Protecting your plastic

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Updated Dec 14, 2009

I doubt there are many Americans who haven’t been stung by greedy credit card companies’ sneaky tricks of raising interest rates for lame reasons to levels well over 20 percent in some cases.

Owner-operators have more than their share of whelps. You often having to rely on credit while far from home. When the economy’s tough, it’s easy to fall behind on bills, a sure trigger for higher interest rates.

A tremendous consumer backlash over the issue continues in Washington, D.C. While consumer-friendly credit card changes are to take effect in July 2010, legislation moving through Congress now would accelerate that and bring more protection. Among other things, it would prohibit credit issuers from suddenly jacking up interest rates and fees, and it would prevent young adults from getting credit cards without parental permission.

Last week, the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 moved further than it ever has, getting Senate committee approval. Bankers are the main opposition. Consumer groups and others are for it. Let those who represent you in Washington know you support it.

— Max Heine

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