Why you should take a new look at your credit card statements

The credit card reform law, otherwise known as the CARD Act, goes into effect on the 22nd of this month, and it's going to change a lot of things about the way your credit card issuers treat you. They won't be able to spike your interest rate just because they feel like it, for instance, and they'll have to spell out a lot more of the details about your relationship.

Gail Cunningham, a spokesperson for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, advises consumers to take a good, hard look at their revamped statements for details about what's changed. For starters, card companies will now have to include detailed information about how long it will take you to pay off your balance if you only make the minimum payment required every month. Cunningham says too many Americans have no idea how long it takes to pay down a debt by only paying the minimum; many also have no idea exactly how much in interest they're forking over to the credit card company every month.