New credit card rules help some, hurt others

WASHINGTON, DC (NBC News) – Significant changes in credit card rules have taken place over the past year with some more taking effect this month.

The new rules were designed to make credit cards and debit cards more transparent to the consumers using them.  Depending on your financial situation the new rules may help or hurt.

Brian Bradshaw is a stay-at-home dad.  While his wife is working, he’s taking care of the kids which does not come with a paycheck. A new credit card rule now prohibits Bradshaw from applying for a credit card in his name.

“Once you’re married, you’re a family,” said Bradshaw. “Everything is the family’s.  So the idea that I couldn’t use my wife’s salary for proof of income or that my wife couldn’t use mine for proof of income I find kind of strange.”

The new rule essentially says non-working spouses can no longer claim household income when applying for a credit card.

“This rule stems from a serious problem that’s been around for a long time,” said David Butler, Deputy Director of Consumer’s Union. “Credit card companies too often doling out credit without taking any real consideration into that person’s ability to repay it.”

Butler says there could be unintended consequences to the rule.

“Some people may have a much harder time getting credit even though they may be the primary person in the house who manages the finances, has access to the money, and pays the bills,” said Butler.

This new rule will also prevent marketing to college students on campus, and prevents students from using household income when applying for a card.

“The credit law ensures that there are much stronger controls and how credit is extended to college students who aren’t yet bringing in any salary of their own,” said Butler.

One complaint regulators heard from consumers was banks marketing low interest cards only to have the consumer sign up for them and have the rate skyrocket. The new credit card rules make it harder for banks to raise a promised rate.

“This law does crack down on the so-called tease rates and ensure if you’re promised a certain rate the credit card company is under a much stronger obligation to continue to offer you that rate and notify you if and when there are any changes in advance,” Butler said.

You may have noticed on your bill clearer disclosures on how much you really owe. The rule requires banks to print on every bill what happens if you pay only the minimum balance, the interest accrued and how long it will take you to pay off the balance.

“The most important thing that I could advise any consumer, now that we have this new card act as law is read your mail, because typically that’s the only obligation the credit card company has to tell you about changes in many cases, good changes you are going to want to take advantage of,” said Butler.

Some advice for those without their own personal income: you can apply for a joint credit card, or get a clear co-signer on a card but it will not help build your credit.  That will only happen once you have your own income.

Article source:


Leave a Reply

Other News


    Zimbabwe condemns Gaddafi killing

    “Zimbabwe just cannot accept what has happened in that African country as a legitimate way of correcting systems on the African continent,” said Webster Shamu, minister of information and government spokesperson, in a statement. Last month, President Robert Mugabe, a close ally of Gaddafi, urged Libya’s transitional leaders to negotiate with the former strongman. He later said the Arab Spring could have been avoided if the leaders had “read” the situation properly. In August, Harare expelled Libyan ambassador to Zimbabwe [...]

    Read more →
  • FEATURED New Zealand overcome Taylor heroics

    New Zealand overcome Taylor heroics

    Keep up to date with all that’s new around the world - read match reports and more from every international played Brendan Taylor prospers through the off side en route to a second successive unbeaten century. Zimbabwe’s captain once again ended up on the losing side as New Zealand eased to their target of 260 Buy this photo Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum guided New Zealand to a series-clinching four-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the second one-day international in Harare. [...]

    Read more →

    Nyoni hits back at Moyo claims

    SMALL enterprises minister, Sithembiso Nyoni has reacted angrily to claims by Zanu PF colleague, Professor Jonathan Moyo that a rural relief and development agency she led before joining cabinet was involved in the formation of the MDC. Reviewing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s recently published memoirs, At the Deep End Moyo said one of the book’s few useful disclosures was Tsvangirai’s confirmation of the role played by the Organisation of Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP) in the formation of the MDC. [...]

    Read more →
  • FEATURED Ageing dictator battles on

    Ageing dictator battles on

    Mugabe Many Zimbabweans want to know why he cannot just put his feet up and enjoy the years he has left with his young family. However, if nothing else, Mugabe is an extremely proud man. He will only step down when his “revolution” is complete. According to him, this means the redistribution of foreign firms including mines and banks. He calls it the Third Chimurenga. The Second Chimurenga was about the grabbing of white-owned farms for re-distribution to blacks. The [...]

    Read more →

    Air Zim should shut down — MP

    An MDC-T MP on Tuesday suggested Air Zimbabwe should completely shut down its operations as the parastatal had become unviable, making losses instead of serious business. This was said before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on State Parastatals and Enterprise Management by Chegutu West MP Takalani Matibe to the Air Zimbabwe management who had been called to appear before the committee to explain their current state of affairs. Matibe’s assertions came after Air Zimbabwe acting CEO Innocent Mavhunga had told the [...]

    Read more →

    Taylor’s ton can’t save Zim

    AP Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor hit an unbeaten century and finished on the losing side as New Zealand won the second ODI. Harare – For the second successive match, Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor hit an unbeaten century and finished on the losing side as New Zealand won the second one-day international by four wickets at Harare Sports Club on Saturday. Taylor made 107 not out off 105 balls with 12 fours and a six to enable Zimbabwe to reach 259 [...]

    Read more →

    Zim violates African Rights Charter

    The Zimbabwean can reveal that Zimbabwe, which ratified the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on May 30 1986, has submitted only three reports. Rights defenders have released a damning report on the human rights situation, saying peaceful protestors were victimised during United Nations World Peace day in September. This clampdown culminated in a spate of arbitrary arrests and unwarranted detentions which in some cases have been followed by prosecution. The report says the security of journalists and even [...]

    Read more →

    Zimbabwe’s Taylor hits second successive century

    (AFP) – 2 hours ago  HARARE — Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor hit his second successive unbeaten century to lead his team to a competitive 259 for eight in the second one-day international against New Zealand at Harare Sports Club on Saturday. Taylor made 107 not out off 105 balls with 12 fours and a six to enable Zimbabwe to recover from a slow start after they were sent in to bat on a pitch which gave early help to New [...]

    Read more →