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Credit Cards & Late Payments - New Rules

Tiffany Dow

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The financial crisis and bank failures have resulted in lenders implementing new rules that many consumers won't be too pleased with. Here is a bit about how things have already changed - and you can expect more where that came from.

More credit collectors will be after you.

While the unemployment rate is expected to rise overall, that won't be true for credit collectors. Lenders like Citigroup are hiring in droves to keep consumers on their toes. They don't want you getting too far behind in payments, so they want a workforce to keep that from happening.

Late payments will be unacceptable.

For years, you could squeak by missing a payment here and there and just catch up the following month. No more! Lenders like Bank of America are no going to be in touch with you the minute you're late - to spur you into repaying your debt.

Lenders will wheel and deal with you more.

Not all of the news is grim. Some banks like Citibank have done something that will please credit consumers. They will match payments you make that are above the minimum amount due up to $550.

But you have to agree to pay off a sizable amount of your balance over the following months. The catch? They don't want you using your card during this payoff period and they will likely lower your credit limit, too.

American Express is dealing, too - with breaks on interest rates, payments, or fees you've incurred.

They'll be watching your spending patterns.

If it looks like you're out on a spending frenzy and still only making minimum payments, you could have your credit limit lowered. If you've been paying great all along and suddenly are only paying the minimum amount due, it will raise a red flag. They're monitoring all of this.

Having good credit is more important now than ever before. If you're in the Good ranking, that's not going to be “good" enough! Visit to see how you can clean your credit score high enough for the new economic rules.


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