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.
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?