Why Am I Suddenly Having Trouble Paying My Credit Card Bills?

11 Feb Why Am I Suddenly Having Trouble Paying My Credit Card Bills?

The stagnant financial position of the middle class in this country has long meant that the standard practice of many households has been to survive each month financially by making just the minimum payment demanded by the credit card company. And for many years, the credit card issuing banks have notoriously set this payment so low that consumers found themselves with virtually perpetual credit card debt, while at the same time they were continually enticed by these low payments to continue using the cards, amassing even larger piles of debt.

While many abusive practices of credit card companies have not been curbed, one change did recently occur — federal bodies which regulate banks issued joint “standards” or “guidelines” which require the issuing banks to set minimum payments which result in consumers paying off a certain percentage of the principle amount due each month. These guidelines were jointly issued in January 2003 as “Account Management and Loss Allowance Guidance” by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS).

So what did this mean to many American households? Sometime around the beginning of 2006, many consumers saw their minimum credit card payments rise precipitously by 50% or more. We realize that many of you did not plan for this contingency, and that is just one of the many reasons that we are here to help you.

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