Fed says banks consider tighter terms on credit cards

November 9, 2009 12:41:32 PM PST
The Federal Reserve says many banks expect to tighten terms on credit cards in response to a new law that aims to protect consumers from sudden rate hikes.

A quarterly survey by the Fed found that many banks expect to increase rates, reduce credit limits and raise annual fees for both prime borrowers - those with sound credit histories -as well as more risky "non-prime" borrowers, who have tarnished credit.

Banks already have been pushing through rate increases in anticipation of the new rules. Because of that, the House recently approved legislation to speed up the law's effective date and have the provisions take effect immediately, although prospects are dim for Senate passage.

Most of the new credit card provisions are slated to take effect on Feb. 22.

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