Read Every Notice

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(And….Climb every mountain, ford every stream?.oops, sorry, I digress)

With the CARD act securely in place you may believe that you are immune to rate increases on your credit cards.

Nope. Not the case.

The CARD act only states that you will be given ?notice? of at least 45 days prior to a rate increase and at that point you will be given the option to ?opt-out?.

If you do ?opt-out? the credit card company can force you to pay off the balance in five years or they can also double the minimum monthly payment. You may need to roll over the debt to a new card, in which case you will need to watch out for the balance-transfer fees.

And another thing it will affect your credit score in a negative way because your available credit will go down.

There are also 4 conditions that can cause an interest rate hike on your existing balance with no 45-day advance notice.
? If you have a variable rate tied to an index and the index rises
? If you had a teaser rate and the teaser expires
? If you have a workout agreement (nope, not for working out at the gym but for catching up on late payments, etc.) and you haven?t made the payments as agreed.
? You are more than 60 days late with your payment (yes, of course, they hit you harder when you are down!) However, if this happens you can earn back your previous lower rate if you make your payments on time for 6 consecutive months.

You must also ?opt-in? for any type of overdraft protection or you may be sitting in a restaurant and the waiter comes back and says your card has been declined. If you are up to the limit on a credit card, or out of funds in your account on a debit card, your card will automatically be rejected if you do not ?opt-in?.

Read your mail. Read all of it. Especially if it comes from your bank, your credit card company, or any financial institution that you work with.

I suppose you can throw away the ads that come in the mail on Tuesday?s before you read them though.

Read 5 ways to minimize credit card pain.