News about the Credit Card Technical Corrections Act of 2009 introduced in September 2009, and the Truth in Lending Act, as amended by the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009.
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Credit Card Timing Is On Your Side

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In November 2009, Congress passed an amendment that clarified the timing for credit card late payments, and it's in your favor.

As part of the Credit Card Technical Corrections Act of 2009 introduced in September 2009, and the Truth in Lending Act, as amended by the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, the 11th Congress has stated that a credit card company may not treat your payment as late unless it can assure that your credit card statement was mailed or delivered at least 21 days before the payment due date.

WHY LATE PAYMENTS ADD UP

Late payments on your credit card can become a credit problem, quickly. For example, interest rate hikes on existing balances are allowed if you make a late payment. And consistent late payments on credit cards can negatively impact the good credit score you've worked so hard to maintain.

Your credit score is your winning ticket to access low interest loans for everything from new cars to computers. The best terms and rates for insurance, including auto insurance, are also afforded to those with the highest credit scores and a history of on-time payments.

So it pays to maintain timely payments on all your outstanding loans and revolving credit. The question becomes, who gauges if you are late on your credit card payment?

In the past, that judgment call was up to the credit card company. If you mailed your payment a few days before it's due but it wasn't posted to your account in time for your payment due date, in the past, that could qualify as a late payment and you could be subject to penalty.

REASONABLE TIME FOR ON-TIME CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS

According to the congressional amendment, you now have "a reasonable amount of time" to make payments on monthly bills: at least 21 days after credit card statements are mailed or delivered. This can be especially helpful if you are on military deployment, in the middle of a PCS move, or otherwise dealing with the complexities of military life.

And note that your on-time payment will no longer be set to early morning cut-off times; and payment with due dates on a weekend or holiday must be accepted if mailed on those days as well.

Especially when you are planning for a military deployment, you can still plan to make on time bill payments successfully; clarifying payment due dates for credit cards and understanding your rights when it comes to late payments allows you to maintain good military credit, in good standing.



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