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I’m all for the Credit Cardholder’s Bill of Rights no matter what.

by J. Money on Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I was recently asked to join a group of financial bloggers to discuss our opinions regarding a certain topic each week – thus getting a variety of perspectives. While i’m not sure how many times I’ll participate throughout the weeks (some of this stuff makes my brain hurt!), I did give it the old college try on this last one ;)

The topic centered around the ABA’s (American Bankers Association) disappointment with the way the “Credit Cardholder’s Bill of Rights Act of 2008” read, basically stating that consumer protection legislation will lead to an increased cost of credit for consumers and small businesses, when more consumer safeguards are put in place.

That was a mouthful, right? You should try taking a stab at that link, it’s pretty hardcore. And by that i mean b-0-r-i-n-g. But after giving it a good glance, and googling what all those big words meant (this is why i take blogging over “serious” writing anyday), I came to my own opinion…and, as you can tell, i answered in true J. Money style ;) Here’s what we got:

The Question:

Should we be afraid of costlier credit if in exchange consumers get greater consumer credit rights and protection against sudden rate changes, elimination of huge fees and clear credit disclosures?

My Answer:
“Wow. I’m no expert in the field, but that statement really puts me off. Maybe it’s because i manage a customer service department myself, but i am all for up-front & bold credit disclosures – regardless of the consequences that may, or may not, come to fruition down the road. Whether we should be “afraid” or not is a totally separate issue. It’s like saying,

“I’m sorry grandpa, I can’t help walk you across the street because i’m afraid that there’s a chance i’ll get hit while doing so. And if i get hit then i can’t feed my family, and if i can’t feed my family they will die. So, as you can see, I’m too afraid of helping you because of what *may* happen”.

You walk that grandpa across the street because it is the RIGHT thing to do. Plain and simple.

Sure that’s a pretty colorful exaggeration there, but the fact of the matter is that we can’t lose sight of the MAIN objective here: helping the consumer. And if the end result IS higher costs for everyone, well that’s the way the cookie crumbles. The only difference here is that the consumer is now more educated, and will at least understand what the hell is going on.

(So my answer is that it doesn’t matter if we should be afraid of the consequences or not – we have to do what’s right.)”

Haha…how’d i do?
You can read all of our answers over at Get Out of Debt. The beauty of this sorta thing is that everyone’s so opinionated, and thus no one is “wrong”! It’s also cool to see such a vast assortment of writing styles :)


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