Credit card companies cracking down on customers

The credit crisis seems theoretical and far away -- until the bank starts messing with your credit card. Many consumers are finding the first place they're seeing tangible evidence of the crisis is when credit card issuers cancel their accounts or lower their limits -- sometimes even below their current balance.

Many consumers aren't thinking of buying a house right now because they're worried the housing prices may slide a lot further. According to the National Association of Realtors, 70% of people who don't own a home already don't plan to buy one in the next year -- and many cite tight mortgage restrictions as a reason.

For now, where most people will get hit is on smaller loans, like those for cars and revolving credit on a credit card. Here are some tips from the experts on what's ahead and what strategy you may want to play: