2 of 7
BACKNEXT
1) Rate hikes
1) Rate hikes
Ann Minch's YouTube video convinced BofA to drop her rate to 12.99%.
Interest rates are out of this world.

"They've increased steadily over the past 5 years, and in general are higher than they've ever been," said Josh Frank, senior researcher at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), who says he's seen annual percentage rates as high as 36%.

No current laws cap credit card interest rates, according to Pamela Banks of Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, so technically the sky's the limit.

But the CARD act will help curb abusive practices. As of February, issuers won't be able to arbitrarily raise rates on existing balances. But cardholders will still be subject to interest hikes for late payments and various other infractions.

And card companies will be able to raise their rates as high as they want, whenever they want, on future purchases even after the reform bill kicks in completely.

The act will bring protections for new customers; issuers will no longer be able to hike rates on new accounts in the first 12 months, unless the borrower is delinquent by more than 60 days or the increase is stated in the contract.

Keven Vallance recently saw the rate on his Sears card increase from 9.99% to 13.99% for no apparent reason. When Vallance called Sears Credit, which is owned by Citibank, a rep told him every cardholder's rate is increasing by 4%.

Citi spokesman Samuel Wang said in an email that the company has "adjusted pricing and card terms for some customers as part of our regular account reviews."

Consumer outrage is boiling over. Last month, a disgruntled Bank of America customer posted a YouTube video complaining her bank "jacked up my interest rate to a whopping 30% APR." Her rant went viral, and BofA dropped her rate back to its original 12.99%.



NEXT: 2) New fees

Last updated October 26 2009: 3:56 PM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
2015 Mustang's asphalt-peeling power goes modern The new Ford Mustang has been upgraded and updated to compete globally - but never fear, it's still a monster. More
15 top executives with $1 salaries Some CEOs and founders agree to salaries of just $1 a year. But once goodies like bonuses and stock options are added in, some of those executives end up taking home many millions of dollars a year. More
Mercedes SL65 AMG: 621 horses of topless power Turn heads as you blow by traffic in this roadster convertible from Mercedes. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.