Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Not maxing out your plastic gets tougher

Credit card reform doesn't always go smoothly, we are discovering.

Horror stories abound of how credit card users are being whiplashed by fast changing loan terms. The Federal Reserve reports 75 percent of the nation's lenders might not comply with new regulations that kick in in February. That echoes a Pew Charitable Trusts report two weeks ago that cards offered now by the 12 biggest lenders still fall short of snuff.

Lenders in general are tightening their credit card standards, reports Lenders are tightening other lines too, Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, writes in that firm's latest newsletter; home equity loans have all but vanished.

Borrowers can still get relatively good credit card deals from credit unions, reports.
Even so, tight money and shrinking credit lines make it easier to hit credit limits before you mean to.

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