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Studies: Credit Card Rate Hikes Down after Passage of Legislation

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Washington, DCTwo new surveys released recently by the government indicated that reforms have led to the near elimination of credit card rate hikes and over-limit charges as well as a reduction in penalty fees, the Washington Post reports.

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which took effect on February 22, 2010, was designed to prevent some of the most vulnerable credit card customers from paying excessive fees and interest rates, according to the news source.

Elizabeth Warren, a special adviser for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said that the changes have been successful for the most part.

"Much of the industry has gone farther than the law requires in curbing re-pricing and over-limit fees," she said. "Leaders in the industry deserve credit for moving in the right direction."

However, some card issuers have warned that the new protections offered to vulnerable clients could actually lead to higher charges and interest rates for good customers, according to the news source.

According to Bloomberg, total credit card late fees dropped to $427 million in November 2010, which was down significantly from the $901 million in January 2010.

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I opened a Discover Credit Card in 2013 with an interest rate of 12.99. A year later, the rate jumped to 17.99 with no warning. Is this legal?

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