Tester criticizes credit card industry, explains plans to protect consumers

Senator says predatory practices are ‘flat not right’

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester today explained his plans to protect Americans from credit card companies that rely on devious, confusing and unfair practices to make money.

Tester also told the U.S. credit card industry to use more common sense—especially as the bad economy forces more and more Americans to rely on credit card debt.

Tester is a member of the Senate Banking Committee, which oversees federal regulation of the nation’s banks and credit card companies.  Today on Capitol Hill, he grilled bank representatives and economists about some of the most controversial credit card company practices.

“My concern is about credit card companies that put out an offer that is too good to be true,” Tester said during today’s hearing.  “And once the fish is hooked, then the fees go up.  People start to get jerked around.  It’s just not right.”

Tester has written legislation to outlaw the practice of “universal default”—when companies automatically change terms on a credit card account based on behavior on another account.  Tester’s legislation also prohibits rate increases based on changes to information in cardholders’ credit reports. 

Tester said he’s particularly concerned about Americans under the age of 35, who are frequently
lured by credit companies into overwhelming debt.

“If young people make one mistake, credit card companies put the boots to them,” Tester said.

Tester’s legislation is part of a larger bill that bans predatory credit card company practices and protects consumers.