Federal regulators have finalized dramatic changes in credit card rules and new credit card protections for consumers will go into effect July 1, 2010. And the effect on you, as consumers in the military, is positive.
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New Credit Card Rules Don't Specify Returning Military

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Federal regulators have finalized dramatic changes in credit card rules and new credit card protections for consumers will go into effect July 1, 2010.
And the effect on you, as consumers in the military, is positive.
The new credit card laws do positive things like protect you from double-cycle billing and shortened grace periods for making on-time payments; limit subprime credit card fees; and require credit card issues to allocate any payments made above the minimum amount due to highest interest debt first.

These positive changes to the credit card industry are the biggest ever made in the credit card industry in nearly 30 years, and are approved by regulators from the Federal Reserve, Office of Thrift Supervision, and the National Credit Union Administration.

These new credit card regulations are based on the consumer protections of the Federal Trade Commission Act which was designed to ban unfair and deceptive trade practices.

LIMITED CREDIT CARD PROTECTION FOR BUSINESSPEOPLE AND RETURNING MILITARY PERSONNEL

However, the new credit card rules don't cover commercial credit cards for either small business owners or large corporate accounts and they do not address returning military personnel specifically.

Commercial cards are not covered by the upcoming changes to the credit card industry, but their holders still experience many of the unfair practices as consumers: credit limit cut backs, credit cards being canceled as issuers try to reduce their risks, etc.

Commercial credit cards include corporate travel and entertainment cards, small business credit of debit cards, prepaid commercial cards, as well as fleet cards.

Benjamin Olson, an attorney for the Federal Reserve said the new protections ". apply to consumer credit cards, accounts for personal use." However, Olson also noted that although the new rules technically only apply to consumer credit cards, new standards outlined in the FTC Act will "still apply" to commercial cards.

WILL UNFAIR CREDIT CAR RULES BE AMENDED FOR RETURNING MILITARY?

The impact of the new credit card regulations on returning military personnel is still unknown as there is no clear no determination about how the new credit card rules of July 2010 will apply to active military personnel returning home from duty.

Currently, the Service members' Civil Relief Act states that credit card issuers to military personnel who are deployed on active duty service must lower their interest rates to 6% while deployed. As soon as they return home though, the credit card interest rates are increased to their previous amounts.

The new credit card rules of 2010 indicate that interest rate increases may only apply to a few circumstances - not including military servicemembers returning from military active duty.

Prior to the July 2010 changes in card legislation, over 65,000 comments were submitted to the Federal Reserve in 2008 regarding the proposed credit industry changes, but none addressed military personnel or returning troops. Officials at the Federal Reserve have taken note of the military credit card issue, and have vowed to amend the situation to protect military personnel from unfair credit card practices as well.



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