October 9th, 2009
03:12 PM ET
5 years ago

Some credit card companies rush to act before new law

 Chuck and Jeanne Lane of Ohio have excellent credit, but their monthly credit card bill more than doubled.
Chuck and Jeanne Lane of Ohio have excellent credit, but their monthly credit card bill more than doubled.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – If you hold a Discover credit card, you're in luck - the company has decided to freeze interest-rate hikes until a new credit card consumer protection bill takes effect in February.

Bank of America was the first company to freeze its rates. Both moves come after outrage over credit card companies jacking up rates, increasing minimum payments and raising penalty fees before the new consumer protection law - which would bar sudden increases - is phased in.

Rep. Betsy Markey, D-Colorado, and 17 other lawmakers sent letters to credit card banks asking them voluntarily to freeze their rates while Congress decides whether to move up the phase-in date for the new law to December.

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Filed under: Congress
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Citibank did that to me last year after 24 years of never being late and paying in full or more than minimum every month.

    I cancelled the card. Take a stand people. If you don't use them, they can't use you.

    October 9, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Maude, IL

    What else is new? I'm not surprised, these are the GOP's friends, the people who have been running this country.

    Congrats President Obama.

    October 9, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. Larry

    This is the same greed that got us into the financial meltdown. Amazing more people aren't being prosecuted for it.

    October 9, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. yuri

    We can only hope that other credit card companies follow suit and not be avaricious and milk the consumers dry.

    October 9, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Jorma Jean Thomas

    Sorry to tell you but you are wrong unless Discover has changed their mind. I received a notice from them a few days ago telling me that their minunum payment had been increased & some more changes.You can reject their changes but if you do, your credit card will be cancelled. Chase did the same thing a month ago. Our payment tripled so I promply payed off my balances thru a bank loan. They should not be allowed to do this. People cannot afford that in this economy. What if one could not get a loan as I did? Then they would be up a creek which I assume the majority of people with credit card balances are. It all adds up to stealing from the american people who just a few months ago bailed these same banks out.

    October 9, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Demeke Deboch

    May be who knows today's world just got its long wished leader! This Nobel Peace Prize award may have its own story world should learn! Let it be as an expression of the heart of the nominators!

    October 9, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. awaitingmoderationby CNN

    The liberals were told this was going to happen when they dreamed up the legislation. Are they now going to act surprised in some sort of stupid partisan manner like Maude, IL@? Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are their friends and have been in charge of the committees that control this stuff for over four years. Why blame it on the Republicans or is that just part of the liberal brain disease.

    October 9, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  8. Farrell in Houston

    These banks still paid out big bonuses to their CEOs after being bailed out by tax payers and to pull a dirty stunt like this is totally appauling. Thank God these people got to President Obama in time and informed him of these actions by banks which will put an end to these theives.

    October 9, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. S M R

    And these are the Companies the GOP support, SIMPLY RIDICULOUS!!!

    October 9, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Dave From Philly

    If you have an savings account with one of these banks you are probably getting less than 1% interest, but if you have a credit card they are charging you 24% interest.

    Congress should have acted soon. In fact they should have told the banks they would be no bailout unless all the banks agreed to a 24 month freeze on interest rates. Except in the cases of missed payments or over the limit.

    You have to wonder who's side these guys are on.

    October 9, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  11. HBO

    They already have increased my rate 10-15% for no reason. What about restoring the rates to "pre-jacking" levels?

    October 9, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  12. Robert G

    How stupid is this; Congress passes laws reining in the banks but gives them 6 months before the laws are active. What is that saying about the horse and the barn door? Tell me Congress and the lobbyist aren't in bed together. SICKENING. Close K street.
    RAG

    October 9, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. Emmanuel Torres - New York

    I have to say that what Obama pushed through is good, however not good enough. Credit cards make americans prisioners of debt. I understand you must know what you can afford and how much you can borrow to afford. But when it comes to ridiculous interest rates this is just simply ludacris. My credic cards had an interest rate of only 12.99% as of late last year. As of today, my four different credic cards have jacked up interest rates to 24.99%, increased fees up and down and there is no one to stop them. They have all the right in the wrold to do this and they are taking adcantage of this time before the new rules go into full effect. It just shouldn't be this way, they're just leeching away on the american people.

    October 9, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  14. IVOTE

    I'm cancelling the two I have,

    October 9, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. TLO

    Let see credit card companys are the bad guys for raising rates. I think you have a choice if you want to charge or not. How about the dem raising our taxes when they want. Do we have a say in that????? When are the people of American going to wake up!!!!!

    October 9, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Shari, NY

    Buy things that you need – not must have; use a debit card for simple purchases. Resort to using a credit card when making a sizeable purchase with a company whose stability you are not sure of ! That way, if you have a problem with them you can easily recoup your money through your credit card company. It is time for consumers to wise up. If you take a stand then they cannot walk over you.

    October 9, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. joanne

    the credit card comapnys are so high minded they are adding everything they can to all the cards like magazine subscriptions and other junk tht I never ordered..TIME TO CANCEL THE CREDIT CARDS ASAP

    October 9, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  18. lou

    IT IS TIME WE, THE PEOPLE, USE OUR HEADS AND REBEL AGAINST THE TYRANNY OF THESE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES. Think about it, they are ALL unsecured creditors. Take out as many credit cards as you can, charge up the moon, and when they try to slick you, tell them to either stop abusing you or you will NOT pay them a dime more. I did it with B of A and the guy reversed their increase to only a couple of points above the original 9.9 fixed I had. Originally they wanted to go to 24% for no reason. I called them and told them to reverse it or I wouldn't make another payment, and I meant it.

    October 9, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. IsNot

    @ awaitingmoderationby CNN October 9th, 2009 3:41 pm ET

    The liberals were told this was going to happen when they dreamed up the legislation. Are they now going to act surprised in some sort of stupid partisan manner like Maude, IL@? Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are their friends and have been in charge of the committees that control this stuff for over four years. Why blame it on the Republicans or is that just part of the liberal brain disease.

    ==================================================

    Please! Get over that old chestnut and come into Realityville.

    The first attempt to freeze rates was under Bush, but he insisted on an almost two-year wait before the rules went into effect. The credit card companies had a field day raising every fee and rate they could before this summer's law changes. The new law doesn't go into effect till after Christmas.

    So I wouldn't expect anyone would want to use their cards this year. That will in turn lower sales numbers, put companies out of business and people out of work. They won't be able to pay their bills, resulting in raising the rates more to "force" early pay-offs.

    Meanwhile, the excuses for rate-raising are getting really creative. My mail comes to my PO Box where I work (on a military post). Apparently, the ZIP code is the reason for raising my rates. I guess some AD members are having issues paying their bills from deep in the mountains of Afghanistan. Yeah, their rates apparently are being raised, too.

    October 9, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. victim of republican greed

    Is this a result of the $700 Billion in TARP money that Bush gave to the banks with no accountability?

    October 9, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. IsNot

    @ TLO October 9th, 2009 4:01 pm ET

    Let see credit card companys are the bad guys for raising rates. I think you have a choice if you want to charge or not. How about the dem raising our taxes when they want. Do we have a say in that????? When are the people of American going to wake up!!!!!

    ===============================================

    Yes, we DO have a say in it. This is not a democracy, but a republic. We elect the people in Washington to make decisions on our behalf. Otherwise, nothing would ever get done because the country would come to a screeching darn halt everytime something regarding money came up.

    Think about it. Could you imagine the chaos trying to organize 100 MILLION voters to vote on any expenditures? We cannot even get that many people to come out to vote once every four years, let alone every four days...

    October 9, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  22. kaleto

    "If you hold a Discover credit card, you're in luck — the company has decided to freeze interest-rate hikes until a new credit card consumer protection bill takes effect in February."
    Yeah, right. They already raised my interest rate months ago for no reason. Now they're gutting their cashback program. Can't wait until I have enough cash back earned to merit a check so I can dump that card.

    October 9, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. karen

    stick it to the banks! stop using the credit cards, and pay cash for everything, and I mean everything. Cut those cards up! pay off the lowest balance card first, then work your way thru the rest. Credit score? who care's about it if you don't need credit anymore! Credit scores were established by banks! the banks are the one causing the credit card issues. So yourself a favor, stop using the cards, get use to living on what your earn, and teach your children that you don't have to have a credit card. I have 2 in college, and they recieve multiple credit card offers all the time. They don't have any, and pay cash for everything.

    October 9, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  24. vic nashville , Tn

    As Bill Maher said if you have gun you can rob a bank

    If you have bank you can rob every body

    October 9, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. kman919

    Hell...Mr Obama deserves that award after fighting (4) wars...battle of Hillary and McCain and winning those 2 wars and with the Iraq war nearly complete and Afghanistan war ongoing he deserves at least a medal of honor for all the crap he went with hillary and McCain. One thing is undisputed the man is at least trying to make a difference in terms of change. The stress alone has been mind boggling, look at all the gray hairs thats popped up on his head. Yea he deserves it with a passion.

    October 9, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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