A year after it was first passed, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act has largely been helpful to consumers, according to a report from the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In particular, consumers have seen fees for late payments ease considerably, and those for exceeding credit limits have disappeared almost entirely.
[Related: Are CARD Act Critics in Complete Denial?]
In addition, rate hikes to consumers with existing accounts have also been vastly reduced, the report said. Prior to the passage of the Credit CARD Act, about 15 percent of all balances saw their basic interest rates increase in a given year, but that number has dwindled to just 2 percent in the past year. Further, only one of the nine major credit card lenders surveyed by the CFPB said it regularly reviews rates to find if increases should be made.
Many consumers have successfully reduced the rate at which they fall behind on payments since the passage of the Credit CARD Act as they have become warier of taking on debt in general, and have cut spending as a result.