – why can't I send the credit card issuers a letter telling them that the new interest rate that I will pay on my account is zero% and let them "opt out". Seems the same rules should apply and what is good for the goose (the credit card companies) should be good for the gander as well (the consumer).

    April 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  187. Ashwin

    Firstly, the credit card companies must make a thorough background investigation of whom them are giving a credit too. It should be mandatory that everybody should provide salary slips and based on the income the credit limit should be fixed. At the same time, the people who apply for credit cards should also know what they are getting into. People who swipe their credit card should know their limit and how much to spend and not spend lavishly. If they spend properly and carefully it would not be tough to repay it back. So its a two sided effort. If the credit card is used properly, its a real great thing to have.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  188. Alexander Mitchell Finlay III

    Having worked in the credit card industry for over 7 years, I've developed opinions regarding this subject. First, I would require that all credit card industry jobs be kept inside the United States, including information security. Unfortunately, many of these jobs have been going to India and Singapore. Second, I would limit the amount of interest they could charge to no more than 18%. Any higher should be thought of as usurous and the company's ability to operate cancelled, along with seizing its assets. Third, I would do away with the blanket mailings of pre-approved card offers. I feel like they are fictitious anyway.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  189. Daniel Gan

    Great question. I just found out today that my wife sent 100 of our 112 dollar minimum payment last month to our Chase credit card.
    Quite accidentally, and obviously..we were not holding out on them for the 12 bucks. They raised our rate to 29.9 percent from 15 percent...and charged us a $30.00 late fee. We have never ever EVER been late or default on our bill. Thanks Chase. Great job. Don't spend all those bailout billions in one place. Oh wait...I think I'm paying for that too....gee..... Needless to say, I sent them 3 grand today. 2 different reps at Chase told me they would do absolutely nothing. NOTHING.
    I would regulate the Credit card industry by introducing them to the CIA agents who waterboarded those 2 Al Qaeda members 266 times and let them loose on some real terrorists.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  190. Monica

    Impose caps on the interest rate. These companies can still make money by lending at reasonable rates. If people default then it is ok for high fees... but right now interest rates can go from 5% to 12% to 24% (it has happened to me) and then they ask themselves why are people not being able to pay back what they owe... if they leave interest rates low most people will be able to repay and the credit cards companies would still be making money. These companies are just too greedy!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  191. Chuck

    For me it is very simple....the person can cut up his/her credit card and go back to using cash...what an old-fashioned concept. and paying the balance every month helps. just get rid of the credit card if unable to manage credit well.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  192. Ed

    1% Simple interest per month, as the Maximum for all loans, mortgages and credit cards. No second- or third-order (or higher) derivative bonds, securities or paper of any kind are to be allowed. Simple loans, short and long calls ONLY.

    The rating agencies are to be paid by, and accountable to, the US Treasury, with all transactions immediately reviewable by the public.

    Restrict all banks operating inside the USA to no more 8 contiguous states in the same region and NO international operations or owners.

    Financial transactions may only be conducted across the US borders by US citizens who are resident inside the 50 US states or in US territories.

    No CEO, CFO, President or other officer, including but not limited to board members, of a given company, shall work at any Other financial institution of Any kind at any point during their employment or for 1 month thereafter, including as an unpaid board member, nor shall they earn more then 20 times what the lowest paid worker in the bank or its subsidiaries or sub-contractors (to specifically include cleaning people and janitors) is paid. All compensation will counted toward that limit, including but not limited to, wages, stock, perks, deferred stock and wages, benefits, et al. Any and all stock options will be unvested until 5 years after their employment with the company ends.

    That would be a good Start.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  193. Bob in Baltimore


    Charge and convict them all for loan sharking and conspiricy under the RICO statutes, then re-open Alkatraz and put them on display for all the tourists to go and see some of the worst white collar crooks on the face of the earth! Oh yea, make sure they have a TARP to cover themselves with at night to keep warm.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  194. Jim LeBow

    Usury should be illegal and this is what credit card companies are practicing. A resonable rate plus prime or a 5 year fixed rate for good customers might work, but 30% should never be allowed. Our elected officials could help we comsumers more with this fix than some of their other ideas.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  195. ray from brooklyn

    jack my whole family celebrated when president obama was elected, buy after watching him give billions (and counting) to the banks,if he wants to have any credibility he's gonna have to reign in the credit card companies NOW not let them rape us for another year while my grandchildrens future is being taxed away. universal default,hidden fees,hidden charges...all scams to continue bleeding us dry. if anyone believes these thieves will restrict lending send them to me i have a bridge in downtown brooklyn i'm letting go real cheap without any credit checks or income vericafation just bring cash

    April 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  196. Herb Siegel

    The ONLY way to regulate the Credit Card Industry is to repeal the Bank Holding ct of 1956 which exepmt consumer credit card "banks" from all state usuary laws if they incorporate in Non-usuary states like Utah. Check with Orin Hatch, he'll tell you how!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  197. Brad Wells

    Jack, the best way to regulate the credit card industry is to move the executive officers of the credit card companies to Gitmo. There they can spend the rest of their days with others who tried to destroy this country.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  198. Nancy Shehata

    I don't remember reading anywhere that it is MANDATORY to have a credit card. How about people take RESPONSIBILITY for their finances. If you don't have the money to buy something, DON'T. Buy used, repair what you have, do without. I do agree that it should be illegal for credit card companies to up the fees on exisiting customers. But 99% of the fault lies with people who charge purchases when they cannot afford them. There is no God-given right to have the latest bling, fancy shoes, or plasma TV.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  199. Priscilla Norfolk

    Clearer labels on credit cards for the solution? That's not the problem.
    Re: the Feds "new rules" that will take effect July 2010 that the Lobbiests are "holding off" before they make their reccomendations on, is a moot point.The problem is their ridiculously high interest rates on credit cards,ie: 29.5% in some cases. Bank of America showed a "significant"
    $4 billion increase this first quarter,and all the Wall Street "suits" and
    government officials call this a positive "glimmer of hope" towards what they consider, the "recovering economy!!" It's not... they have not given out any significant loans to the public since receiving that money. They're just sitting on our "bail" out money and calling it "profits!" Now I call that, restricting the flow of credit to consumers and (in their own words) blocking the economic recovery!!
    Solution: put a cap on their interest rates say, 10%, so we get a break,and make one of the bail out concessions that, what we give them MUST flow back into the economy within 30-60 days as loans to consumers so the cash flow can begin in earnest. Is this too simple to work? Maybe for DC it is.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  200. Ted Long, Vacaville, CA

    It's time to send them packing. Preferablly, to an inner city neighborhood to do commmunity service, but don't pay them the volunteerism bucks in the program just signed by the President.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  201. paul

    Last I checked no one held a gun to your head and forced you to use a credit card. Or to carry a balance if you can't handle credit wisely maybe its your fault. Also, the delinquicies etc have spiked not because of recent hikes in interest rates but because of job losses and a weak economy.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  202. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    Stop giving credit card companies free reign over our lives, they are nothing more them loansharks, constantly driving up thier rates when ever they want too! That is what loansharks do to keep you trappped! Free the American people from the constantly debt tactics of the credit card companies!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  203. JohnQ

    If the average card balance is 10K, why doesn't the GOV create a bank that will allow balance transfers for 625 plus FICO card holders for 36 months @ 2-3% . That will allow payoff of cards and pressure banks that lose business to do same. Say about 25 billion, that would be paid back for the favor !!!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  204. Dan (Maryland)

    Pay your bills folks, then all this shouting won't even be necessary...

    April 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  205. Pam

    Credit card companyies are increasing their rates on June 1st of this year. If the bank received funds to bail them out, then Obama should stop them from raising interest rates on us.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  206. Linda Brickley

    1. No universal default
    2. Cap interest rates
    3. Restrict circumstances under which they can raise rates
    4. No raising rates on existing balances – only future purchases
    5. Allocate payments proportionately on balances – not just applying payments to lowest interest rate balance
    6. Better customer service (if this can be regulated) – their employees should treat you like a customer (ha ha) and should be accountable for the information (or misinformation) they give you. No robo-calls.
    7. No bait and switch credit offers

    April 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  207. Larry of Boston

    1. Credit card limits need to be set as a % of income, requiring verification of income by the industry
    2. Card companies that extend credit without verifying income levels can be limited in their collection rights
    3. The mninimum payments that card companies require need to be increased significantly, Right now the card companies do not want borrowers to repay too much as they want the hefty interest they earn. Turn this spigot off and set minimum monthly payments as a % of the total debt, If a card holder does not meet the minium payment in the first month all future charging is suspended
    4. Interest rates charged need to be capped at a much lower rate – say prime + 2% or 3% and eliminate the eggregious punitive late fee penalties
    5. All card companies need tro be audited as part of their normal financial audit and a statement by the independent auditors attesting to their adherence to the underwriting rules

    I could go on but you get the idea Jack

    April 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  208. Tom Picciani

    Credit is like Cocaine! It's a hard habit to break. Remember, if one bank disappears, you can bet there will be 5 more to replace it. So if the banks threaten to tighten credit, let them. Banking is a service industry. If one bank won't offer the service, then some other bank will.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  209. deron..houston

    The credit card companies work hard to keep you in debt..raise rates..I have a card thats almost 30 percent interest .I can do better from Vinnie the Loanshark....Byraising rates with no explanation..holding back payments to charge a late fee and raising you payment you can't get out of debt..that is where they want you to stay..I would one...cap the interest rates companies can charge..no late fee charges unless at least 3 days late...and not aloowing them to lower your creit limit to below what you owe making your payment so high you can only pay the minimum and stay in debt..yes comsumers need responsibilty ..but if a consumer wants to get out of debt measures need to be in place to allow uns to do so..freeing up credit and money to spend on the economy ...not giving more money to the rich banks

    April 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  210. Craig

    Credit Card Regulation:

    ISSUANCE AND CREDITWORTHINESS: CC issuing banks/firms MUST know and document the creditoworthiness (e.g. FICO) of ALL applicants BEFORE issuing any credit.
    Will reduce/eliminate exploitation of the poor, the aged and kids in college. Failure to comply will release the cardholder from all liability.

    SERVICING: No rate above 20% APR under ANY circumstances.
    "Govt" creates a "list" by which rates escalate with decreasing credworthiness (e.g., a FICO 800+ gets rate of prime + something (order of magnitude of 4-5 points)...a 700 FICO pays prime +10; a 600 FICO pays prime + 15. Prime has a cieling of 5 points.)
    Will ensure issuers are dealt with fairly in a risk-reward context and will rapidly eliminate those who are non-creditworthy.

    OVERALL FLAVOR OF THIS LEGISLATION: Keep it clean and simple so ALL involved will COMPLETELY understand.
    This will eliminate the tax-code-like boilerplate which accompanies credit cards.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  211. Ralph Nelson

    I agree with the Fed's rules. I do not use credit because of the high rates. Banks need to be busted up, they have become monoplies. To few people controlling too much money. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  212. NANCY M.- Colorado

    The government can help people to get out from under the outrageous grip of credit cards through some kind of ground level bail out payment plan from the govt. and absolutely do away with credit cards and the banks that are preying on the very people the administration needs and wants to help. These banks have no right to be in business. They are nothing but greedy, crooked loan sharks. Isn't that the same as criminal? Lets go back to local, neighborhood banks that actually service the loans they make through maturity. It's good that the spotlight is finally focused on this terrible industry.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  213. G. Del Priore, Buffalo, NY

    The solution is simple. A Bank may set their fees and rates based on State regulations as long as all credit activity occurs within the State. Interstate regulations, overseen by the Federal Government, should apply to any Bank wishing to provide Card Services nationwide. Those Banks that refuse must seek deposit insurance from some source other than the FDIC.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  214. Paul Petersen

    The trick they do that ticks me off the worst is when they have the payments due at noon. If it comes in the mail on the day due, but in the afternoon they charge a HUGE late fee.

    I hope if they are late with the Tarp Repayment we charge them a late fee that is significant.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  215. n walker

    Credit card Interest rates should not exceed the current federal reserve interest rates and credit card interest should be tax deductible like it was years ago. my hard earned tax payer dollars are being used to bail the banks out and the re-pay me by charging interest rates that should be classified as "loan shark" rates.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  216. Robert West

    Absolutely, regulate! Having been a senior officer in business the banks are getting away with mobster like interest and fees. Usary laws have to be reenacted and constitutional, a process that eroded with earlier legislation approved by earlier administrations. I really dont want to hear the banks cry, they are too busy making customers cry and scream!!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  217. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    Housing rates are only 4.5 percent, why in the world are some credit cards up to 50 percent interest rates? Answer loansharking! No credit card should be above 10%!!!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  218. roger gilmer

    investigate to see what the executives or bank officials pay as interest on their cards to see if they are paying rates as high as 35%. they get free bailouts from taxpayers dollars and should be regulated. There is absolute no reason I see why rates should go up of those not doing anything wrong or late in their payments and should have to pay for those that don't. write to your members of congress to regulate the credit card industry.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  219. Jim Smith

    As our economy has been trained to rely on credit, we're not going to change that in the near future so the average consumer needs the Federal Government to regulate the industy much like any other lending organization. While credit cards should not be attached to a fixed rate as that would be very risky for the credit companies as it is unlike a normal loan where a fix amount is borrowed on a set date; as credit cards are a revolving line of credit the intrest rate should be tied to the Prime Lending rate on a three month rolling average. This would provide a cap for the consumer if a law stated that no credit company can charge more than 10% over prime. This would allow room for competition, but still provide a viable ceiling for consumers.

    The ones that get hurt the most by the current rules are those that can least afford it. If you are struggling to make payments with the intrest rate is 15% than there is no way you can make payments at 29%...so this is preditory lending that ensures failure of the consumer.

    Which has me wondering why credit card companies want consumers to fail and file bankrupcy – would it not make more since to have terms that allow for consumer to pay their balance in full thereby mitigating losses

    April 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  220. Mad Dog Mike

    Enough already.

    Credit is NOT a right. It is a privilege. If you don't like the terms offered, DON'T FREAKIN BORROW. Like all businesses, banks are in business to make money, not to make life easy for deadbeat slow-paying whiners who can't honor the terms of their contract. If banks were capped at a maximum 10% interest rate, probably only one-fourth of the population would be creditworthy.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  221. Matt-Los Angeles

    I make nearly 200k a year, I pay all my bills on time and I have small balances on my credit cards. Just yesterday I was rejected by AMEX for a credit card becasue they said I was high risk. A friend of mine who makes half what I do applied for the same card last month and received it without a word. So to answer your question, I would take back all the stimulus money from the Credit Card companies. It is clear that they onlt want customers who cant afford the cards they provide. CC companies are not interested in people who pay their bills on time. They want you to be delinquent and poor. They make more mney that way.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  222. chris

    It's not that difficult...write the laws such that credit card company 'can and cannot dos' are based on the ethics and values that the average American understands and was raised on (yes, I know that you'll have to explain the term "ethics" to the credit card companies).

    The way I and all of you were raised is that if we shake hands on a deal, the deal doesn't change, unless both parties agree. Doubly so for a written document. The credit card industries are the only place I know of where this is not held to a universal standard.

    Most of us are hard working, and pay our debts. Our society expects that of us, and it's what we do. When we don't pay, many times its because of an unforseen circumstance...who actually wants to be debt?

    No problem for companies who choose to do business only with those of us who can afford to pay back...that makes sense. But taking financial advantage of a spiraling economy, layoffs, and all the other things that are going on today is simply wrong. If we're to survive this as a nation, then we ALL have to play our parts and work together...and this includes Big Business. My biggest fear is that their greed will drag us all down...there is only so much that the taxpayer can stand (read Dr. Suess Yertle the Turtle, and you'll see what I mean!).

    April 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  223. Joshua

    You choose to quest the Credit Card.
    You choose to use the card
    You choose to spend more than you make.
    You need to deal with it. We don't need government to manage all our money.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  224. Colt

    Fixed APR’s only and adjust the credit scoring system. The point would be to open up more credit to those who need it. Fixed APR’s will allow people with lower income to have credit, and pay it back without being financially broken.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  225. Big Shel

    Here's a thought – PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!

    Aside from a few practices such a universal default (where if you default on another payment and they raise your card rate), most credit card penalties are applied what the consumer doesn't meet their obligations. The terms are there – read them! If you pay late there is a penalty and they will probably raise your rate.

    If you can't afford pay it – how about you you don't use it!

    If you place tons of regulation on these companies it is going to lead to people who are higher risk getting no access to credit at all. Then guess what – people will cry "foul" over that so the card companies will have no choice but to raise the rates for everyone. Then we are back in the socialism days of "19.9% for everyone". Congratulations – we have then invented time travel because you are back in the stone age...

    April 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  226. Brian

    I understand that there are some bad practices out there and they need to be regulated but there is always another side to the story that people tend to forget because it is a large company rather than an individual. The credit business is risky and there are many defaults on loans or credit issued. The companies do need to make a profit at some point because they employee many of the individuals whose rights we would like protected.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  227. Brett from California

    Easy. Change the bankruptcy laws back to what they were before their lobbyists changed the wording to favor them. Then they won't have such incentive to rip off people to the point where their lives are destroyed. In addition, cap the maximum rates that they can charge, it's rediculous that they are charging 32%+ over what they are borrowing the money for. Greed begets greed.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  228. Larry Qualls

    The accounting rules should be changed to show unsecured debt (credit cards) on the books.

    Congress should set some reasonable guidelines based on individual potential earning and not allow the banks to issue more credit than the individuals can repay.

    The rates increases etc are just closing the barn doors after the cows have excaped.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  229. Missy M

    Credit card companies are merely delivering a service for a product people want. Some people have to pay more for that service then others. The focus should not be on the credit card companies but on the consumers who overuse credit cards to fund their overspending. Washington should focus its energies on teaching people to live within their means and not use credit cards. When vast numbers of people stop using their product, the credit card companies will get the message – no regulation needed.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  230. Gerry Benner

    Banks provide a variety of rates and a variety of penalities, unfortunately some folks, based on their credit history, suffer for their past with higher rates and fees. If we do regulations, let's limit the holes we dig, to better protect those who are unable to rein-in their spending and paying habits.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  231. P

    Small problem for all the populist ideas people are throwing around.... the biggest change that would come putting caps on interest rates charged (other other similar measures) will be fewer needy people granted credit. Liberal & conservative economists agree price controls do not work – they only serve to limit supply. I.e., cap interest rates at 15%, and anyone who's not credit worthy enough to get a card at 15% or better will find themselves out of luck.

    SO, if your aim is to cut off the availability of credit to those who really need it to get by, then by all means, regulate credit cards even more. You'll only further marginalize lower-income folks in this country.

    The real solution is TRANSPARENCY. Require easy to read summaries of key information such as rates and how and when they can be raised. Even go as far as putting something akin to a cigarette warning label on every credit card application. If people still want to pay 25% for credit, then there's nothing wrong with that. But don't do something stupid that cuts off credit to people who need it.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  232. Michelle from NC

    Jason – My credit should be impeccable. I have never missed a payment in my life. I carry a mortgage and some credit card debt. I didn't get into any shady introductory interest rate deals, I always check the fine print. But yet the banks have closed accounts I haven't used in 12 months, lowered credit lines to just over the balance on the ones I have open, and raised interest rates from 3.9% to17%! It has destroyed my credit rating because it looks on paper like my debt to credit ratio is 100%. It's ridiculous.

    One card I paid 3 days late (it was due on a holiday) and I paid a $39 late fee and the interest rate still went from 3.9% to 33% interest!! That rate is for some undetermined length of time – apparently it is entirely up to them when they decide to lower it, and to what rate.

    Perhaps someone has defaulted and created part of the problem, but it wasn't me and I don't see why I should pay the consequences. It also seems to me the banks would be defaulting too if they were asked to meet these same requirements.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  233. JB

    Sheliah, that system already exists. It's called take your business to another provider.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  234. Robert

    Credit card companies are definitely helping to create the 'credit crunch' conditions. It's an unfortunate result of a lack of conditions attached to bailout money. Card companies have reduced credit limits, which in turn lowers credit scores. This causes less people to qualify for loans, as the minimum credit score has also increased. Combined with a slashing of home equity lines of credit leaves many Americans with no alternative but bankruptcy. My Financial Institution, a credit union, has held back on reducing card limits and lines of credit in hopes that our customers will be able to weather the storm. Hopefully it pays off in the long run, with people running from super banks as fast as they can, finally realizing that the individual is not as important as the bottom line, even when the individual is keeping the company afloat with their tax dollars.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  235. Bernardo

    I can understand a 3 percent over prime lending but its robbery with the use of feather that slashes deep into the economics of the entire form of life of the Americans; its billions made by the banks and lending institutions for years past and years to come

    April 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  236. shelia

    I too had my interest rate jump up and credit line go down. I called them and asked why as I always paid on time and always more than what was required each month. All they said was, by LAW they can do this. You would think if they wanted their money they would lower the interest rate, keep it there and work with the people. There are alot of people I know this is happening to and are in the process of filing bankruptcy. The way they look at it...if the credit card company can't work with them..then the credit card company can eat the balance due. To them and the way the economy is today and probably will be for the next several years, what's a low fico score, credit rating, it was going to happen anyway as they could not pay the bill after the rate hike.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  237. Daniel

    Credit card companies should be able to price risk appropriately. As much as all the do-gooder fools want credit card companies to dish out free money and eat the massive losses, it's never gonna happen. Companies will either lend money where they can get appropriate returns or they will stop lending. If customers truly deserved better terms, they would get them. It's not like there's a lack of competition in the credit card industry.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  238. Paul

    President Obama Also needs to look in to balance transfer fees. They used to be a minimum of 10 dollars, 3% up to a maximum of 75 dollars. They are now charging 3-4% across the board.

    Is it worth it to do balance transfers if the fees are that high?

    April 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  239. Cindy

    I've always wondered how banks got away with paying such low interest rates on saving accounts while charging skyrocketing high credit card rates, even as so called "corner loan sharks" were being prosecuted for similar practices. Yes, there ought to be a reasonable profit margin for the bank between the depositors and the borrowers. But let's face it, card holders are essentially borrowers and it's my saved money they are borrowing. The bank and I could both be happy were it not for that annoying greed thing so evident in the banking industry. Just drive down any street in my neighborhood and you will see that greed is proudly displayed on every corner as banks continue to build, build, build.
    It is becoming so tiresome to have to keep asking the same question about government regulation. Does the government have to regulate everything? Apparently it does as long as greedy people outnumber the rest of us.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  240. Jerel

    Go back to the days when credit card companies made their money from the interest and eliminate most fees. Require issuers of consumer revolving credit to be a banking institution and eliminate store charge cards. Retailers should retail and lenders should lend.

    Cap interest rate at 20%. The interest rate should be a reflection of the lender's probability of getting paid back and not a reflection of Wall Street's expectations of their earnings report. Need to raise profit to make the bottom line look better? Raise interest rates! Of course, this gets into the CREDIT REPORTING problems. Who regulates them?

    Houston, TX

    April 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  241. James Carlson

    Repeal the 1980 acts that effectively abrogated all the state usury laws. Establish that interest rates on moneys already loaned or purchases by credit card already made may NOT be increased for any reason. Inreasing rates may only apply to new purchases or loans.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  242. J Thak

    Charge those banks similar high interest rates on the bail out money given to them! If they have raised their rates for people who defaulted or paid in part on payments due, then make them reduce the rates for those folks who paid on time; and have them reduce the rates to ZERO for those folks who ALWAYS payed in full and on time! Like me for instance!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  243. Larry

    Hey Jack –

    Here's a novel idea – If you don't like the terms that credit cards usually are comprised of then don't purchase items with them. If you can't pay cash then don't buy the damn thing.

    I am tired of hearing people cry over stuff like this. 'Those mean old credit card companies and their fine print terms!! Wah! Wah! Wah!'

    A lot of people in this country are always looking to blame other people/government/businesses for their problems. How pathetic.

    What's his name is right – This country is full of whiners!!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  244. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    Disband the loansharks, that would be all of the credit card companies!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  245. Daniel

    Credit card companies should be able to price risk appropriately. As much as all the do-gooder fools want credit card companies to dish out free money and eat the massive losses, it's never gonna happen. Companies will either lend money where they can get appropriate returns or they will stop lending. If customers truly deserved better terms, they would get them. It's not like there's a lack of competition in the credit card industry. Nobody blasted the industry when the market was driving 0% balance transfers and lengthy teaser periods.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  246. sue

    Credit card companies are just loan sharks. If they would just loan people the money and quit raising the interest rate any time they want more people would be able to pay them. How many banks do you know that charge 20-30% interest rates. Why are they allowed ? It 's not that most people don't want to pay their bills it's just that they keep raising the rate. Keep it under 9% or lower and I bet you wouldn't have any problems people paying their debt down. They want to keep you in debt for years. They are not going to help anyone. They are just greedy. Just like Wall Street and the rich.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  247. JimBrau

    The Congress could right a very large wrong by reinstating the bankruptcy laws as they were prior to GOP's change during the Bush Administration. Under the previous laws credit card debt could be totally erased as opposed to the current formula that was ,incidentially and not surprisingly, written for the legislators by the credit card industry. The credit card industry is a major contributor to politicos of both parties so they have generally gotten their way, especially during the last eight "crooked" years. After the bankruptcy laws were changed the credit cards went nuts in their charges, whereas the previous banruptcy laws kept them somewhat in check.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  248. Shawn

    I recently received a letter from Chase stating I could cancell my card or pay a whopping 29.9% interest this isnt the card I signed up for with Washington Mutual who was bought by Chase. Clearly there isnt any regulation because it would of been cheaper to go through a loanshark. One law should cap interest to 20% maximum and thats still high it seems like the mofia has a new buissness

    April 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  249. Patricia

    Credit card companies need to stop moving their agreements around to suit themselves at their own whims. They should make an agreement with a customer and stick with that agreement. The idea that they can [according to their own fine print – that you never read unless you find yourself the victim of a shocking interest change] do ANYTHING at all to give themselves a bigger benefit is sickening. We really do not have ANY rights with credit cards...so I am going to live without that kind of credit...like my parents did.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  250. Eric Dewey

    As someone who has worked in the credit card industry for the past 10 years as a compliance officer, attempting but usually failing to ensure that my bank was obeying the law, I have some knowledge of the problems.

    First, whatever the regulations say, it's absolutely critical that they are strongly enforced by the bank regulatory agencies. During my time at a couple of major banks, I discovered major regulatory violations that could have exposed my bank to major fines and enforcement actions. Yet no such enforcement actions were ever taken. FYI this is probably not the fault of the onsite examiners, but of the policy officials in DC who must approve any major regulatory enforcement.

    Second, the newly amended rules from the Federal Reserve are a good start – they hit at some, but not all, of the most egregious problems. However, they are not yet in effect, and even when they are it's not clear to me that the DC policy makers will be willing or able to enforce them.

    Finally, there's one key law that has not been well used in either enforcement or plaintiff litigation – the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as amended by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. This law could be the source of some major changes in the way these companies do business, but there has never been any serious attempt to enforce it on credit card or other lending companies.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  251. Carl from Citrus Heights, California

    I would nationalize any industry that has become a requirement or major necessity for equality in this country. By continuing to separate the citizens of this country through economic policies the opportunity for all is not even or fair.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  252. Susan Long, South Bend, IN

    1. Create a mandatory interest rate ceiling on new accounts, based upon the lowest average interest rates per quarter.
    2. Make it illegal to raise credit card rates without the cardholder's permission.
    3. Make it a felony to engage in predatory lending practices.
    4. Make community service mandatory for those senior managers who are guilty of minor infractions regarding regulations.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  253. Judy Brady

    Tie the interest rate they can charge to that allowed for home mortgages. Make all changes apply to future payments only; no retroactive implementation. Put legal penalties in place for infractions by financial organizations including their incorrect reporting of credit information and/or failures to correct reports. There should be regulations specifically dealing with the inactions of financial organizations and credit bureaus to ensure the financial organizations do not sway the information to their own self interest.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  254. Ken

    W & Grumpy gave the banking industry two sweet presents – they changed the bankruptcy laws and they set a 30% interest limit on credit cards.

    Step one is to repeal the Bush Bankruptcy laws and bring back a Medical Bankruptcy Act – one that doesn't destroy a lifetime of credit because of a medical crisis.

    Step two is to set the maximum interest charges to 12.5% or 15% over the prime rate the banks can get from the Fed.

    Also establish a "do not hound" list that we can join to stop the continuous flow of credit card applications.

    Finally, establish limits on fees that can be charged by banks and credit card companies.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  255. J

    Reinsitute the USUARY LAWS that a credit card company couldn't charge a percentage so high there was no hope of ever paying it off! STOP LETTING THEM GET THEIR WAY IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE! 850 BILLION dollars wasn't enough for these a-holes. THEY RAISED OUR INTEREST RATES AND TOOK OUR TAX MONEY!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  256. Rene Boufford

    Hi Jack,

    Credit Card users should be provided spending limits based upon their known incomes. The more you make the larger your limit. In other words it should be ruled by common sense.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  257. Eric

    Just by piutting a limit on how much they can charge for all there services as well and their APR. having a limit that will be told to the card holder before hand that way there are no surprises

    April 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  258. Daniel

    All you gurus who think you know the economics of credit cards (see: Jim Carroll) might want to factor something else into the equation: losses. When 10% of your customers aren't paying back the money they borrowed, what do you think happens?

    April 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  259. Becky Ellisor

    What happened to userous interest rates? I remember when 18 % was tops for any kind of loan. A late fee should never be larger than the payment missed.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  260. Heather

    There should be a cap on the interest that credit card companies can charge. It's true that the more people who default, the higher interest climbs to make up for it. But should those people who aren't defaulting be punished and pay more so then they, too, eventually will default?

    Personally I think charge card companies will eventually put themselves out of business. Those of us who erred by living beyond our means and racked up debts via charge cards are paying a high price now. Once we get those charge cards paid off, you can bet a good majority of people won't make that mistake again – particularly because of how the credit card companies are taking advantage of people.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  261. brenda cox

    Outlaw 'universal default', require that interest rate given be held constant, reduce the amount of fees

    April 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  262. Brent

    Put an end to usury. Place a cap on credit card interest rates at somewhere between 9.99 and 14.99%.

    The credit card companies will, of course, counter, "Well if you do that, it will prevent us from lending to high-risk applicants." Good! Why lend to people who you later plan on destroying with 30% interest rates and late fees, impoverishing them even further?

    April 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  263. sam zattiero

    1. Don't issue to children or those without a job.
    2. Don't give outrageous limits such as $50,000
    3. Make the minimum payment include some of the principle

    April 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  264. Ryan


    I would regulate the credit card industry by removing the 20% or higher interest rates, set a standard interest rate for all credit cards–somewhere between 5 and 8 %–and enforce a policy wherein credit companies must inform card holders of any increases to interest rates, along with the reason for the increases, at least 30 days before the increases take effect.

    Too many people are burdened by credit card debt and have few options to escape their positions. Using a credit card should not warrant punishment. I think the entire concept of credit should be reworked; being in credit card debt has become akin to being an indentured servant.

    I sincerely hope the president is able to find a way to regulate and control the credit card industry. It's about time to alleviate this particular stress factor in our lives.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  265. Jen

    I work for a major bank in this country. And I agree some banks practices are a bit on the shady side. But you can't eliminate all fees and interest rate increases. It just isn't realistic. Those penalties are placed in the terms of most contracts to try to give the consumer and incentive to pay on time. If there were no penalties for paying late then why would anyone pay on time? If the banks don't have anyway to ensure on time payments they are going to quit lending money altogether. Consumers in this country can't have it both ways!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  266. Gary

    Interest rates now being charged by credit card companies use to be called USURY and those who charged those rates were liable to be jailed. Now banks call that good business practice.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  267. Sue in NE Georgia

    Credit card companies are like wolves at the door to the hen house. Our Congress is just inviting them in when they allow them to "assist" in making the laws regulating them.

    Send the wolves out in the cold. They have been doing that to the people for years.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  268. Kevin

    Jack, credit cards have become another major addiction in our over consumtive lifestyle. I personally have battled the credit card demons of my past and present. If you don't have the money, you don't need it. Credit cards should only be used for emergencies, not to improve your status in the neighborhood.

    Warren, MI

    April 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  269. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    Credit card companies are hurting the travel industry, we use credit cards on travel to make it easy for us to get our money back if the trip goes totally wrong! The Airlines will suffer unless the credit card companies stop the maddness!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  270. Frustrated in NJ

    With interest rates being hiked up to 30%, it is impossible to pay off cards. People will realize it's cheaper to let the account go into collections and settle for a fraction of the price. If you're like me your credit already has taken a hit, so why keep trying to be honorable when the card companies aren't.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  271. Vivian Hansten

    If people would pay their credit card bills every month, it would not matter how much the rates were! Just pay the full amount every time the statement arrives, and there is no problem. Why can't people catch on to such a simple answer?

    April 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  272. Hmmm...

    They have the right to raise my rates....
    I have the right to Ignore there demands.....
    They have the right to take me to court.....
    I have the right to not pay because I have no reportable income.
    They have a right to go to hell.
    They wish to play fair, I will play fair.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  273. Terri Seattle

    In the past few months I am consistently receiving notices of increasing interest rates for no reason. I pay my bills on time, my credit score is over 700 and I'm still employed. I had an account with Nordstrom for over 20 years and they raised the interest rate to 30%!!! (I cancelled it immediately of course).

    I had a so-called locked in rate on a B of A card for 6% that they just notified me they were raising to 18% for no reason other than the clerk on the phone said "the bad economy"

    This is out of control and needs to be regulated. This could put someone like me who has a locked in Mortgage Rate but some debt (I'm trying to pay off quickly) in serious financial trouble- but why penalize the people who pay their bills on time and don't abuse it?

    April 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  274. Sherry

    The credit card companies are out of control. They are allowed to raise their rates over 30% which back in the day was called loan sharking. I used the credit cards in good faith with every intention of paying for the debt at a reasonable, and I mean reasonable, 6-8% interest rate. Now don't tell me that I shouldn't have had credit card debt at all, I'm really tired of hearing the do gooders say that. I made my payments, I used the card, I paid some of them off over and over. None of us can call this country the United States of America and be proud of that when we are so being ripped off by our own banks and credit card companies. I say to everyone out there, stop paying your credit card bills, let them use the bailout money to pay them and let the government charge them 30% to use the bailout money.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  275. philip

    Require credit card companies to offer savings accounts. They may charge only 50 percent more than they pay. Charge my neighbor 18 percent; pay me 12.

    RE: the comments about soliciting college students ... odds are your alumni association or admissions dept. is selling your kid's name and address to the credit card companies. That is inexcusable – but lucrative, and in a capitalist society – we are told – profitable = moral.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  276. Justin

    I can't stand the credit card companies, but to be honest, reading some of these responses has me laughing. There certainly need to be clearer terms, caps on rates, and elimination of some of the "traps," but some of the suggestions here are ludicrous. Cap rates at 5%? Really? Prevent them from charging late fees? Really?

    The fact of the matter is you are not forced to have a credit card. You are not forced to live beyond your means. Because that's what it comes down to - if you are carrying credit card balances, you are living beyond your means. I had credit card balances for years until I came to that realization. Instead of blaming it on the credit card companies, I put the blame solely where it belonged - myself. And I did something about it.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  277. miguel gonzales

    Simple Jack,just let everbody use cash instead.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  278. John in Texas

    Credit card companies should have their interest rates capped at 15%. There is no reason to charge anyone more than that.

    Credit card companies should be banned from allowing "payment holidays", that offer a zero dollar minimum payment, while the interest still accumulates.

    And the root of all evil– Experian, Transunion, and Equifax, should be abolished. Private corporations should not be controlling the credit lives of consumers. The "credit score" is geared in the favor of credit card companies, who persist to keep their customers in debt, since there is no profit for them in people who pay off their balances.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  279. ALan from Massachusetts


    Simple,... Don't Use them! or Pay when they are due!
    Thats why they are called Credit Cards!


    April 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  280. John

    I'm more concerned with the massive increase in the past few years in payday check advance stores. They are growing like rabbits. Cash advance stores are robbing the poor and giving to the rich. For some people, the only thing they have to look forward to is the yearly tax return because their bills take up most of their paycheck, making it impossible to pay off their loan. A typical payday loan charges 10% or more interest per week. That's over 500% interest yearly (which will be paid if you have to wait for a yearly tax return or bonus to afford to pay it off). Borrow 500? Pay over 2500-3000, bit by bit each paycheck, in interest and additional 500 to pay it off in one year. There has to be a better way to help people that are down on their luck or at least educate them.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  281. Angie Lind

    Regulate what?, They already jacked up the rates to %29.9, stopped limits, how could you have a credit rating anymore.
    I have build that excellent credit score and limits, it took me 35 years to accomplish is gone.

    We should start with new credit rating that puts the banks actions into consideration and looks at the history before greed machines took over.

    We could call it before and after the bank's terrorism credit score..

    If we wait till 2010 it would be like someone smacks you and you wait two years and go smack him back. How about now, They used to have a interest rate remained the same, if the payment was late you could not use it, it did not effect any other credit or cards.

    It worked than, it will work now.


    April 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  282. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    Ban Congress from kissing up to the credit card companies, and stop them from giving gifts to Congress!!!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  283. Kim Gross

    Credit Card companies should not have the quick of a switch capability to raise interest rates while decreasing credit limits whenever it feels like. They are doing this just because the companie's new debts owed to the Federal Government. Oh, we as a credit card company will just past the buck to the consumer for the second time. So we (tax payers) get double slammed. This type of business is dirty and is unfair to the consumer just like paying off a credit card by mail, but during the payment's transit to the credit card company, the account accumilated interest, then it forces a person to pay by phone or western union etc. This has happened to me. In addition, these actions by the credit card companies make it very difficult for the consumer to pay off the debt. So what does the credit card companies really want? More than likely, an account that will soon be in default. (who knows this is probably even profitable too) . I say chop up the credit cards and see if the economy increases this way. I doubt it! No one has any money. If one does have money, they certainly are not spending it here in America. Oh, they spend it abroad on their fancy trips elesewhere other than America. The CEOs have hordered all the money within these types of companies and others. No raises in years among the majority of my friends who have had careers within very well known companies. The only people getting anywhere in this artificial sense of living the American Dream are those in charge of running these supposive economical instruments.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  284. Ronald Holst

    Let Me put It this way Jack What Would the credit card Company's do

    If We the People perpetrated fraud up on them . I fell that is what they are doing to the American citizens.

    San Antonio TX

    April 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  285. Brad Dalton, GA

    The interest rate should be limited to twice the rate the credit card companies charge vendors who accept them. Talk about stimulus. Just imagine the amount of money circulating. Consumers receive more for their dollar, credit card companies still enjoy increased revenues when consumer use more, and vendors move more merchandise causing manufacturers and distributors increased demand (hopefully for that rare American made product). Let's see which card company makes this offer and then let's see vendors start accepting this card only and see if the competition causes any ripples.

    Or better yet, do what I do. Pay cash and buy local. The places I buy from really appreciate keeping the 3-5% the credit card companies charge them.

    Also, credit card companies should be required to send a $50 gift card each time they send a solicitation (junk-mail) through the U.S. Postal system. If not, quit wasting the paper, ink, postage, fuel, etc and stay out of my mail box! I'm sick of throwing them away!

    Dalton, GA

    April 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  286. Jeanne

    I would limit the allowable rates to a reasonable level – 12%. I belong to a credit union, not a bank, and my credit union visa is regulated with a 12% APR. I also think that personal finances should be a required couse for everyone in highschool. This would provide a baseline of understanding credit and how to use credit effectively without overuse. Too many people simply do not understand how credit cards work and find themselves in a position of barely being able to pay for the interest rates and finance charges each month. It becomes a hole they cannot dig out of.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  287. Nellie Showery, McAllen, TX

    1. What is the commission/ pay for a Credit card Lobbiest ?
    2. All Credit card limits slashed to my current Balance –dropping my credit score tremendously–Credit Card company then raised interest from 8 -9 points.
    3. I Have an excellent payment history paying above minimum.
    4. Capital One charges $ 39.99 for yearly membership fee? What ?
    No Grace for a 15 year good paying customer ?
    5. **Recommendation: Offer customers to OPT out (discontinue charging ) and reduce % rates to no more than 7%–this will encourage higher payments from Credit Card customers.
    6. Otherwise, I will be teaching high school until I am 70 years old.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm |

    The credit card industry needs to be held accountable for its unmitigated failiure to investigate the creditworthiness of those it issues credit cards to.The bankruptcy act should be amended to allow the discharge of any debtor receiving a credit card from an issuer whose delinquency rate in cards issued exceeds some agreed upon percentage and /or the right to issue additional new cards should be stripped away if their ability to determine creditworthiness is so poor.The credit card industry was as out of control as the mortgage industry.All they wanted was paper to securitize.
    The real question is whether we can recover economically if only those who are creditworthy are able to receive credit

    April 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  289. danny

    i would establish an agency to protect customers rights and to oversee the companies that issue credit cards. changes in rates and billing and contracts would have to pass a criteria that is much more customer friendly and realistic. i would not allow the credit companies to issue changes in agreement with their opt out notices that you'ld have to be a lawyer to read. if you had the money to opt out you wouldn't owe them so much in the 1st place.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  290. Ian D. Pfaff

    Stop using credit cards! Live within your means! Pay off your debt and close them out. If every American closed out their credit card accounts, paid them off, and lived within their means, we would have power over the credit agencies. It is possible to live without credit. I closed out all of my accounts a few years ago and naturally my credit score tanked. Shouldn't it be the other way around? Pay stubs and at least 2 to 3 years of steady employment should be required to obtain credit. Once your pay stubs are submitted and verified, your credit limit should be determined based upon what you earn per year. I know people who make under 30k and have 10k to 15k limits! That is predatory and dangerous. Please! Call your credit card agencies..close your card...tighten your belt...and move on. Let's show THEM who is in charge.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  291. Mikel

    First thing I would regulate and I think every bill across the country should have this regulation. Nothing can be due on a weekend or holiday.

    Nothing annoys me more then to recive a bill and have the "Payment to be received by ... some date" which is a Sunday. There is no mail on Sunday, and let's be honest, the credit card company isn't open on Saturday for collection, so they have to receive the payment by Friday because Monday is late. Even if received Saturday, it is mixed in with Monday's mail, so it is late.

    Many other things, I agree with those who have said, regulate yourself. Last year I called and cancelled every card with 20% or more interest. Any card I have has roughtly 10% for the rate.

    But I don't need the government to regulate the number of cards I have. Credit card companies are smart, if you only allow people to have three cards, they'll just up the max amount on each one. Also it makes it more difficult for me to change cards. If I want to cancel my Discover card and transfer the balance to Amex, well I can't get the Amex because I have te Discover, which I can't cancel until I pay it off, which I can't do because I want to transfer. Vicious spiral and we should avoid it.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  292. Kris Holtan

    It makes no sense at all for Bank of America to raise the interest rate on my card to 24.99% from 3.99%, especially in vie of the fact that I have never benn late with a payment, been a customer for more that 15 years, and laways pay more than the minimum payment (sometimes double or triple), but have carried a balance for years. Now I will pay this card off, pay the balance in full each month... so what have they gained? A disgruntled customer, who will close my longstancding checking and avings accounts, as well as transfer my IRA CD to a different institution. DUH!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  293. Mark

    Jack – Their recent practices have defied logic. A consumer utilizes their services (credit) and, if they're responsible, in a manner that fits within their budget. Suddenly, FOR NO REASON, the CC company DOUBLES the interest rate AND their minimum payment goes from 5% to 10% of the outstanding balance. So...a $100/mo credit card payment goes to almost $400. Notwithstanding any other reductions to your income (i.e. job loss, lower wages, etc.), most folks budgets can't take this kind of sudden jump. And then the whole thing spirals downward with late fees, over limit fees, etc. etc. etc. Multiply this times 2 or 3 cards (or more), and bankruptcy can loom! Or – Now your credit score gets dinged, and everything else jumps to higher rates, mortgages can't be qualified for (no buying houses), you won't qualify for a car loan (no buying cars – BYE BYE GM), etc – and the economy tanks! GOD FORBID!

    To those who have made comments like 'don't use cards', or 'pay your bills'...well – sorry – some of us don't have the luxury to have to pay medical bills or car/house repairs, etc. in full when they unexpectedly occur. Walk a mile in our shoes, friend!

    April 21, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  294. Kendra

    The answer is simple: don't give credit to people who aren't credit-worthy. No high-interest subprime loans for mortgages, no high-interest credit cards for poor credit risks. Ultimately, these people won't pay their debts, and the whole system will collapse, just as it did with the whole mortgage crisis. Credit is NOT a right, and especially not "easy credit." It's a reward for being financially responsible.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  295. Gary

    Ultimately, Congress is to blame for not passing laws that recognize credit cards for what they are, legal loan sharking. A guy named Lefty would go to jail for trying to charge me 29.98 percent interest. MasterCard is seen as priceless. Give me a break.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  296. Steve in California

    In a word, simplify. Cut out the pages of legalese and other nonsense. Federally limit what they can charge, based on a sliding scale connected to the card holder's credit score. Reduce the number of times a year they can adjust rates. Stop predatory practices. Stop exhorbitant fees.

    Recently, my wife and I, who both have credit scores in the mid-800's, sent a payment to our credit card company. It didn't arrive. My wife, who is watchful of these things, called the company before they sent a late notice to find out what happened to the check. They claim not to have received it. We paid immediately electronically. We still received late fees and processing fees of nearly $100.00. Absolutely rediculous.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  297. janie

    They should have limits and criteria for raising the interest rates instead of being able to do it across the board whether we agree to it or not and they should have to do it on the balance of point of notification and not the entire balance. I agree that we should be able to charge them an inflated interest rate on the tarp funds and see how they like it. If they want to stop the credit flow then that would hurt no one other than themselves. We as a whole need to learn to live without credit and maybe we would not be in the shape that we are today.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  298. Kimberli

    First, lets prevent credit card companies from soliciting on college and university campuses. Second, they need rules on when they can increase interest rates and how much those increases can be. A person who historically pays on time every month, doesn't over extend and pays more than the minimum for many years shouldn't see their rates increase from 10% to 20% for no other reason than they want to. Third, limit offers to individuals who have a credit history or at the very least an employment history. Lastly, anyone who is convicted of credit card fraud or indentity theft should have a notation automatically placed on the credit reports at the three major bureaus for not less than 10 years.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  299. meshack, south bend, indiana

    everyone should take out their credit cards and cut them up with a pair of scissors. they ruin us.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  300. John J from Illinois


    Regulation is not a cure all to this problem. I work for Card Issuer, and there has to be some responsibility placed on the consumer. Credit, when used responsibily, is a good thing. The rates and fees are there to help compensate the unsecured debt when consumers fail to meet their end of the deal. The Feds need to understand that Issuers can not implement these changes overnight. We need time to make changes to our systems, disclosures, and marketing materials.

    April 21, 2009 at 5:50 pm |