Tester demands immediate relief for consumers from credit card rate hikes

Senator signs onto bill to immediately freeze interest rates and fees

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester has signed on to a bill to protect American credit card owners by forcing credit card companies to immediately freeze all interest rates and fees.

Earlier this year, Tester—a member of the Senate Banking Committee—helped write the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act (Credit CARD Act).  The law, which reforms the credit card industry by ending abusive and misleading practices is scheduled to take effect in February 2010.

Tester, however, said Montanans are suffering last-minute rate hikes by credit card companies in advance of the changes. 

He has signed on to the Credit Card Rate Freeze Act.  The Freeze Act would force credit card companies to immediately freeze interest rates, finance charges and fees on all existing balances until the Credit CARD Act takes effect.

“We reformed the credit card industry because it’s common sense to hold these companies accountable,” Tester said.  “Unfortunately, some companies are still trying to squeeze honest, hardworking Americans.  So we’re sending a simple message to tell the credit card industry that if you want to keep ripping folks off, the clock has run out.”

The Credit CARD Act will ban unfair fees and deadlines, give cardholders an additional week to pay their bills, require companies to give customers more notice of any changes to their policies and stop credit card companies from exploiting young Americans. 

After overwhelmingly passing Congress, President Obama signed the Credit CARD Act into law in May.

Tester last week signed on to the Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act, a bill which would move up the deadline to December 2009 for credit card companies to end abusive practices.

More information about the Credit CARD Act is available online HERE.