President Obama got what he wanted before the Memorial Day Weekend: a highly popular Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights. Its passage elicited fairly strong praise from consumer advocates, although some would have preferred the bill had included Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (D-Vt.) 15 percent interest-rate cap. It also prompted hand wringing from industry officials, who have maintained that new Federal Reserve rules slated to take effect next year were tough enough.
The provisions of the law take effect nine months from last Friday, when Obama signed the bill. Among other things, universal default on existing balance will be banned, interest charges on paid-off balance from previous cycles will be prohibited, issuing cards to those under 21 will be sharply restricted, and greater disclosure of rate terms, and billing details will be required.