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Financial Overhaul: Consumer Effects

The financial overhaul we’ve been hearing so much about lately has some interesting effects on consumers. While the changes are not targeted directly at us, we will definitely see them in action.

Credit Card Minimums

Do you ever see stores with minimum credit card purchases? Some merchants say no credit card purchases under $5, but did you know that by doing this they have been violating their agreements with the credit card companies? Well, now Congress will allow merchants to set minimum purchases, as long as the minimum is not higher than $10.

The exception to the rule is the federal government and colleges and universities. They may limit what people spend on a credit card. So you can forget about the free airfare you would earn by paying Jonny’s $25,000 tuition bill for the year.

Another big change is that merchants will be free to offer discounts to people who use cash or debit instead of credit cards. As long as they don’t charge different prices for using specific credit cards, we should be seeing savings of some sort for debit and cash purchases.

Credit Scores

Right now, you can get three free credit reports each year, but you don’t have access to your credit score. While that won’t change, you will be able to see your score if it has hurt you in some way.

If you are hurt in some way (given a high interest rate on your mortgage, credit card, etc. or denied for a rental because of credit), the company will have to give you the score.


The last big one is that there will be a ban on prepayment penalties for those with adjustable rate or other complex types of mortgages.

Readers, what do you think of these new changes? Will you be affected? Or will they help a small number of people and we’ll see fees pop up in new places?



  1. None of those changes will really affect me one way or the other. However, I do wish they would eliminate the amount consumers can be charged (convenience fee) for large purchases like tuition. Actually, I was going to pay a bill electronically with a credit card the other day and they wanted to slap a 7 dollar convenience fee on me, and the bill was only $149. Not worth the convenience, I can easily write a check instead. Those are the fees I want eliminated.

  2. I haven’t experienced much, but my credit cards do offer tons more information with the monthly statements. It’s nice to see some honesty come out of this transition in the financial industry.

  3. we are definitely in a weird time- where everything kinda hit the fan at once. now we are realizing that our government is to big and it is harder than expected to make change. and if and when we do make change we realize how hard it is to actually make a difference as there are so many moving pieces.

    we need to stop spending so much money and or find a way to get out of debt as a country so that as Americans we can do the same thing.

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