Provision may lead to headaches for credit customers

A lesser-known provision governing credit card companies could wind up costing borrowers if they don't read the fine print, as reported by The Associated Press.

Since new credit rules were passed last year, credit card companies have to give borrowers at least 45 days notice if they are increasing rates. But as the AP indicates, creditors can begin implementing those changes within 15 days of handing out notices.

The source says customers have the ability to pay under the former rate for up to 45 days, but unless they inform their credit company of this request, they may be charged the new rate if they use their card within 15 days of receiving notice.

"This is just a very important detail that really should have been made clear," said Beverly Harzog, who works for a credit information company, in an interview with the AP. "Consumers need to know all the details when it affects their pocketbook."

Should consumers not be aware of this loophole, their bills may cost them more, potentially leading to money trouble down the road. Customers may be able to receive help from a credit repair company regarding any questionable and disputed billings.