I thought it was going to be illegal to send me “Credit Card Cheques” (unsolicited) in the mail, yet every month I get at least 1 more set of “Credit Card Cheques” from one of my credit cards, what gives?
To be honest, I cannot find anything that states that is the case, so I guess I am going to continue to receive these “financial land mines” in the mail (maybe this is a good reason to go with E-statements, at least I can’t get these horrible little financial poison pills).
The regulations brought in 2010 are clear about other practices though:
- Mandate an effective minimum 21-day, interest-free grace period on all new credit card purchases when a customer pays the outstanding balance in full.
- Lower interest costs by mandating allocations of payment in favour of the consumer. For example, any payment made in excess of the required minimum must either be allocated to the balance with the highest interest rate first or distributed proportionally to each type of balance (cash advances, purchases, etc).
- Provide information on the cardholder’s monthly statement on the time it would take to fully repay the balance, if only the minimum payment is made every month. For example, a balance of $1,000 on a credit card that charges 18 per cent could take more than 10 years to pay off.
- Mandate advance disclosure of interest rate increases prior to their taking effect, even if this information had been included in the credit contract.
Along with older regulations:
- Providing a summary box on credit contracts and application forms that sets out key features, such as interest rates and fees.
- Requiring express consent for credit limit increases.
- Limiting debt collection practices used by financial institutions.
One regulation I would love to see added is the outlaw of sending unsolicited “Credit Card Cheques” for my accounts, I don’t want them, I don’t need them and I shred them when I get them! A nice box on a web page saying, “DON’T DO THAT!” would be nice too.