WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Jim Himes today helped pass the Credit Cardholder’s Bill of Rights (H.R. 627), which will protect consumers from certain confusing, abusive, and expensive practices of credit card companies. Consumer credit card debt is now approaching $1 trillion—double the amount held in 1996. This bill, passed with strong bipartisan support, thoughtfully balances the need for consumer credit with the simplicity and transparency that allows American to manage their personal finances.

“We’re giving consumers tools to take control of their finances and ensure credit card companies don’t profit by entrapping them,” said Congressman Himes. “The unfair and confusing practices used by some credit card companies have contributed to the massive debt our families now carry, and this legislation will help empower consumers to reverse that problem.”

The Credit Cardholder’s Bill of Rights will prohibit penalty increases of interest rates on existing balances unless a customer is more than 30-days late, ban double cycle billing and require all payments to be posted to account balances in a fair and timely way.

The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights:

  • Protects cardholders against arbitrary interest rate increases
  • Stops excessive over-the-limit fees
  • Ends unfair penalties for cardholders who pay on time
  • Protects cardholders from due-date gimmicks
  • Empowers cardholders to set limits on their credit
  • Requires card companies to fairly credit and allocate payments
  • Prohibits card companies from imposing excessive fees on cardholders
  • Prevents card companies from giving subprime credit cards to people who can’t afford them
  • Bans issues credit cards to minors
  • Contains NO rate caps, fee setting, or price controls