New credit card law takes effect

Posted by Shawn Maclauchlan

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A brand new credit card law takes effect Monday.

The rules were created to protect consumers from abusive behavior by credit card companies.

It's called the Credit Card Accountability and Disclosure Act, signed last May by President Obama to give consumers more rights when using plastic.

In the nine months since, credit card companies jacked up interest rates, created new fees, cut credit lines or even canceled cards.

So here's a breakdown of some of the changes.

Credit card companies must now provide a 45 day notice before increasing rates on new balances. They must also mail your credit card bill at least 21 days before its due.

And the days of credit card companies hanging out on college campuses are over - the new law says students under 21 can't get a credit card unless they have a parent or guardian co-sign or show they can make the payments.

Statements will now contain an ugly truth showing how much it really costs when you say "charge it" - you will now know how long it will take to pay off your balance.

(c) 2010 WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.