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Idea of the Day: How We Should Expand Credit Card Reform

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In 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act, or Credit CARD Act. This law ended credit card industry practices in which interest rates could change at any time and in which hidden provisions enabled companies to charge significant fees without justification. The act also limited credit card marketing directed at college students and added consistency to store gift cards to ensure predictable fees and expiration dates. One year later, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act greatly extended the Credit CARD Act’s reach by creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, an independent federal agency that monitors banks’ practices in the interest of consumers.

These changes have created a clearer, fairer, and more competitive marketplace for consumers and have given them new tools to understand the terms of credit card offers and to pay off their debts responsibly. A recent analysis by four economists found that consumers have saved $12.6 billion in fees annually since the Credit CARD Act’s passage, based on a comparison of 160 million credit cards—including personal credit cards that were subject to the new rules, as well as small-business credit cards that were not.

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Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here