Archived: EDITORIAL: Consumers Need Protection from Credit Card Companies


Someone in Congress is finally taking notice of the money gouging practices that credit card companies are hammering credit card holders with.

While the administration is saying that they want to make credit more available to the public, credit card companies are hiking the interest rates on their cards with impunity.

Overnight hikes in interest rates, escalating late fees, sudden imposition of membership fees are many of the abuses that Americans are complaining about.

Many credit card holders who are current on their accounts are nonetheless having their available credit amounts cut and their interest rates hiked.

U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NV) has introduced a bill that is being considered by the House Financial Services Committee chaired by U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass).  The bill calls for clearer labeling of financial products and while that is all well and good, it does not solve the problem that credit card users are already facing.

Banks have been slow in lending to both consumers and businesses. For many, credit cards are a stopgap measure until bank lending starts flowing more freely. Placing greater burdens on credit card holders, particularly those with good and solid credit card histories, is only making consumers who can afford to spend, more afraid to take the risk. How is this good for the economy?

What is needed right now is a strong word of warning from the Congress and the White House that unless the credit card companies curb their excessive rates and sneaky practices, the public will probably demand a stronger government intervention in the matter.

The words “tighter regulations” come to mind.

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