Crazy things going on with peoples' budgets these days. Spending is down (which is hurting the economy). The savings rate is up. Personal income is down. And late payments on credit cards are at an all-time high.
People are finally trying to do the smart thing with their money, but they don't have enough money to do the smart thing with it.
Meanwhile, a Credit Cardholder's Bill of Rights is before Congress. It passed the House in September
and would prohibit actions like:
--Applying unfair interest rate hikes retroactively to balances incurred under the old rate;
--Assessing hidden and unjustified interest charges on balances already paid off;
--Piling on the debt that consumers owe by requiring them to pay off balances with lower
interest rates before those with higher rates;
--Charging late fees even though consumers mail their payments seven days in advance of
the due date; and
--Charging excessive upfront fees to subprime cards targeted at consumers with blemished