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What's a cardholder to do?
What's a cardholder to do?
Consumers must pay close attention to the terms of their contracts, staying alert to any changes.

"It's boring reading, and it can be hard to understand, but that's where everything is spelled out," said Lowcards.com's Hardekopf.

Of course, while there are laws aimed at helping consumers, legislation can't do it all.

"As we close the loopholes on some things, they open up elsewhere," said Consumer Union's Banks. "Reform acts don't cover everything, and cardholders have to watch out for their own accounts."

And if you don't like your credit card's new terms? "Shop around -- you are not married to your card," Hardekopf said. "It's a partnership, not a lifelong contract."

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Last updated October 26 2009: 3:56 PM ET
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