You may see the credit industry reigned in on Thursday if the Federal Reserve approves, as expected, new regulations that have been considered since last May under the title "unfair and deceptive practices." In addition to the Fed vote, approval is expected from the Office of Thrift Supervision and the National Credit Union Administration. All three must approve the plan.
The Chief executive of the American Bankers Association, Edward L. Yingling, told the Washington Post, "It covers a lot of issues and is really unprecedented in its scope. You add them all up, it's going to mark the beginning of a new market."
So what will these changes mean for you? Let's look at two major changes that will help you to reduce the interest you pay on your credit cards:
* Ban on raising the interest rate on existing balances unless the customer was 30 days or more late in paying the minimum. Avoid paying the minimum late and you won't see your interest rates jacked up to 25 or 30 percent. Right now credit card companies have been increasing rates on people just a few days late or on people who made a late payment on another card. Banks can still increase rates if the card has a variable rate or a promotional rate set to expire.