It's one reason so many people are stunned when they're hit with unexpected rate increases or penalty fees: It's in the small print.
CNN asked 13 credit card holders to review a basic five-page credit card agreement. Only four of them were able to find the annual percentage rate, and it wasn't easy.
"It's very confusing, and I'm an intelligent person," Amy Gould said, adding that she thinks the credit card companies have a stake in keeping their agreements opaque. "I think it tries to make the consumer confused. It takes advantage."
Alan Siegel thinks he has the answer. He runs Siegel+Gale, a marketing firm that's specialized in contract simplification for 30 years. He's simplified agreements for the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Mint, major banks and insurance companies. He believes that it's time credit card companies got on board.
According to Siegel, the current contracts are full of "gobbledygook." He insists that "it's a total disregard and disrespectful to the relationship with the consumer." He believes that card companies can make their agreements crystal clear.