The Credit Crunch: Watch those Charges at the Weekend Sales
All the recent commentaries on the credit card reform bill made me think about poor Carrie Bradshaw. Remember when she couldn’t get a loan to buy her condo/apartment in New York, but her closet was full of fabulous designer shoes? And I bet she put all those shoes onto her credit card. In my experience, when you shell out for those high-priced high heels, you will be paying for them for along time. Very few people pay for these types of purchases in cash or with a debit card.
As some of you know, the Senate passed the Credit Card reform bill. When it is effect (President Obama signed it on 5/22) , the credit card companies will have less than a year to make changes. These changes would include having to post their credit card agreements on the Internet, and permit all customers the ability pay their bills online or by phone without an added fee, rationalize over-the-limit fees and provide 45 days notice and an explanation before interest rates are increased.
Unfortunately for consumers, interest rates will not be capped as some like yours truly had hoped and prayed for! However, this is progress and I’m happy to see the power shifting a little more towards the consumer.
So think about those Credit Card interest rates Recessionistas when you are out there shopping for summer fashions at the Memorial Day sales. My debit card is looking better and better to me all the time! I am trying to use it more and more for purchases. I mean, it makes no sense to buy a $5.00 pair of shoes if you are going to end up paying triple that in interest, and maybe even more in late fees if you make a payment late. And believe me, this is something I am telling myself as much as I am telling you dear readers. Ultimately, it’s up to all of us to make the choices about our own finances.
Finally, I have to mention that I love that two bloggers were commentators on CNN yesterday about the credit card crunch. They called them the “blogger bunch.” Cute, huh? When you have two people together, it’s now consider a “bunch.” Of course, that may only be if they are bloggers. I have to give a shout out for fellow blogger, Natalie McNeal from The Frugalista® Files. Click here to watch the video on CNN. Props to The Frugalista® for some good common sense explanations of the changes.