Tell Congress to Crack Down on Predatory Credit Card Companies

If you're like many Americans, you get numerous attractive, low interest credit card offers in the mail.

But what’s the catch? You’re lured to sign up for a low interest rate account, but then it skyrockets. You're offered a minimum payment that keeps the credit flowing but saddles you with debt for decades. You mail the bill before its due, but get hit with an exorbitant late fee anyway. You never miss a payment on this card, but your interest rate goes up due to a missed payment on a different debt.

It’s a nightmare scenario that afflicts millions of Americans each year. But young people with low incomes and countless credit card offers are especially vulnerable to these predatory practices.

Now there’s something you can do about it. Congress is considering bills that would put a stop to these abusive practices and empower consumers to get their finances under better control. Please take a moment this holiday season to support credit card reforms that benefit consumers!

Tell Congress it’s time you were treated more fairly by credit card companies!

Dear [Decision Maker],

I urge you to vote in favor of legislation that would ban abusive credit card practices and empower consumers to manage their finances and reduce debt burdens. Bills like S. 499 (the "Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act") and H.R. 3492 (the "Consumer Credit Card Protection Act") go a long way toward this goal and I urge you to support them.

Please fight for these kinds of consumer protections for credit cards:

  • Require that each bill give consumers special information about paying just the minimum payment, such as how long it would take to repay the balance and how much it would cost;

  • Prevent late fees if the bill is postmarked on time;

  • Ban retroactive interest rates - changes that apply a higher interest rate to prior charges;

  • Ban finance charges or extra fees for on-time payment and for payment in full;

  • Ban "universal default," which can raise the interest rate on all debts even when a consumer only makes one late payment on one debt;

  • Improve disclosures related to artificially low "teaser" rates, and;

  • Prohibit over-limit fees if the card issuer has pre-approved the charge.

It's time to bring some fairness to consumers in the credit card marketplace. Please pass credit card reforms, such as those contained in S. 499 and H.R. 3492, to protect consumers from predatory credit card companies.

[Your Name]
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