Tips for consumers whose credit card interest rates are going up
KENNEWICK, Wash.-- By now, you should have received statements from your credit card company about any major rate or fee changes. A new federal law aimed at protecting consumers takes effect on February 22-nd.
Some financial advisors, however, say some credit card companies have already raised rates ahead of the new law, leaving some consumers scrambling to figure out how to deal with higher interest.
The Better Business Bureau and financial advisors recommend talking with your credit card company. Many will negotiate terms, so they don't lose you as a customer. If that doesn't work, you can keep your current rate to pay off your balance, as long as you don't make any new purchases. However, the new interest rate will be enforced for any new purchases made.
Banks say simply being better about paying off balances and not making late payments will help. They say the rate hikes most affect people who keep balances on their card or have rates that are too low for the market.
If your rate is going up too much on one card, find a better deal elsewhere. You can compare rates online by clicking here.