The Credit CARD Act of 2009 brought some much-needed protection to consumers. But along with all the good stuff, we also got a few not-so-good things. These things, also known as the dreaded “unintended consequences,” ranged from APR increases to credit card account closures.
In February 2010, Credit.com did a survey to find out what changes, if any, consumers had experienced. This survey showed that 43 percent of consumers had experienced changes—and not the good kind—to their credit card accounts. In Credit.com’s most recent survey, the number of consumers who had experienced negative changes to their accounts fell to 36.5 percent. This still seems a little high, but at least the percent who experienced a bit of unpleasantness is down from a year ago.
[Consumer Guide: How the Credit CARD Act of 2009 Affects You]
Here’s a list of the changes we asked consumers about. The responses from our current survey are listed as well as responses from a year ago. You can see the differences—or, in a few cases, lack thereof—between the most recent results to those from a year ago.
Compared to a year ago, consumers appear to be experiencing fewer negative changes to their accounts, with the exception of minimum payment increases and changes in due dates. Still, the best thing for you to do is to keep an eye on your accounts. Be on the alert for increases in your minimum payment or increases in your APR. And remember if you see changes to your accounts, you can call the issuer and negotiate, whether it’s a changed due date or a crazy new fee that shows up.
What about you? Have you experienced any of these changes to your credit card accounts recently?
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This national RDD Probability Sample telephone poll was conducted for Credit.com by GfK Custom Research North America from January 14-16, 2011. A total of 1,004 interviews were completed, with roughly 531 female adults and 473 male adults. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points for the full sample.