Consumer Rights for Credit Card Bill

Many rules and regulations are passed in favor of the cardholders. These rules and regulations are basically what credit card companies can do or what they cannot do. These rules, regulations, and principles have changed over the years, with a significant amount of the regulatory and few adjustments have been done and then it will be brought by legal decree. The new credit card law (CARD Act) represents sweeping pieces of credit card legislation effected in August 2010. Before upgrading the law, we have kept an eye on the apprised of all the changes that have done and, also keep an eye on the credit card bill of rights of the consumer and limitations in them. In terms of various credit card features.

Right 1: Interest Rates / APR’s

  • under few specific circumstances an interest rate on your credit card can be applied:
    • If You become 60 days delinquent 
    • After the completion of the introductory year of the account opening. Now the credit card company will send you a notification that after 45 days a new interest rate will be applied to each and every transaction and this rate will be applied after 14 days notice.
      • If you have any balance on the 13th day of the notice (i.e. your existing balance)  then a new interest rate will not be applied to that balance because it is your existing balance and still you have one day left. A credit card company is allowed to send a notification or message about the interest rate increase or any reason, but still you have the same interest rate on your existing balance and this will not affect you. You can also stop using your credit card within 14 days of the date on the notification and also you can avoid doing any purchases which will be affected by the higher interest rate.
    • Interest rates are variable indexes and if there is any change to the value of the index.
    • then the introductory rate will be ended.
    • Do not follow the debt management agreement.
  • Interest rates are only applicable on the current balances or on the current billing period. It will not affect your old bill. 
  • When the higher interest rate applied because of becoming 60 days delinquent then you can request your bank for the reduction in the higher interest rate, after doing the six continuous payments on time.
    • Then Your bank will evaluate your request within 45 days.

Right 2:Fees

  • You are not responding to any of the fees except the penalty fees.  Because credit card companies set the initial limit for the first year of your opening accounting and totaling more than 25%. This 25% cap is not applied before your account is open.
  • Also, You cannot be charged a penalty fee of more than $25. This fee will be more if your last six payments were late or your credit card bill company proves to regulators that only penalty fee action is applicable for the higher penalty. 
    • No late fee can exceed your minimum payment.
    • No over-limit fee will be charged and that will be no more than the amount by which you exceeded the limit.
  • Not more than one will be charged and only one fee for any single event or transaction that warrants a penalty 
  • No account inactivity fee will be charged.
  • Only $50 will be charged if the card is lost or stolen.

Right 3:Communications / Statements

  • Credit card companies have to disclose all their terms and conditions like their APR charges, annual fee, interest-free periods, etc. will be in writing.
  • Credit card companies give at least 45 days’ notice before doing any change to your account’s fee structure or interest rate and before making any other significant changes to your terms; however…
    • Credit card companies need not notify you before any variable interest rate changes, your introductory rate concludes, and when the regular rate will be going the begin, or your rate increases because you are not durable by the terms of a debt management agreement.
    • Once the notification is received for any change, Now you have the right to cancel your card before increased interest fees will be assessed by the credit card company, and do all the payment for full balance payment in an expedited time frame.
  • Credit card companies need to explain the reason behind any change in the interest rate.
  • Credit card companies have to specify clearly about your bill that how long it will take to pay off your balance. when your only paying the minimum amount and how much time it will take months to be zero balance within three years.
  • Lenders have to use uniform methods to calculate the cost of credit and they must have to disclose this cost and the method they have used.
  • Right of dispute payments.
    • Disputes payments can be informed by mail and after receiving the mail,  the credit card company has to settle it within 60 days of the date on the account statement that included the initial potential error.
    • The credit card company acknowledged about the dispute within 30 days and either correct the mistake or sends a letter to the customer. Explains the reason why there was no error within 90 days.
  • If you are clearly agreeing to allow purchases that exceed your credit limit.
    • When you are agreeing to allow over-limit transactions and end up exceeding your limit, then credit card company will charge only one fee per billing period
    • You can also cancel the over-limit at any time.

Right 4:Payments

  • The amount of your payment which is above the minimum payment must be applied on the highest interest rate.
    • The minimum payment amount is applicable on the balance which is having the lowest interest rate.
    • Deferred interest rate: if you have chosen the deferred interest rate then you have the choice to apply your monthly payments to clear this balance first so that you can pay the whole balance before the interest rate begin. If you have not given this option, then you have to give payments for the two billing periods before the end of the no-interest period will be applied to this balance.
  • The credit card company has to mail you your bill before 21 days when it is due.
  • Credit card companies provide your bill at the same time each month.
  • All credit card payments can be placed after 5 p.m.
  • When your payment date falls on a holiday, then you will get one more extra day to pay your bill.
  • Sometimes mistakes can occur and these mistakes can be corrected. But they will not damage your credit score.
  • You also have the right to dispute payments.
    • Disputes can be informed by mail and after receiving the dispute mail the credit card company has to resolve the issue within 60 days and settle the account.
    • Your credit card company must acknowledge the dispute within 30 days and either correct the mistake or send a letter explaining why there was no error within 90 days.

Right 5:Credit Card Eligibility

  • You must be 21 years old. And you must have the payment ability or a co-signer is there as a guarantee to open a credit card.
  • Credit card companies check your income before issuing you a credit card.
  • No discrimination will be done before issuing cards based on time, race, religion, marital status, age, or national origin.
  • Discrimination will not exist because you receive public assistance.
  • unsolicited credit card will not be issued.

Right 6:Debt Collection

  • Debt collectors introduce themselves in every communication.
  • Debt collectors must apprise you of your right to dispute your debt.
  • Debt collectors must show you the contact information for the creditor from whom the debt originates within 30 days of receiving a request for such information.
  • Debt collectors must mail you verification of your debt or stop the collections process within 30 days of receiving a dispute or request for debt verification.
  • Debt collectors can not give calls between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Debt collectors can not use the telephone with the intention of annoy or harass you.
  • Debt collectors may not attempt to contact you at work if your employer has forbidden the practice.
  • Debt collectors can not use abusive or profane language.
  • Debt collectors may not contact you after you have requested in writing that they not do so.
    • Communications expressing the conclusion of collections efforts or the filing of a lawsuit are permitted.
  • Debt collectors may not contact you if you have made it known that you are being represented by an attorney.
  • Debt collectors may not misrepresent themselves or the extent of your debt.
  • Debt collectors may not publish your name or address.
  • Debt collectors may not threaten legal action that is not before being contemplated.
  • Debt collectors may not share information about your debt with third parties, excluding attorneys and your spouse.
  • Debt collectors may not send you the mail with any symbols or writing indicating that you are in debt collections.
  • Debt collectors cannot relay or threaten to relay false information to credit reporting agencies.
  • You have the right to sue drag the debtors to the state and federal court.

Right 7:Credit Reports

  • Consumers have the right to ask for free copies of their credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies for the last 12 months.
    • Reports can be requested on the phone or mail and at annualcreditreport.com.
  • Negative information must be removed from your credit reports within a certain period.
    • Most information must be removed within 7-10 years.
  • If the information on a credit report leads to adverse action against a consumer, the organization that used the information must notify the consumer of this fact and identify the source of the information.

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