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New credit card rules to protect consumers

August 21, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
New credit card rules designed to protect consumers take effect starting on Sunday as part of the Credit Card Act that President Barak Obama signed into law in 2009.The new provisions mean that credit card companies no longer get to make all the rules. Consumers finally have protection from astronomical fees and unreasonable penalties.

With the new rules, credit card companies can hit you with only one penalty fee per billing cycle. Fees will be limited to $25 and can't be more than your minimum payment. However, you can be charged more if you get behind on payments more than once in a six-month period.

"We'll probably see most late fees and over-limit fees go to a maximum of $25 or $35 for the second violation in six months," said Nick Bourke of the Safe Credit Cards Project.

Also, if your interest rate is about to go up, the credit card company has to tell you why.

In addition, there will be no more fees for not using your credit enough.