Credit card offers choke my mail every day, but card issuers call me a “deadbeat” because I pay my balances in full and on time every month. They’d much rather extort fees and interest that would have the Mafia drooling.
And now Congress and Obama are trying to “fix” credit with their so-called “crack-down” on credit card companies.
Do I sound a tad bitter? Well, I am. It smells just like their faux healthcare reform, where they’re determined to keep private insurers rolling in profits even if it kills the rest of us — financially and literally.
Like health insurers, credit card companies know how to work the system. To compensate for lost monthly fees, which comprised 70% of their profits in 2005, more cards may have annual fees. And the interest clock may start ticking the moment a purchase is made, like it already does on some cash advances. Congress kow-towed to banks by failing to cap interest rates in its legislation, so the sky’s the limit.
Since I’d never piss away hundreds in annual fees to maintain a stable of credit cards, I’ll be forced to cancel many, and that could wreck my credit rating.
Congress’ new limits don’t become effective for 9 months, so they obviously want card issuers to have a nice big window to squeeze consumers as dry as they can. It’s the only reasonable explanation for such a delay, which will only lead to more defaults and bankruptcies. Banks have computers. If they can levy fees and raise interest rates on individual accounts in the blink of an eye, they’re fully capable of making global system changes within one monthly billing cycle to comply with new laws.
You’d think with a Democratic House, Senate, and president, the little guy would finally catch a break, but it’s a rare day when Congress and the White House don’t sell us out to Big Business and tell us they’re doing us a favor.