There are some common things you may already know about credit cards. These may include receiving a credit card statement each month, missing a credit card payment results in a late fee and paying back your charges reduces your balance. Some of these can help your credit, while others can negatively affect your credit score. You may not be aware that there are several laws that that help guard and protect your credit rights. By understanding a few of these pieces of legislation, you will be able to stay on top of your finances and repair your credit:
- The Truth in Lending Act (1968): Credit card companies are responsible for telling you all the rules and regulations that go along with your card. The Truth in Lending Act requires lenders to explain these terms to you and alert you to how your costs are calculated.
- The Fair Credit Reporting Act (1977): You are allowed to access a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every year. This document will contain all your history from open lines of credit to any delinquencies you have had over the years. If there are any unfair marks on this document, this act requires credit bureaus to allow you to fix any errors you may have.
- The Fair Credit Billing Act (1974): Similar to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, this law will assist you if there are any mistakes in regards to your credit card. Scanning you credit card statement is always a good idea. It lets you know when your next payment is due, what your balance is at and your purchase history. If you find any sort of mistakes or any incorrect charges, you should let your provider know immediately. This act requires credit card companies to fix any errors or unauthorized charges that were on your card, which can prevent your credit score from taking a hit.
- The Credit CARD Act (2009): Lawmakers are very aware of the economic landscape and the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 was enacted to help protect consumers like yourself. Under this law, a credit card company must alert you to any rate increases, limit the amount of fees you are assessed and requires issuers to keep a consistent schedule in regards to payment due dates. This act will help you more easily deal with your credit and balance.