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BusINess » Credit

Posts Tagged ‘Credit’

Fewer credit card rate hikes after regulations

Credit card holders are facing fewer interest rate hikes and forking over sharply less in late fees.

A year after new regulations curbed a spate of questionable billing practices, federal officials say over-the-limit penalty charges have also been dramatically curtailed. The findings come from the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will assume responsibility for administering the regulations once it’s officially up and running this summer.

The agency is set to present three sets of data at a conference it’s hosting Tuesday on the one-year anniversary of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, or the CARD Act. Here are the highlights:
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Give yourself credit

The numbers couldn’t align better: Mortgage rates not seen since the middle of the last century and some home prices lowered back to the beginning of this one.

But many buyers are finding the whole equation spoiled when they factor in another number: their credit score.

Indeed, FICO, the former Fair Isaac Corp., which provides the formula for the credit score used by mortgage lenders, found that nearly 30 percent of people in a recent sampling had a score under 620.
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Credit reports: Who’s looking at yours? And why?

Now that it will be easier to find your free credit report, you may be curious about who else can see it and how it can be used.

A new Federal Trade Commission rule that started Friday will require Web sites advertising free reports to direct consumers to the government-approved annualcreditreport.com. TV and radio ads must do the same starting Sept. 1.

The problem is that these ads typically don’t disclose that the advertised free reports are part of a package of services that can cost as much as $14.95 a month. Consumers may not realize they can get free reports with no strings attached.
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Credit card costs at center of reform

A Visa sticker is shown at a business in Detroit. The new credit card regulations began Monday. Banks now need to abide a spate of new rules on terms and disclosures. The idea behind the landmark law was to prevent banks from using unfair practices that dig borrowers deeper into debt. (AP File Photo)

A Visa sticker is shown at a business in Detroit. The new credit card regulations began Monday. Banks now need to abide a spate of new rules on terms and disclosures. The idea behind the landmark law was to prevent banks from using unfair practices that dig borrowers deeper into debt. (AP File Photo)

Julie Butler said she grew tired of fighting her credit card company after the interest rate on her card nearly tripled to 23 percent last fall.

As a certified public accountant at CJ Frank & Son in Lansing, Butler said she attempts to limit using the card, but it is one of the lifelines to pay for the expenses of her financial services business.

HSBC representatives said she had a good track record with the card and the increase wasn’t her fault. It was a move that the bank was taking across the board. Now she wonders how long it will take to pay it off.
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