PostHeaderIcon Why does the government not control the interest rates and charges the credit card companies charge?


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Credit card companies are allowed to increase interest rates to over 30% if they want. They also determine that the consumer is a poor credit risk if they have high balances on loans without looking at the fact that payments have been made in excess of amount billed and on a timely basis. It also seems that when a person nears retirement age, most companies increase the interest rate to the extent that it cannot be paid by a person on a reduced budget. This forces the older person to either go to a debt consolidation company (which charges for their services also) or quit paying, with the risk of loosing any assets that they have accumulated. Either way, embarrassing, harrassing phone calls have to be dealt with. A younger person with no home can file bankruptcy and they have no permanent consequence to this action. I am 62, have paid my bills all my life and now all interest rates increased and I can’t make payments, even with debt consolidation. HELP-PUT LIMITS ON CREDIT CO.

14 Responses to “Why does the government not control the interest rates and charges the credit card companies charge?”

  • kja63 says:

    Assuming you live in the USA, it’s called free enterprise. You should have checked your credit card company’s disclosure statements for the maximum amount of interest they can charge.

    Shop around for a lower interest card and transfer your balance.

  • wickedvicked1 says:

    I think that’s set by the state government.

  • jessigirl00781 says:

    You can either go to a new credit card or call your credit card company. Ask them to reduce the amount of the interest rate and you will stay. If they don’t change it then you will cancel your card. The reason I am saying this is because Credit Card companies are making SO MUCH money off of you and knowing you might leave…they usually will help you out and give you a lower rate.
    Why doesn’t the government control it? CC companies pay taxes. The more money they make the more the government makes. Government is VERy greedy and they want more and more money. Doesn’t matter who they hurt.

  • ABG says:

    Same reason they do not control the gas companies, private enterprise. Sucks, but thats America…..and YOU TOO can get rich :)

  • EngineNick says:

    This is a complicated matter. Putting limits on Credit Card companies will force them to raise the rates of all the low risk persons as well to revover losses. Credit companies need to evaluate whether or not you are a high risk and charge accordingly. It is outlined in your statement of agreement when the credit companies can raise your rates, usually for late payment or overusage. Follow the rules, and nobody gets hurt. If your in debt and still looking to finance something, chances are you shouldn’t be. You can’t afford it.

  • jannie says:

    if the interest is like 30 % you must mean a store and not a bank credit card
    bank credit cards have increased a bit but that’s due to the fact that the prime lending rate has gone up

  • danuitti says:

    I am not sure why you think that our government should control business in a free enterprise system. Our government does control the interest rates on money that IT charges; which has an effect on other interest rates.

    Certainly, you have some hard decisions to make to turn around your situation. You’ve spent a lifetime, building up what you have. You must get your debt under control and reduce other spending. Your answer might be in evaluating your home, and considering other options.

  • Dean S says:

    I am sorry that you are having these difficulties. I think that the government just lets the free market system work itself out. In theory, a new credit card company should enter the market with a much lower interest rate for seniors if in fact they the rates being charged do not match the risk that the credit card companies are taking on. (Also, part of the increase is due to the government raising rates, but that is a small piece of it)
    My recommendation is that you talk to a financial consultant who would probably recommend that you consolidate your loans with a load on your home (if you own one). Interest rates on homes can often be around 6% or 7% vs the really high rates the credit card companies charge. If you don’t own a home, there are specialist that can work with the credit card companies for you, often getting the monthly payments reduced. I hope this helped.

  • terry35645 says:

    Because America is a free enterprise country! I am in my 60′s also and I have a couple of 6% credit cards.. Contact organizations such as AARP or VFW. They usually have Visa cards available at 6 – 8 % for credit worthy senior citizens. Also consult your local bank. They often have special deals for customers! For the second part of your question… you cant pay your payments because of higher interest rates?? Sounds like you have over extended yourself. I suggest u cancel all credit cards except one and use that one for absolute emergencies only! Pay what you can on your balances and learn to live within your income.It is doubtful that you could qualify for any of the low interest cards available if your financial situation is as precarious as you make it sound! I am not being critical of you, just answering your question honestly!

    Have a great day!

  • kb says:

    I think EngineNick put it well. As long as you follow the guidelines set in the fine print of your credit card agreement, they will not hike up your interest rate beyond what you were originally told it would be. As far as gov’t caps, that would be great… but it won’t happen since we are in a free enterprise economy. :) By the way, anyone can file for bankruptcy even if they own a home and still keep their home. If your debts are so bad that you can’t get out from under them, there’s no reason not to file. You can talk to an attorney about your debts and see what your options are.

  • Abhi says:

    Because the credit card company has lots of money and they knows how to close the mouth of their opponents.
    Simply it is money power

  • The Wandering Blade says:

    It is not reasonable to expect governments to control the activities such as pricing / interest rates of private companies so long as they operate within the law and follow set guidelines. The onus is on the customer to have read the agreement they signed when taking out the loan / card and to be responsable for their own financial affairs.

    Although card companies have the right to charge 30% if they like, they never will as it would make then uncompetitive and they would loose customers. Your local supermarket has the right to charge £1000 fir a pint of milk is it wants to, but it dosn’t happen because we have a competitive market.

    Credit worthiness is assed differently by different companies who all have their own criteria based on the amount of risk they ar willing to accept. The cheapest deals will be with the companies who have strong rulings on credit history, others, who offer credit despite past records will always charge higher rates & fees as they are taking a higher risk of default.

    There are many laws as well as volountary codes which are desighed to make sure credit companies are open and up front with charges and fees, notifying the customer of changes to their rate / agreement in advance.

    There are many options other than debt consolidation companies / consolidation loans (which only ever provide temporary respite and actually increase the debt) such as the Citizens advice beaureux and local government helplines. Talk to your lender, if you make the move to explain difficulties paying your bills before you fall behind in payments they are far more willing to help than if you don’t answer the phone / mail and they have to chase you. Remember, you will only risk loosing your assets if the loans have been secured on them (such as mortgage) and even then the companies are more willing to work out a payment plan than take court action as this action costs them alot of time and money.

    If your loans are unsecured, thay may threaten to send in the baliffs but this is not strictly true. This will only happen if you are taken to court and an agreement cannot be reached. If you are taken to court you will be asked to provide details of your income / expenditure and from this the judge / magistrate will determine a reasonable amount you can afford to repay. The credit companies will be obliged to accept this although they can appeal they rarely do.

    If this action is taken you will receive a county court judgement (CCJ) which will prevent you getting most credit (probably a good thing!) while the debt remains outstanding. Having said this, the CCJ usually stops showing on your credit record after 6 years.

    There is alot of help out there, don’t be drawn in by companies which offer quick fixes, these will make the situation worse. Talk to your creditors / local authority advice / CAB etc. and you will find alot of help out there.

    When all is said and done, the responsability must be accepted that it is only you that has applied for the credit, only you that has spent the money and you who can sort it out. Credit companies are quite irresponsable in the way they offer credit to everyone, irrespective of circumstance, but they cannot force you to take it.

  • stevo says:

    Try the UNITED WAY debt consolidation I did and the calls stopped and I made one payment a month according to income level and there was no fee. You MUST call your credit card company’s and tell them to STOP your cards immediately or it just keeps getting more and more (very very important) don’t use them at all go all cash or don’t spend. This is a free country thank God and we should not let the Government dictate anything. I hope this helps. Knowone made you go into debt so its you that has to figure a way out. A real challenge indeed, with out claiming bankruptcy (even if you claim Bankrutcy you still have to pay back at a lower rate depending on kind of Bankrutcy and judges decision) go to consumers Q&A on your computer and see what other people are doing and follow what is working for the MAJORITY. It might work for you as long as your debts arent too far out (Hundreds of thousands). It seems the older we get, the less they care about us, not much can be done about that unfortunately. when the goin gets tough, the tough get going …..good luck my friend…. your imagination is thier worst enemy…… Peace

  • atmjay says:

    The government does regulate the maximum interest rate a credit card company can charge. It is regulated at the state level. For instance, in Texas, if the bank or credit card company is based in Texas, the maximum APR is 13.9. You need to find out what your state maximum is and do your credit card business with a bank based in your state. The only alternative is to make your case to your state representative or your state senator and lobby for change.

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