Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What took them so long?

(i *heart* credit card reform)

February 22nd is just around the corner! Woo hoo! We're all excited, right?

No, the 22nd is not my birthday. It's the day when the Credit Card Reform Act goes into effect. This is good news! It's a good Act. It's about time.

Here's what the credit card companies can no longer do:

- They cannot increase your interest rate just because you made a late payment to a totally different, unrelated company that has nothing to do with your credit card.

- They cannot charge you interest on a balance that you have already paid off.

- They cannot charge multiple over-limit fees on a single transaction.

- They cannot charge you a fee for making a payment online.

And on and on and on.

My number one question is, why were they allowed to do this stuff in the first place? This is crazy stuff. You pay off a balance, and they charge interest on it anyway? You pay your phone bill late, so they raise the interest rate on your credit card? What the heck?

My number two question is, which of our fine politicians voted against this obviously-much-needed reform bill? Just wondering. So I did a little research.

In the House, the bill passed 357 - 70.
Here's who voted no:
69 Republicans, including Bachmann, Boehner and Cantor
One Democrat, Herseth Sandlin from South Dakota

In the Senate, the bill passed 90 - 5.
Here's who voted no:
4 Republicans including John Thune from South Dakota
One Democrat, Tim Johnson from South Dakota

My third and final question for today is, what's up with South Dakota? Why would all of their politicians be against credit card reform?

Well, if you have a credit card you may have noticed that your payments go to a mailing address in South Dakota. That's because there are no state usury laws in SD, so financial companies based in SD can basically charge you as much as they want.

Hmm. I wonder why the credit card companies would want to be based in that state?

Just think: the Republicans are now arguing that the health insurance companies should have the same freedom to operate across state lines. They make it sound like a good idea. "More competition" - "Open up the marketplace" - "Yada yada yada" ... but the insurance companies clearly would move their headquarters to whatever state has the loosest regulations, and then continue to charge as much as they want.


My dream is that one day we will all look back at the ridiculous arguments going on about health reform. We will have a clear picture of the abuses the insurance companies have gotten away with for years and years. We will appreciate the new protections set up by our fine, upstanding politicians.

And we will wonder - "What took them so long?"



  1. They still have a couple of weeks to find ways to gouge the consumer before they are locked into the reform. I am so glad I don't have any credit cards.

  2. they are the modern day loan sharks. best way is not to use them.

  3. It's sad that we even need laws like this. Even kids understand right and wrong...

  4. The SD secret was "outed" years ago...but sadly, the politicians who are associated with certain CC companies want anything but the status quo...heck, why not, right, who would want their coffers to diminish just for the sake of the Little People and their cc debts, right?!


    Grrrrreat post, as always!