The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009Monday, February 22, 2010

On May 22, 2009, President Obama signed the Credit CARD Act of 2009. The federal law -- which took effect on February 22, 2010 -- aims to strengthen consumer protection in the credit card market, and establish fair and transparent practices relating to consumer credit plans.

The Credit CARD Act of 2009, which is effective February 22, 2010, establishes several new rules for credit card issuers. The rules include bans on:

  • unfair rate increases;
  • retroactive rate increases; and
  • unfair fee traps, such as due dates that change each month or weekend deadlines.

The law also requires credit card issuers to:

  • use plain language to explain credit card contract terms, including fees that may be charged;
  • issue clear statements about account activity, including any fees charged and reasons for those fees;
  • show how long it would take to pay off the account's existing balance - and the total interest cost - if the account holder paid only the minimum due; and
  • show the payment amount and total interest cost to pay off the existing balance in 36 months.

Under the law, credit card issuers also must provide information about credit counseling to their customers. Our certified credit counselors are available to answer questions about credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling and education, and housing counseling. For specific questions about credit card accounts, or to dispute payments or interest rates, account holders should contact their credit card issuers.

If you have additional questions about this or any financial situation, select the link that is appropriate below:

Credit Counseling

Debt Management

Bankruptcy Counseling & Education

Housing Counseling

Our counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For immediate support, please call 866.401.2776